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Monday, August 8, 2011

[The Teen Book Scene Blog Tour] Review: Clean by Amy Reed

I've had a different perception when it comes to addicts. But that changed entirely after reading this book.

Title: Clean by Amy Reed
Pages: 288
Release Date: July 19th 2011
Published by: Simon Pulse
Source: S&S Galley Grab
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

Summary (from Goodreads):

You’re probably wondering how I ended up here. I’m still wondering the same thing.

Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva have one thing in common: They're addicts. Addicts who have hit rock bottom and been stuck together in rehab to face their problems, face sobriety, and face themselves. None of them wants to be there. None of them wants to confront the truths about their pasts. And they certainly don’t want to share their darkest secrets and most desperate fears with a room of strangers. But they'll all have to deal with themselves and one another if they want to learn how to live. Because when you get that high, there's nowhere to go but down, down, down.

There are two things that Olive, Kelly, Christopher, Jason and Eva have in common. They're all addicts and are currently in rehab, which was the last place on earth they want to be right now, trying to get back up on their feet after going so far gone into using and abusing all the substance they can get their hands on. One is a drunkard, one is addicted to diet pills, another to meth. They came from different walks of life. Christopher was from a religious family, Jason had a father who sleeps around, Olivia came from a "perfect" family, Eva had a dad who could care less about her, and Kelly had a family busy caring for sick sisters.

Clean is one of those books that will open the eyes of people who thinks less of addicts. To be honest I'm one of them. But reading through this and laying out in the open the lives of five different people was very enlightening and emotional. In some ways, I understood. By no means did it justify what they did, but reading of different people, their different lives and their different reasons why they became who they are brought some sense to it. Whether these people like it or not, at some level, they knew they needed help, that's why they're there. It was a path to healing. And it was the start of a long, harrowing journey to get back into a society.

Clean is a very honest, unflinching, moving novel. One doesn't need to be an addict to be able to relate to this. It's a vivid portrayal of one's struggle to get that second chance on life. To pick up from where they left off after making all the choices that took them to a downward spiral to addiction. I appreciated life more by seeing it through the eyes of five tormented souls. I felt like I was there alongside them all throughout their journey, forging the most unlikely of friendships and finding help from each other. Passing through different stages, denial, struggles, facing their problems, admitting they had a problem, asking for help and finally finding strength to change.

Clean will break your heart and put back the pieces, one by one, step by step. You will be moved by the realizations, the situations each of the teens are in, and most of all, their bravery to face the world, head high, a place they once all shunned at one point, and learn how to heal themselves. They realized that. They can take control of their life and heal, stand back up on their own two feet. And I think that's just what makes this book very beautiful.

Not everyone might like this book as it deals with a heavy theme, but I suggest you read it, and when you do, read it with an open mind.

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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