Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva are five different teenagers from very different backgrounds and situations. Yet they all have one thing in common: They’re addicts. Addicts who are stuck together in rehab to face their problems and try to face themselves. Shockingly none of them wants to be in rehab but they are all underage and are forced to do so by their parents. None of them wants to confront their truths. And they certainly don’t want to do so with strangers who have ‘real’ problems.
Clean by Amy Reed shows five different addicts from five different perspectives. Each character gets a chapter and you get to see their point of view of their own rehab and how the others are ‘really’ doing. Because of course all addicts lie, even to themselves, even when they are in rehab. “Jason’s mother seems to have shut down, like she’s been trained to go into some kind of sleep mode when the hostility levels get to a certain level. It’s like someone turned off a light switch inside her. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to grow up in that house.”
Honestly, I there are no words that will ever do this book justice. So I won’t try. Clean deals with a lot of heavy stuff and I’m not sure its very young adult but it is masterfully well done. This is the kind of book that sneaks up on you, slaps you across the face, and says, “I’m here and I’m awesome.” You will sympathize and connect with each character and their situation, and will be hoping for their happy ending.
The first few pages of Clean can be found here.