Friday, October 16, 2015

Review of NA Romance CLEAR by Jessica Park

Okay, I know, I know. I've been seriously slacking lately. Well, I plan to make up for that. I have tons of farmhouse reno pics, reviews, and more, but life has been so chaotic that finding time to post has been  difficult. Anyway, I have a couple reviews lined up for the next couple of days. It actually saddens me a bit to bring you this one because it's an author I love, but here we go...


Stella Ford’s grasp on reality is already loose, and it’s about to come undone. 

When the college junior flees Chicago and leaves her toxic family behind, she heads for coastal Maine to find the one person who brought her peace years ago: Sam Bishop. But the Sam she once knew now has painful secrets. 

Stella is determined to heal them both. Healing, however, is a challenge when the walls of her everyday existence collapse. And when Sam’s best friend is his worst enemy. 

When the line between life and death blurs. 

When an end is just a beginning. 

When lust and rage rule. 

Yet during extraordinary chaos, there can be extraordinary love, even if that love comes with a twist. 

Welcome to death tripping. 


When I mentioned above that it saddened me to bring you this review, that's because I love Jessica Park! I think she's a fabulous author and seems to be a cool and very candid person--social media tells me so :). I loved her other books. LOVED them. But this one was... well, horrible.


I know, I know! It almost kills me to say it but I can't help it. I've debated about the star rating on this, as well, and I just can't get past how awful I thought this book was, so for the first time ever, and to a beloved author, I am giving it 2 stars. I've debated because I have loved her other books so much, but that's not really fair, as each book should be judged on its own merits.

So, here's why I thought it was so terrible...

This book is about Stella who basically had an emotionally abusive mother who treated her horribly. When her father and sister get in a car accident, he vanishes after Stella overheard a cryptic convo with her sister and him. He leaves their family and her sister seems to spiral into some sort of addiction. Eventually, Stella leaves this horrid, depressing life--where she's constantly trying to please her mother and failing--to seek out a boy she met the night of her father;s accident that she can't seem to forget. This is Sam.

She remembers the small, coastal town he said he was from and the hotel his parents owned, and goes there looking to rebuild her life. She finds Sam, who seems to be depressed and going through something of his own, but she begins to turn him back around. 

The book was great until this point. pretty intriguing and I liked the connection between them. But that's where the good parts ended. And this was maybe a quarter of the way through. It turns out that Sam is a death tripper. (Weird) Basically, he can't actually die, but continues to kill himself. Trying to die (for example slitting your throat, stabbing yourself in the heart, overdosing) is sort of an addiction. It gives you a high during and after and puts you in sort of this euphoric, sometimes sexual, state.

To make a long story short, Sam's friend comes along. He's a real jerk, and ends up tripping/killing Stella, which means she's now a death tripper. A bunch of other disturbing and weird crap happens. End of story.

Because there was not much I did like, and what I did, I already mentioned above, and because I already feel like I've rambled, let me explain what was so awful about this book.

  1. The plot was pretty terrible after the first third of the book. It seemed very pointless and all over the place and slow.
  2. The whole sexual euphoria and high of killing yourself is really disturbing. I don't think authors should be censored, nor should books be, because otherwise we wouldn't have some amazing literature, and what's the point in writing if we can't say what we truly need to? BUT in genre fiction, I think we need to keep in mind our audience and what messages we are sending by what we are writing. Though the author had every right to write a novel about death tripping, the book is new adult, which means that some young adults will be reading it. Teenagers. We already have problems with some teens playing very disturbing dangerous games like The Choking Game. (If you don't know what this is, just Google it.) This book really reminded me of that and sends a very dangerous message, and a disturbing one, at that, in a world where our youth is already desensitized enough.
  3. I don't care for ANY books that make light of suicide. I know this sort of goes along with the above, and technically, the characters didn't actually die each time they killed themselves, but still. It still FELT that way. And what's important about a book is how it makes you feel.
  4. I just didn't sympathize with or connect to the characters. They were whiny and annoying most of the time.
  5. There was very little point. It was just them killing themselves over and over, then having sex.
  6. The writing was weak.
  7. Watermelon. If you've read it, enough said. If not, here's a brief explanation. So, after they "death trip" and "surge" going on this crazy high and have all this sexual drive after they come back, the discovered that watermelon is sort of an anecdote. It helps suppress this.  Um.... Really? o_0  Just typing that out sounded completely absurd. It's like the author sat there thinking.... Okay, I need an anecdote because they can't be all tripping once they bring a three year old boy back from the dead (Oh, I didn't mention that part? Yeah, it happened!) so what can I use? Penicillin? Nope. Too obvious. A cold shower? No. Too human. Ummmm...Hmmmm...I know! Watermelon!
Okay, I'm done now. I feel kind of bad. I do really love her other books. AND I do plan on reading her future works, as long as they are not all like this one! If after reading all of this, you'd still like to purchase this novel. Here ya go:

Stay tuned! My upcoming reviews will be.... After You by Jojo Moyes (another fav author! Eep!) and The Nightingale by Krisitn Hannah

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