My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Goodreads: A fresh, fun, totally addictive debut--by turns hilarious and tragic--by a gifted new writer, Losing Clementine follows a famous artist as she attempts to get her messy affairs in order en route to her eventual planned suicide a month later. First time author Ashley Ream takes a usually macabre subject and makes it accessible, relatable, and funny, and, in Clementine, has created one of the most endearing and unforgettable characters in recent fiction.
My take: This is a mixed review because I feel very mixed about it. First of all, the writing is rock solid. Ream gets right into the emotional detail without beating it over our heads. She is clear and concise. Much like Clementine is. Clementine only has 30 days to live. Which leads to my next point.
I loved the way the book is set up. The chapters are days. It begins with Clementine, an artistic and bipolar artist, choosing to commit suicide in 30 days time. That's enough time to get her life in order and do everything she has wanted to do without the worry of consequences. She's ready to clean out her life. She starts with throwing out her tea set into the street. She flushes her medications. She fires her assistant and her psychiatrist. She runs into the car that always parks six inches in her driveway and treats herself to the best food she's always loved. That's Day 30. Then it's a countdown.
This is both bothersome and beautiful. The relationships Clementine has are complicated and seeking closure. She struggles to cut off all her relationships while looking for her father who abandoned her when she was a child. A couple of years later, Clementines mother and sister die, leaving her to her quirky Aunt Trudy.
During the course of the month, as stated above, Clementine's relationships are hashed out and it is raw and gritty. There is a lot of sex and more detail than I've seen in quite awhile. It's not erotic but more factual and definitely TMI. And then again. And then again. And then a little bit more. Basically, Clementine has also misplaced her moral compass so gear up and be prepared.
If I could take out the details of Clementine's rendezvous', I'd raise the stars by a half to a whole. For me, it blighted the brilliant ideas and writing style.