Age/genre: YA Contemporary
Published by: Quercus Children’s Books
Publication date: 05/04/18
My Rating: ★★★★★
Synopsis from Goodreads:
I can feel it swimming through my veins like glitter … it’s liquid gold.
When socialite Lexi Volkov almost overdoses, she thinks she’s hit rock bottom.
She’s wrong. Rock bottom is when she’s forced into an exclusive rehab facility.
From there, the only way is up for Lexi and her fellow inmates, including the mysterious Brady.
As she faces her demons, Lexi realises love is the most powerful drug of all …
It’s a dirty business getting clean …
This book contains the following: mental illness, suicide, addiction, eating disorders and self-harm.
CLEAN is an incredibly tough read, I had to put it down a couple of times. Please think carefully before reading. If you do choose to, a list of useful support links are included in the back of the book. Please do use them if you need to.
I don’t know what to say other than CLEAN is utterly brilliant, Juno doesn’t shy away from taking on a taboo subject. it’s a gritty, brutal and unflinching take on addiction and the impact it has on everyone involved. It was a book that’s had a huge impact on me, so this is going to be a short review.
The story is told from the POV of hotel heiress Lexi, both in the present and through flashbacks. We meet her as she’s being kidnapped by her brother and taken to Clarity, a rehab facility for the rich and famous. We follow her through a brutal detoxing, the ten stages of recovery in Clarity and the difficult days following her discharge from the clinic. It shows that money doesn’t make you immune to addiction and mental illness.
Despite coming from a very different background to Lexi, I still found it easy to relate to her on a level, and felt empathy towards her. Lexi’s character development is brilliantly written, In love that as time passed she softened a little and made friends with the other residents. I love the relationship she builds with Brady. The side characters were incredibly interesting people that brought so much to the story and will change your whole perceptive of those struggling with addictions and mental illnesses in an instant. I think this is some of Juno’s finest work to date, it’s one that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. I can’t recommend it enough.
Have you read CLEAN? Let me know what you thought in the comments.