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Clean (Anglais) Relié – 19 juillet 2011

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I can’t sleep, as usual.

My third night in this strange bed and I’m still not used to it. I’m just lying here in these scratchy sheets, listening to this place’s weird version of night, where the lights are never fully turned off, where the doors are never fully closed, where there is always at least one person awake and on guard.

Lilana is the assistant counselor with hall duty tonight. I can hear her knitting that hideous thing she calls a sweater, the click, click, click of those plastic needles. I can hear the deep, watery wheezes of a fat woman with health problems and a history of smoking whatever she could find. She’s what you think of when you think of a drug addict. Not me. Not a middle-class white girl with a nice house and still-married parents.

It’s been ten minutes since Lilana checked on me. It’ll be five minutes until she checks on me again. All this fuss because the stupid doctor at my intake asked, “Do you ever have thoughts of hurting yourself?” Could any seventeen-year-old honestly say no?

I wonder if the buzzing of fluorescent lightbulbs has ever given people seizures. Or if the clicking of knitting needles has ever driven someone to psychosis. Total silence would be better. Total silence I could get used to. But tonight is different. Lilana’s walkie-talkie crackles something about a late-night admit. I hear her shuffle toward my room to check on me one more time. I close my eyes as she pokes her head through my already open doorway. I can smell her signature smell, the combination of cheap perfume and sweat. Then she walks away. The beep-boop-beep of the code-locked door to the lobby, to the outside, the door we all came through. The door crashing closed. Then silence. Even the lights seem to shut up.

It is several minutes before I hear the door open and Lilana return. There is another set of footsteps. “I can’t believe you’re not letting me have my own room,” a new voice says, a girl, with a stuck-up anger that sounds rehearsed.

“Olivia, please keep your voice down. People are sleeping, dear,” Lilana says slowly. The way she says “dear” makes it sound like a threat.

Another door opens and closes. I know the sound of the door to the nurse’s office. We all do. I can’t hear their voices, but I know Lilana is asking Olivia questions now, doing “the paperwork,” scribbling things down on a yellow form. She is telling her the rules, going through her bags, turning out every pocket of every sweater and pair of pants, confiscating mouthwash, breath spray, Wite-Out, facial astringent. She is watching her pee in a cup.

I pretend to be asleep when they come into my room. I’ve been without a roommate since I got here, and I knew my solitude wouldn’t last long. Lilana turns on the overhead light and talks in that kind of fake theatrical whisper that’s probably louder than if she just talked in a normal voice. I turn over so I’m facing away from them, so I won’t be tempted to open my eyes, so they won’t see that I’m awake and then force me into some awkward introduction, with my stinky breath and pillow-creased face. I just try to breathe slowly so it sounds like I’m sleeping.

I hear zippers unzip, drawers open and close. Lilana says, “That’s your sink. Bathroom and showers are down the hall. Wake-up’s at seven. Someone’ll be in here to get you up. That’s Kelly sleeping over there. Your roommate. Pretty girl.”

Pretty girl. My life’s great accomplishment. I wait for Lilana to say more, but that’s all there is: pretty girl.

There’s silence against a background of fluorescent crackling like some kind of horror movie sound effect. I imagine them staring each other down: Lilana with her always-frown and hand on her hip; this Olivia girl with her snobby attitude, probably another skinny white girl like me who Lilana could crush with her hand.

“Do you need anything?” Lilana says, with a tone that says, You better say no.

I hear the swish of long hair across shoulders, a head shaking no.

“All right, then. I’m down the hall if you need me. Try to sleep off whatever you’re on. Tomorrow’s going to be the longest day of your life.”

“I’m not on anything,” Olivia says.

“Yeah,” Lilana says. “And I’m Miss-fucking-America.”

“Aren’t you going to close the door?” Olivia says.

“Not until your roommate’s off suicide watch,” Lilana tells her.

I hear her steps diminish as she walks to her perch by the med window, right in the middle of the building where the boys’ and girls’ halls meet, where, during the evening, when the patients sleep and no doctors or real counselors are around, Lilana is queen of this place.

I lie still, listening for something that will tell me about my new roommate. I hear clothes rustling. I hear her moving things around, faster than anyone should move at this time of night. She walks over to the permanently locked window by my bed, and I open my eyes just a little to see her profile, shadowed, with only a thin outline of nose and lips illuminated by moonlight. I cannot tell if she is pretty or ugly, if she is sad or scared or angry. Darkness makes everyone look the same.

