December 23, 2015

Clean by Mia Kerick ~ Blog Tour: #BookReview

Hey Donnie Darlings! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Clean by Mia Kerick hosted by YA Bound Book Tours. Click here to follow along with the full tour schedule. 

Publication Date: 12/01/15
Publisher: Young Dudes Publishing

Source: Copy for review

Buy: Amazon | B&N 


High school senior Lanny Keating has it all. A three-sport athlete at Lauserville High School looking at a college football scholarship, with a supportive family, stellar grades, boy band good looks... until the fateful day when it all falls apart.

Seventeen-year-old Trevor Ladd has always been a publicly declared zero and the high school bad boy. Abandoned by his mother and sexually abused by his legal guardian, Trevor sets his sights on mere survival.

Lanny seeks out Trevor's companionship to avoid his shattered home life. Unwilling to share their personal experiences of pain, the boys explore ways to escape, leading them into sexual experimentation, and the abuse of illegal drugs and alcohol. Their mutual suffering creates a lasting bond of friendship and love. 

When the time finally comes to get clean and sober, or flunk out of high school, only one of the boys will graduate, while the other spirals downward into addiction. 

Will Lanny and Trevor find the strength to battle their demons of mind-altering substances as well as emotional vulnerability? 

Clean takes the reader on a gritty trip into the real and raw world of teenage substance abuse.  

Clean was really difficult to read due to the subject matter, especially at this time of year when it's supposed to be a joyous, happy time. The sexual abuse was SO hard to read about, but it's a real issue that affects many people and Kerick handled it well. I know life really is this bad for some people. They don't have the pleasure of feeling warm and fuzzy. The holidays can be a stressful time if family ties just aren't there. Those are some of the thoughts running through my head while reading Clean.   

Clean gets intense...REALLY intense. You just want to beg Lanny and Trevor to TALK, to just talk out everything that's going on with them so maybe they could connect that way and wouldn't feel the need to turn to drugs and alcohol. But you also know talking about how they feel would never be that easy for them. It might not have even saved them from themselves, but you can't help but wish they'd try it anyhow.  

I read another of Mia Kerick's books called Love Spell and enjoyed it so much I bought A Hard Day's Night, which I haven't had the chance to read yet. But Love Spell and Clean are two books that couldn't be more different, which is a testament to Kerick's talent. I knew the author's name was familiar. She can climb into the mindset of a young male and portray him realistically and completely.   

I love that her characters are diverse. In Clean, Lanny and Trevor aren't out and proud, at least not at first. Their sexual experimentation is clouded by the substance abuse and is confusing to them. Are they sexually involved because of using drugs and alcohol, or are there real feelings there? 

I leaned towards them having real feelings for one another - feelings they were afraid of having because they didn't want to be hurt. They didn't want to end up alone. They were together, but really they were alone because they knew next to nothing about each other. Lanny and Trevor knew the other was in pain but didn't ask about it. Not that I blamed them - I understood they had their reasons. 

My only complaint about the novel is that the second half feels a little too easy for one of the characters. I won't say which one, but I will say this character does a complete 180 that was almost hard to believe. The family dynamic changed drastically, and I'm not sure that would really happen.   

Overall, Clean is a gripping, raw read that isn't for the faint of heart. There are depictions of sexual abuse that are hard to read and which may also be a trigger for some readers. The effects of addiction and withdrawal are depicted realistically to me, and  it wasn't pretty. I wanted to turn away from the book at times, but I'm glad I didn't.          

 About the Author

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty 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 men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. 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 Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. 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.

Contact Mia at

Connect with the Author

1 comment:

  1. The book sounds very intriguing, looking forward to reading it!


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