BOOK REVIEW: Clean by Amy Reed


Title: Clean
Author: Amy Reed
Published: July 19th 2011
Edition Language: English
Source: borrowed from MHS Library

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.


Mrs. Beamer's Review:
I was skeptical of this book...knowing my distaste for drug-addicted characters.  But, it circulates well with my students, and I like to know what they're reading.  Surprise...I liked this book!  I was drawn to the characters...each so unique in their struggles.  The author tells the story through five POVs.  Five teenage drug addicts.  One might think this would weigh down the book...make it too intense for someone like me who doesn't enjoy reading about addicts.  But I found the opposite to be true.  I found (comfort?) hmm...not sure what word I would use...in learning how these five teens came to be addicts.  They have such different backgrounds, such different stories...yet their disease places them on equal ground.  I tried to pick a favorite storyline, and found I couldn't.  So I applaud the author for creating five strong characters.  

Yes, the book probably appealed to me because it didn't contain graphic, horrific, prolific drug use.  It was about the path to sobriety.  And in that context, it's a story of hope.  We hope they continue managing their disease.  We hope they remain thankful for the opportunity to get clean.  Through one of the group consolers, we are reminded most teen addicts are not given the chance these five were given.  These five teens have family (with money) to place them in a rehab facility.  

This book is a reminder that teen addicts come from all backgrounds.  It is a reminder to adults to be cognizant of the signs of addiction...to remember teen addicts can be found in any setting.  It is a reminder to teens that all actions have consequences.  They have the power to destroy someone...and they have equal power to save someone.  I commend the author on a job well done.

My Favorite Quote (from this book):  "If this is recovery, I don't want it.  If this is sobriety, I'd like my drugs back, thank you very much."


Mrs. Beamer’s Wrap-Up Rating: 0-5 (0=none, 5=lots) click here for more info
Language: 3
Violence: 2
Sexual Content: 2.5
Drugs/Alcohol: 4
Recommend for High School Libraries: YES
Comfortable With My Child Reading: college
Potential Controversial Topics: child abuse, homosexuality, drug use



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