She turns around, and I shut my eyes tight. She gets into the twin bed between the door and mine. Neither of us moves. I try to time my breath with hers, but she is too erratic—fast, then slow, then holding her breath, like she is testing me. Lilana comes by again, looks in to make sure I haven’t killed myself. She walks away, and the new girl and I sigh at the same time. Then our breaths fall into a kind of rhythm. They seem to get louder, gaining in volume with every echo off the white walls and linoleum floor. Everything else is silence. The room is empty except for us, two strangers, close enough to touch, pretending to be sleeping.

© 2011 Amy Reed

Revue de presse

"With deep, sympathetic characters and beautiful prose, CLEAN cuts to the heart. It's poignant and real. I can't stop thinking about it." --Lisa McMann, bestselling author of WAKE and CRYER'S CROSS

“An affecting dramaabout five teenagers in an upscale rehab facility for drug addiction. Theauthor handles complex issues deftly and honestly, from family dysfunction to attemptedrape….The hard-hitting scenarios and abundance of white space make this aperfect suggestion for Ellen Hopkins fans.”


“Delivers someemotional and smart insights….The use of multiple narrators results in abriskly paced, vignette-driven story that suits the frenetic lives of theteens.”

– Publishers Weekly

"While not all young addicts are fortunateenough to receive and succeed at rehab, this is a thoughtful portrait of thosewho do, and it offers hope for what often seems a hopeless situation." - The Bulletin

"A quick, frank read, with humor, information, and action that will keep teens interested. Those who read Reed’s Beautiful (S & S,2009)–and even those who haven’t–will be drawn to the great cover, and fans of Ellen Hopkins will love this novel." - School Library Journal

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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Fresh look at how addictions affect people 20 juillet 2011
Par Amanda Miller - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I love "issues" books. When I read about Clean awhile back, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I've never read Amy Reed's previous book, Beautiful, but now I definitely know I need to check it out.

Clean follows several teens through rehab. As referenced early on in the book by one of the characters they are sort of the "Breakfast Club" of rehab. Each teen is so different! You have the perfect little rich girl, the promiscious pretty girl, a Christian boy who just might be gay, a jock with an attitude problem, and an angry emo chick. At first I got a bit overwhelmed, because you are thrown into a chapter with a mini-intro to each character. It took me awhile to sort out who was who. Once I knew the basics of each character I was drawn to the story.

My favorite chapters were the ones in which the five were filling out a form that asked them questions about how they got where they were. The characters' attitudes shined through, yet you were able to see the vulnerability of each character while getting to know why they had a touch exterior.

I won't get into specifics as to what happened to each character to make them addicts, but the two most upsetting stories were Olivia's and Jason's to me. Each one endured so much to make them the way they were and each was very sympathetic and tugged at my heartstrings.

I received my copy from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
For five addicts, teenage life is a wake up call. 16 juillet 2011
Par Alicia T. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Five teenagers. Five different addictions. One rehab center.

For Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva, teenage life is a harsh wake up call. These teens aren't worrying about prom, or passing English honors. They've been forced into a Seattle rehab center with little choice but to face each other day after day and learn to come to terms with the mistakes they've made, even if it was never their fault to begin with. Despite how supportive, rich, abusive, uncaring, or naive each of their parents might be, in the end, they're all facing the same obstacles together. But it's not too late for them to change.

There is something about Amy Reed's writing style that leaves me feeling cold and unsettled. The message she conveys in her story is loud, brilliant, and perceptively shattering. Her complete regard for censorship, or lack thereof, is simply brave and eye-opening. We need more young adult writers like her.

Everything about Clean was raw and completely sincere. Reed depicts these teenagers at the lowest point in their lives: all feeling vulnerable and uncertain of what is to come. Through a series of personal essays and introspective questionnaire questions, the reader is invited to lift the curtain and take a small peak into each teenager's life. Each has a unique and heartbreaking story. I felt as if I was standing at at window and peering into the fictional rehab center where all five teens were having seemingly day to day conversations. But it's evident that everyone is trying to cope with the hardships of life while trying to appear strong.

I especially found the title of the story, Clean, to be thought-provoking in itself. After I finished the very last sentence, I spent moments pondering the single word that described all five teenagers. Clean. It might symbolize their clean bodies, free from alcohol and other abusive substances. However, I feel that Clean most accurately depicts how each and every one of them felt on the inside after discovering blooming friendships and most importantly, self-respect for themselves. It shocked me how each of the characters transformed into someone more confident and beautiful just by being around people who cared. Nobody is ever truly alone.

Clean was a beautiful read that I simply could not put down. Never have I read a book so honest. Sure, some readers might think that it's another sob story about drug abusive teens. But I invite you to explore the encoded meaning beyond every quip and insecure quote. This book was not meant to make you cry, or feel pity. I think each of the characters, Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva were depicted to represent what we dislike about ourselves. Feeling physically unattractive, feeling worthless, feeling insecure, feeling disappointment, and feeling unwanted. In the end, not everybody in life is going to treat you with the respect you deserve. But maybe if you're lucky, you can find those people who can help you become the best you can be.

