On the surface, Clean falls into one of our favourite categories – rich kids behaving badly – but there’s so much more to it than that.
Lexi Volkov is a socialite who spends her life at parties instead of school, bars instead of home and finally, an elite rehab facility where she’s forced to face her demons. Cynical, spoiled and downright ungrateful, Lexi seems awful. But she’s suffering, as are the cast of characters she’s surrounded by and, much as she’s an easy character to dislike, Juno has written her in a way that makes us warm to her, feel sorry for her and really root for her recovery. The rest of the characters are wonderful, diverse and funny, and Juno explores addiction on many levels – from drugs, to sex, to food – with compassion and humour.
Clean is a surprising one for YA, given the drug use, the swearing, the sex, but it’s one of the most compelling books published for YA this year and Juno keeps going from strength to strength.
We can’t wait to see what she’s got up her sleeve next!