Lexi Volkov, spoiled heiress, is the main character in Juno Dawson’s newest Young Adult Fiction book, Clean.
“It’s a dirty business getting clean….”
Lexi is a socialite, a Russian Oligarch and Mafia descendant, living in central London who doesn’t take no for an answer. But it’s not long before she self destructs; one night she’s out, sex, drink, drugs; all considered the norm for one, Lexi Volkov. Next, she’s passed out and sweaty, mascara running down her face in the back of her car. After overdosing in their penthouse suite, her brother stages an intervention; Clarity Centre, an island facility for troubled young people.
“A razor-sharp, adrenaline rush of a novel from award-winning author Juno Dawson, Clean is Gossip Girl meets Girl, Interrupted.”
At Clarity Centre, Lexi meets a plethora of addicts, kleptomaniacs, anorexics and the object of her next obsession; washed-up reality TV survivor, Brady. In a house of huge personalities, problems and psychiatrists, Lexi rebels. However, once Lexi realises no one cares who she is, or how much she’s worth, her guard begins to drop. For the first time in her life, Lexi has the opportunity to build real relationships with people who can help build her up, not just prop her back up on her Louboutin’s and lead her off into the night.
“I can feel it swimming through my veins like glitter ... it's liquid gold.”
Having spoken with Juno at Lush Studio Soho, it looks like Clean might be the first installation of a triptych on addition and the high-flyers of London. If the writing and characters continue to be as gritty, honestly real but with that glimmer of hope, I can’t wait to sink my teeth into them.
I will provide a content warning; Juno writes so well, and so graphically at times, that if themes of overdose, mental illness, eating disorders and addictions are troublesome for you, I would recommend reading with caution.