Barbara's Reviews > Clean

Clean by Amy Reed
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Oct 21, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: ncbla
Read in October, 2011

** spoiler alert ** Told in alternating voices, this story of five teens who find their separate ways to a rehab center on the outskirts of Seattle is honest and gripping. If the ending seems a bit too much like a Hallmark card with all five moving forward on their roads to recovery, most of the earlier pages are filled with raw emotion and language and the realization that addiction to any substance is complicated. Once the substance has been removed, the emotions that the alcohol and drugs were hiding come to the forefront. Teen readers will identify with Kelly, Christopher, Jason, Eva, and Olivia and hope that all of them will be able to embrace their lives and continue the changes that began in the center. Although I found it unlikely that Olivia's eating disorder would have been ignored until it was almost too late for her or that she connected over such a short time with the other four residents, I still liked her and the others almost as much as I disliked some of their parents. The author's juxtaposition of the characters' voices as they describe how they ended up in rehab or their plans to stay clean and sober makes the story even more fast-paced than it might have been if told only through first-person point of view.
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Gina  Princess of Books the ending though isnt really like a hallmark card because, if you think about it, chris is almost guaranteed to go back to drugs and jason has to go back to his screwed up life where he too might go back to drugs. All in all, eva and MAYBE kelly are the only ones who will be sober for the rest of their lives.


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