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Clean | Juno Dawson | Discussion

*Review copies c/o Netgalley

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...  - Goodreads


What made you want to read Clean?

Erin: I've really enjoyed many of the author's other YA novels so I'm always excited to hear what her next new release will be. Honestly, I'm not sure whether I would have picked up a copy of Clean based on the premise alone, but I enjoy reading Juno's work and love the way she is always able to create such memorable characters, so when I saw the book pop up on Netgalley I couldn't resist!

Ria: I adore Juno's writing and have really enjoyed her previous novels, so I'm always looking out for her next release! It also helps that the premise and tone of Clean was pitched as a cross between Gossip Girl and Girl Interrupted - both films/books I love too.

What did you think about the characters? Did they feel realistic?

Erin: I loved that there was a diverse range of characters in the book, each with dealing different issues. At first, our main character Lexi felt very unlikable and unrelatable but I still found her to be an interesting guide through this particular journey and enjoyed seeing her growth over the course of the novel.

Ria: The characters in Clean definitely feel larger than life and yet there are little snippets of their personalities that do feel very much human. They all have flaws, they all make mistakes, and none of them are perfect, and I kind of love them all for it. Lexi, in particular, is obviously the living embodiment of this. There are so many moments where she is frustratingly dislikable, but she's young and she's learning.

What was your favourite thing about the book? And was there anything you didn't like?

Erin: As I've already mentioned, I liked that there was a diverse cast of characters and I also thought the opening scene of the novel was very intriguing. If I'm being completely honest I wasn't crazy about the ending, or the romance element in general, but this didn't take away from the way Juno explored such interesting yet tough topics and I love that she wasn't afraid to tackle these.

Ria: I really enjoyed how diverse the book felt without it being too forced. It as great to see such a range of different issues explored, as well as the inherent messiness of recovery and therapy. As always Dawson's humour and writing style is fantastic, she always manages to capture this age of character so well. Like Erin, I wasn't so keen on the ending but seeing Lexi's character grow and change throughout the novel was really satisfying.

Would you recommend this book?

Erin: Whilst I think most fans of Juno's work will enjoy Clean, it won't be to everyone's taste. The book and Lexi's story feel very raw and intense, so at times it can be a difficult read but it tackles some really important topics. Personally I found it to be an interesting read overall and as always I look forward to seeing what Juno will come up with next!

Ria: Yes! Whilst it may not be for everyone, I do think the stories within Clean are really important and it's rare to see a YA novel explore these issues in such an unfiltered way.


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