Let’s Talk YA #2

Last week, the lovely Emma from Never Judge A Book By Its Cover and I launched Let’s Talk YA and my first pick was the Beautiful Broken Things duology by Sara Banard.

This is going to be a regular feature on my blog and I’m aiming to run it weekly, so today I’ve chosen the gritty, raw and brilliant Clean by Juno Dawson.



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 …

TW: drug use, sexual assault, self harm, mental illness (including anorexia and OCD) 

Why I Love It:

It’s an intoxicating and addictive story with brilliantly casual diversity that you won’t be able to put down.

Lexi is one of the boldest, most interesting protagonist I’ve seen for a long time. She will stay with you long after the final page. Her voice just captivates you and the journey that she has during this book is a stunning example of character development.

The majority of characters are well developed and given room to be messy, vulnerable and grow. This means that it’s an emotional rollercoaster, as you become attached to these very three-dimensional characters quickly.

In particular, I love the portrayal of recovery, as Clean shows how complex and messy it is, instead of the straight line that many other books show. Similarly, Dawson doesn’t hold back from the nasty details of addiction, instead of glamourising it and it’s this honesty that I really like.

Juno has such a talent for creating compelling characters and stories that don’t shy away from tough issues, which is why I’m eagerly anticipating Meat Market.

Let’s talk!

Have you read Clean or any of Juno’s work? What did you think? 

Emma and I will be shouting on Twitter again, so please get involved and use the hashtag #LetsTalkYA. 

9 thoughts on “Let’s Talk YA #2

  1. hongkongphooey63 says:

    I listened to this as an audiobook in two sessions, driving back and forth to a friends’ house. Normally, I can’t wait to get to said friends’ house (i love these people so much) but this book made me drive so slowly! It’s an incredible tale of addiction, love, friendship, control, trust and so many other issues that are our everyday lives. I can’t properly put into words how much this book spoke to me. I can’t wait to recommend it to students in my library.

    Liked by 1 person

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