Clean is a book that thoroughly surprised me. Firstly, I thought this book would be about mental illness. Actually it’s about addiction. I should’ve realized that before I started reading but as usual, I hardly glanced at the synopsis. Secondly, I was impressed with how the characters were portrayed in terms of depth, development and voice. Best of all, I was amazed by the writing style. It was on the experimental side, which I hadn’t expected.
I can hardly describe the overwhelming disappointment that The Treatment brought me. I know I wasn’t a fan of The Program but I did like it for the concept. Still, I had problems with it because of the many unanswered questions The Program left me with. I pegged them as cliffhangers, so I expected The Treatment answer them, particularly the ones about the suicide epidemic that wrought this society. Did I get those answers? Hardly. The big issues were glossed over so much, I was mad at the end of the book. To me, The Treatment hardly contributed to the duology. It would’ve been better left unread.
Music effectively tied all four main characters together despite all their differences. Trudy, Harumi, Cassie and Esther had very different musical backgrounds, yet they came together to form a punk band. Each one of the girls had something to bring to the table, which also led to a lot of conflict. I think that is one thing I particularly appreciated. They didn’t always get along, which added a facet of realness that I often find lacking in books.
I can’t remember the last time I loved a book that made me so so angry! Virtuosity did it for me. I must say I experienced a roller coaster ride of emotions. There were moments I felt happy and mesmerised and others where I felt sad and furious. Martinez writes beautifully and knows how to surprise her readers, which I already said about her second book, The Space Between Us. They are moving stories with beautiful prose and lots of surprises.