Clean – Juno Dawson
Ok, so let’s get the nitty, gritty out of the way, this has so many trigger warnings I don’t know where to start. This book is a hard read, but captivating and so compelling and I would love everyone to read it, but obviously, if you’re someone that finds drug addiction, suicide, mental health, eating disorders, OCD and toxic relationships difficult, do take this easy. Because this is brutal from the first sentence.
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, guys, this book.
I felt exhausted when I finished this, it is so intense! Well, I mean, it is a story about drug addicted teens in rehab, so I knew it wasn’t going to be a fun, easy read, but I also wasn’t prepared for how brutal this was. Juno Dawson doesn’t hold back, the book literally starts with a girl over dosing and being hauled off to rehab, it is like a punch in the face. There are also some very graphic depictions of detoxing, which I read with an almost morbid fascination, it’s not something that I find in a lot of books, so it was weirdly refreshing at the same time. This just wasn’t afraid to show you all the aspects of being a drug addict.
With books about drug abuse, there is a difficult line to tow, you don’t want to be preachy about the effects of using, you also don’t want to make it look glamorous and glorify being an addict and one thing that clean does really well is not do either of those things. This isn’t so horrific it can’t be read, but it is also raw enough to be a warning.
Though I knew who Juno Dawson was, I’ve not read any of her books before, I know, her books are always being recommended to me, I’m really not sure why I’ve not picked any of them up, having read this, I am going to go out of my way to read more. Her writing style and the way in which Lexi was characterised made her so real and the situations she was in so much more intense, the narration really made the book for me.
In the object of fairness, there were a few things that did fall a little flat with me, firstly this book is VERY DIFFICULT to read in places and it isn’t something you can just flick through before bed or on your commute, this is the kind of book that you will need to leave at times to avoid being overwhelmed and I think the blurb and the cover make it seem a lot more friendly than it is. Secondly, there is a romance in this book and while it isn’t a ‘we have found each other and fixed each other’ kind of relationship, I really hate when rehab/institution books feature romance, I want a personal journey not a romance. Having said that, this wasn’t the worse example of a romance in a book like this.
All in all, this book was a really interesting reading experience and I want more please!