|Losing Clementine by Ashley Ream
Published by HarperCollins
Publish Date: March 6, 2012
Source: HarperCollins/TLC Book Tours
My Thoughts: I knew going into this book that Clementine was contemplating suicide – even going as far as planning it out meticulously. I found myself very caught up in the countdown of days, 30 to be exact…and as her ending approached, I was very curious as to whether Clementine would stick to or plan or not.
1. The Characters:
- Clementine: A manic-depressive yet vibrant and wildly talented artist. Clementine has decided that she is tired of living under the weight of all of her daily medicines, so she stopped them all, and she feels GREAT! Well, she feels great most of the time – until she has “black days.” During these days she literally doesn’t move for blocks of hours at a time, even going without eating or getting up to use the bathroom. Clementine has gone to great lengths to make sure that her death will go off without a hitch, inconveniencing everyone as little as possible. Losing Clementine is a telling of how she uses her last thirty days to tie up loose ends in her own way. ~ I loved Clementine as a character – how developed she was despite making a few stupid and rash decisions, decisions that I can’t understand because my mental health is not in the same shape hers is. She even made me laugh quite a few times.
- Secondary Cast: There’s a great secondary cast to support Clementine and help build her story, including ex-husband Richard (who I really liked), her assistant Jenny (I still haven’t decided it I really like her or not.), and her father Jerry Pritchard (who I didn’t like at all). There are others as well. None are as developed as Clementine, of course, because this is her story, but they each added depth and supported Clementine’s character (without even really knowing her secret), and I appreciated that as a reader.
4. The Cover. I was drawn to a beautiful cover yet again, everyone. This cover art is eye-catching, with the mixture of yellow and gray and teal blue, and I feel like the picture represents the story well. Great job.
5. The Ending Does Clementine go through with her plans? Or not? After becoming attached to her character and becoming invested in her story, was I happy with her choice? Well, I had to read the ending twice to make sure I had it right the first time…I’ll leave you all with that…
I really liked Losing Clementine and would recommend it to other adult fiction-loving readers. I might even recommend it to older young adult readers who tend to love books with issues. I would tend to caution readers who have had to deal with suicide issues in their life or in their family because there are certainly instances in the book that might trigger some painful memories for them.
Despite the dark underlying subject matter, I think the author was able to write this book so that it was much more lighthearted, bright, and humorous than I initially thought it to be. I enjoyed reading it quite a bit and often found myself laughing or smiling at Clementine and some of the crazy things she did. On the other hand, there were also a few times that I did nearly tear up when she would have manic episodes or “black days” and I would have to experience those times along with her…