Brava Ms. Reed. Clean is a story that should be read by teenagers and adults alike all over the world, not only to promote the negative effects of drug abuse, but to show the rawest type of beauty and power in unlikely friendships.
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A must read for young readers! 9 septembre 2011
Par R. Hastings - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
"Clean" is about a story of a group of teens in rehab, with all sorts of different backgrounds in how they even got there in the first place. The newest kid is Olivia and out of all the kids she meets, she is the only one with a food problem from dieting too much.

Throughout the story, you get to have shifting perspectives from all five main characters. There is Kelly, the girl that would get drunk and snort coke. Eva who would get high off of pot and prescription pain killers. Jason who was always getting drunk to the point of blacking out. Christopher was a church going boy, that was homed schooled and started using coke, then meth from his neighbor. And then Olivia, upper class society girl who abused weight loss pills to the point of being anorexic. Then there is the therapist for group called Shirley. She sees through their bull and pushes them to be honest with themselves. The story spans over a period of three and half weeks.

My one favorite part was the kids learning about themselves and seeing on Family Day the dynamics of some of the kids with their parents; especially Jason's father who is an ex Marine and treats his mother like dirt.

But my most favorite part of all was the questionnaire history. Amy Reed broke down that into sections in the book, so that you wouldn't get it all in one sitting. It helped because as each question was answered by all five teens, you saw the progression in back story line up with the recovery of each one. You really got a taste of what it felt to be in their shoes, how they even ended up in the position they got them to rehabbed at 16 or 17.

I would recommend this book to any teen wanting to know what it was like to have gone too far in the world of abusing drugs and alcohol; to get an understanding of how hard it can be. But this is a good book I think for anyone who wants to go into drugs and alcohol consoling, because it can help them maybe understand what kind of problems they may come up against. But overall it's a great book to read.

My last thought for this review is that I wasn't sure what to expect out of this book. I knew there was going to be a theme of drug and alcohol use from teenagers, but to the extend that I was reading. it was very touching at some points and a lot of the characters were made more human by the end of the story.

3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Wish it went a little deeper 21 novembre 2011
Par Karen A. Oconnor - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Not a bad story, but wish it was a little deeper, more raw. This story is about a group of teens that are rehab and it tells their stories. They are in rehab for a month and they have group meetings, answer a few questions and then you read a chapter or so in each characters voice.

This was a good book but not as raw or gritty as the blurbs make it sound. I finished this in one evening. There are just under 300 pages, the words are pretty large and the spacing is pretty big.
Clean 27 juin 2015
Par Hannah @ Paperback Treasures - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I went into this one with low expectations because I didn't think a rehab story could work if it's written from five different POVs. This kind of story only works if you can really get to know a character and their motivations and really understand the process they go through during recovery, and I didn't think it would be possible to get to know five characters that well in 300 pages. But Amy Reed proved me wrong - I have no idea how, but Clean totally works!

All five of these narrators are amazing characters. I don't know how Amy Reed did it, but I totally felt like I knew and understood each one of them. With multiple narrators, it is easy to let them turn into stereotypes or cliches, but that is most definitely not the case in Clean. Kelly, Christopher, Olivia, Jason, and Eva are individuals and they each have a unique and intriguing story to tell,and they've all been through some pretty bad stuff. I can't even pick a favorite character because I felt for and connected with each one in a different way. Their issues are so real, but so is their recovery: the transformation these characters undergo over the course of this short novel is incredible, but in a very realistic way.

The focus is most definitely on these five characters, but the secondary characters are complex and interesting as well. I loved the little glimpses we got into the lives of the other patients, as well as the family members of the main characters - I despised some and felt for others, but they're all well-written characters. I also loved Shirley,the teen's counselor - I don't know how realistic she is as a counselor, but I loved the way she talked to the teens and called them out on their privilege and bs.

It took me a while to get used to the format, but once I got into it, I really loved it. Parts of this novel is written in regular narrative from the POVs of the five MCs, but in between we have the scripts of their group therapy sessions and we have the character's answers to questionnaires and their personal essays. All of these methods were interesting ways to get to know the characters; they cut out any unnecessary commentary and made me feel like I was right inside the characters' heads.

Really, I loved everything about Clean. No, you don't get quite as much of the emotional journey you would get following just one character, but that's fine, because that's not what Clean is supposed to be. Clean tells the story of five very different but similarly troubled teens, and it's a fascinating reading experience. With incredible, honest writing and complex, realistic characters, Clean is an important and powerful story that I definitely recommend.
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