Posts tagged YoungDudes Publishing
Author Name: Mia Kerick
Book Name: Clean
Release Date: December 1, 2015
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.
It is ridiculously difficult to keep my lips a shiny red, my cheeks a softly blushing pink, my eyeliner unsmudged, and my signature scent freshly spritzed throughout a six-hour shift at a dirty farm stand. During my break, I find the porta-potty, reapply my Cherry Chapstick with a dab of clear gloss on top to improve the shine, and douse myself liberally with my signature scent, which I carry in my skinny jeans’ cargo pocket in a Banana Schnapps nip bottle from my parents’ liquor cabinet. My hope is that at the end of the workday, I’ll bump into Jazz, and together we can stand by the soda machine out by the picnic tables near the parking lot, sip on sodas, and he can appreciate the red and pink shades of my face, drink in my enticing scent, admire my clean and shiny, but relatively normal, hair, and think, “Wow, Chance César is downright appealing!” in his simple country way.
Love Spell is somewhat of a departure from this author’s previous books. I’ve grown accustomed to her tackling weighty topics, whether sexual abuse or the struggle to reconcile religion and homosexuality, and so was pleasantly surprised when I picked this up. Though this novella touches on some important issues, those of gender identity and learning to be true to oneself, it’s also packed with moments ranging from the laugh-out-loud to the downright cringeworthy, and the overall feel is one of pure entertainment.
Strutting his stuff on the catwalk in black patent leather pumps and a snug orange tuxedo as this year’s Miss (ter) Harvest Moon feels so very right to Chance César, and yet he knows it should feel so very wrong.
Horror and adolescence go hand in hand for many reasons, which explains why teens tend to thrive on horror films and books more than any other demographic.
For all of his swagger and coolness, after spending a couple afternoons with David Gandy at the town library, I have to admit that he’s a genuinely nice person. And from the way he avoids talking about all things personal in nature, it’s easy for me to tell that he’s been hurt, maybe ridiculed or isolated or bullied, by others in the past. I figure that it hasn’t been easy for him to be the lone out gay kid at school—so his evasiveness doesn’t shock me too much. But when he lowers the walls he’s built around himself, just enough to let me stick one foot inside, I learn that he’s smart and funny and intuitive, even if he is a bit sarcastic.
For so many young people, coming to terms with being gay involves an agony of shame and confusion. For a Christian, brought up with the unequivocal message that homosexuality is a sin, it can be torment. This is a sensitive subject, no doubt about that, but one I feel to be incredibly important. Mia Kerick certainly hasn’t shied away from it in this story. She tackles the issue head-on, and with a depth of compassion and understanding that impressed me no end.
Sixteen-year-old Anthony Duck-Young Del Vecchio is a nice Catholic boy with a very big problem. It’s not the challenge of fitting in as the lone adopted South Korean in a close-knit family of Italian-Americans. Nor is it being the one introverted son in a family jam-packed with gregarious daughters. Anthony’s problem is far more serious—he is the only gay kid in Our Way, his church’s youth group.