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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Inspired by true events, Clean by Michael Rebellino tells the story of Cameron, a young man who struggles to let go of the influence of drugs and alcohol in his life. Written in a unique style with poetic verse, letters, and conversations making up most of the narrative, the book is divided into seven parts and an epilogue, each focusing on a different stage in the life of Cameron as he deals with his addiction. Cameron relates his foray into the world of drugs and alcohol as a teenager. Molested as a child, he struggled with anxiety and depression from an early age, using drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism to escape from reality. After he loses his friends and the love of his life, he wonders if there's hope for him yet.
Author Michael Rebellino tells a moving tale of a young man doing everything he can to get himself out of the deadly addiction to drugs and alcohol. The narrative feels authentic and uniquely presented, with poetic verse and personal letters covering a significant portion of the story. Rebellino perfectly captures the headspace of an addict, showcasing how addiction affects not only the victims but also their friends and family. One of the closest friends of the protagonist overdoses, sending him to the brink of relapse. It's a tragedy, but unfortunately, incidents like that become somewhat normalized whenever drugs or alcohol are involved. I have enormous respect for people who somehow manage to get out of their addictions and live full lives. I highly recommend Clean to anyone who enjoys literary fiction.