Review: Clean by Amy Reed

by Amy Reed
Publication: May 8th, 2012
Category: YA
Genre: Contemporary, Mental Health
Source: Public Library

My Rating:

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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.

~My Thoughts~

As the synopsis states, Clean is about five teen addicts who are stuck together in rehab. It’s told from each of their POV in “real time” narration so it goes back and forth a lot between each of them. I thought it would be difficult to follow in the beginning, and I had to flip back at times to make sure I knew who I was listening to. After a while I got to know the characters a little better and knew exactly who was speaking. The author did a great job of giving them distinct voices and personalities. I also had a difficult time getting into the book at first. I felt the writing was immature and if it had continued that way, I was going to put it down. It did get better, though, and I think perhaps the author was trying to relay the characters’ immaturity at the start of their journey.

The story is about hitting rock bottom, reflecting on and accepting each of their histories, and moving forward with real hope in their hearts. While I wouldn’t say that I loved this book, I did get sucked in to some extent and the pages started flipping faster the longer I read. I wasn’t emotional about any of their tales, though, and I’m not sure why. I guess I just never got to know anyone well enough. The closest I came to real feelings was for Olivia toward the end. I liked Shirley, their counselor, too. She’s a take-no-crap kind of gal, but also with a heart of gold who truly seems to care about her patients.

Clean is a good story and I would probably recommend it as a quick contemporary read, but there are also a lot of triggers that some people should avoid. I give this book 3 stars because I liked it, but I didn’t love it.

~About the Author~

Amy Reed was born and raised in and around Seattle, where she attended a total of eight schools by the time she was eighteen. Constant moving taught her to be restless and being an only child made her imagination do funny things. After a brief stint at Reed College (no relation), she moved to San Francisco and spent the next several years serving coffee and getting into trouble. She eventually graduated from film school, promptly decided she wanted nothing to do with filmmaking, returned to her original and impractical love of writing, and earned her MFA from New College of California. Her short work has been published in journals such as Kitchen Sink, Contrary, and Fiction. Amy currently lives in Oakland with her husband and two cats, and has accepted that Northern California has replaced the Pacific Northwest as her home. She is no longer restless.

Amy’s Website |Facebook | Goodreads

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Wife, homeschooling mom, YA author of paranormal, dark fantasy, and horror, huge fan of the Oxford comma, book blogger, crafter, baker of sweet things, lover of the culinary arts, self-appointed zombie slayer.