Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Clean by Amy Reed

Christopher is addicted to meth, but his mom is addicted to denial. Eva used painkillers and marijuana to deal with the death of her mother. Jacob used alcohol to deal with his anger until he was involved in a terrible accident. Kelly used cocaine and alcohol to deal with her life. Olivia is convinced that she has nothing in common with the other four. She's not addicted to drugs. She just needs to be perfect. Perfect weight, perfect grades, perfect life. In order to start to healing, though, she will need to acknowledge the truth about what brought her to rehab. In order for all of them to move forward, they will have to be honest with themselves and each other.

Even though the narrative traveled back and forth among the five teens, I feel like I got to know Christopher and Kelly the most, followed by Olivia and Jason, and then Eva. Eva had a third-person style of talking that effectively distanced herself from the other teens, but also distanced herself from me as a reader. I liked how these teens were presented as being so complicated; there was no easy answer for them to be 'cured.' Even if they are able to stay away from drugs and alcohol, they have a lot of things to work through: self-image, self-worth, parental relationships, ideas about the future, sexuality. I can see this being a strong book with teens who are looking for titles about people who face and deal with challenges in life.

See more at Amy Reed's website.

I read a review copy from Simon and Schuster's Galley Grab program.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Beautiful by Amy Reed
It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Purge: Rehab Diaries by Nicole Johns

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