‘Clean’ review

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Take five rich kids with an addiction and put them in rehab and you get CLEAN, a story told from the POVs from two of the patients, but also with alternating kinds of scenes (for example personal essays from all five or a script style retelling of their group sessions). And while the writing style wasn’t the most conventional including dialogue of different characters placed one after the other within the same paragraph, and pages and pages of characters retelling a scene rather than us experiencing the scene first hand, CLEAN was still a very enjoyable read.

Each patient was well developed, had their own issues and reasons for turning to drugs and own voices. Though we were only in the minds of Christopher and Kelly, I still knew just as much about the other characters too. Though, I have to admit, I skimmed over all of Eva’s personal essay extracts because they were a little too emo for my tastes. Her character, however, was interesting to read about and though all of the characters did things they weren’t proud of, especially Jason, I still liked them and rooted for their success.

I think it’s important with a book like this that while, as readers, we understand that what the characters have done, how they have done it and why is not okay, they are crippled by an addiction that impairs judgement and will make you do abnormal things in order to feed the addiction. With the help of their counsellor, who was definitely a character to remember, paired with her very own developed personality, we learn that addicts are still human and faced with sobriety are also faced with their demons.

There isn’t much I can say about this novel except that it wasn’t really much of a story than it was a case study into the lives of five rehab patients. There wasn’t a storyline – just the recovery process, and while it was filled with adventure and excitement, it was still engrossing and especially to those with an interest in addiction and psychology. I recommend to anyone who likes character driven novels.

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