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Clean Paperback – December 1, 2015
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About the Author
Ms Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five non-pedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject. Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to CoolDudes Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories. Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality, which is now the law of the land in the United States—woot! woot! Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
Top customer reviews
From the synopsis and having read some of Mia Kerick's earlier works, I knew this novel was going to be hitting at some tough emotional complexities, but I didn't anticipate the book resonating with me like it has. I received the book in the mail around noon, and ended up staying up until 3 in the morning because I was hooked.
Lanny Keating starts off the story in the midst of insurmountable family tension from a nearly fatal accident to his little sister that renders her "special" and requires all parental attention. Then there's his relationship with Trevor, which is never here nor there and he's not completely sure what to make of it, especially with alcohol and sex intermingling their time together. The more Lanny becomes drawn to alcohol, the worse things start going. His grades start suffering, he gets kicked off the football team and the drinking becomes a gateway for a whole lot of self-medicating, thanks in part to Trevor, and resident supplier and student, Chad. Kerick takes on Lanny's journey as his life spirals out of control and he almost loses it.
Then there's Trevor, seventeen and counting the days until his eighteenth birthday when he can finally escape the prison that is his home life with guardian, Carl Goddard, who sexually abuses him on a constant basis. With a stream of consciousness style of writing, we can the inside turmoil that Trevor is dealing with, so despite his cool attitude and his refusal to let Lanny in, we understand his determination to clean up his act. And he wants Lanny to do the same. I love how complex Trevor's character is. He's not doing drugs because he's dumb and there's no judgment from Kerick's part. He's a smart kid and he recognizes what he's doing, which makes it heartbreaking to see that he can't pull Lanny with him.
The book is split into two sections, a sort of fall and rise. It's not an easy path for either character, and the writing was extraordinary in that both first person points of view felt honest and reflective of their respective journeys. The romance between these two is so complicated, but progressed and digressed in the most interesting ways. So, despite being a book about two gay teens, there is so much more to both of them, and to this story.
To say that I was moved would be an understatement.
"Clean" is a tough read, because it's emotionally honest and raw. I've always enjoyed Kerick's work, but this book is my favorite of hers so far. So I absolutely recommend this, and warn you that you will be invested in these characters and this story even after you finish the last page!
I like reading YA, but if I have to read one more story with child abuse and neglect as their backbone I am going to explode.
I can't say I enjoyed this book. I read it and gave me a lot to think about as a parent. But it's a very somber and depressing story. The 180 with Lanny at the end seems a bit extreme, although you do see some struggles, so in the end it might be a little credible. But still.
This book is well written with minimal proof reading errors. If you feel like reading an angst filled story and haven't reached your limit of child abuse/neglect story lines then go ahead and pick this one up.
Most recent customer reviews
Clean was really difficult to read due to the subject matter, especially at this time of...Read more
This was a heavy read because of the focus on alcohol and substance abuse, as well as sexual assault.Read more