Losing Clementine

by Trish


What would you do if you had only 30 days to live? This is the situation for the main character in Ashley Ream’s debut novel Losing Clementine, although in this book the timeline is due to a self-imposed countdown rather than an external event such as a terminal illness. After twenty years of enduring various treatments for manic depression, Clementine has decided that she can no longer live on the medication, but also knows that living off of it is just as impossible.

So she has decided to put her affairs in order and end her life in 30 days. Without telling anyone about her plan, she throws out her meds, fires her shrink and her personal assistant, and even begins looking for a new home for her cat, Chuckles.

As the plan unfolds—or develops, I should say, as Clementine is definitely making it up as she goes along—we meet her ex-husband Richard, her ex-assistant Jenny, and an assortment of other colorful characters. We tag along as she makes a trip to Mexico to acquire the animal tranquilizers she plans to use on herself and, later, as she visits a more upscale, but equally unusual, marijuana dispensary.

Although the book has more than my usual dose of illicit substances, foul language, and sexual encounters, it gives the reader a realistic glimpse into the experience of someone who is struggling with mental illness.

Ream’s writing is incredibly descriptive, and I enjoyed her dry humor, such as when Clementine describes LA traffic: “There is no such thing as rush hour in Los Angeles; sometimes the traffic is just somewhat more soul sucking than other times.”

I would have to say that I recommend this book with reservations. Whether you like it will depend on how gritty you like your realism in a novel, but I do think it’s worth the read.

We are glad to be part of the Losing Clementine blog tour and also to have a copy of this book to share with one of our readers. Just leave a comment below to be entered to win – US addresses only. We’ll announce the winner in our giveaway column on March 21st. This giveaway is now closed.

Don’t miss a thing: Check out our current giveaways. Subscribe to our feed or video reviews on YouTube. Follow us @5M4B on Twitter or on Facebook.

A review copy was provided by William Morrow. Trish blogs at In So Many Words.

Email Author    |    Website About Trish

Trish blogs about autism, books, and daily life at In So Many Words.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristin D March 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm

sign me up for the giveaway!! this one is on my wishlist

Kristin D recently posted..Review: Pieces of Us by Margie GelbwasserMy Profile


2 Dawn March 10, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Sounds interesting- I appreciate the heads up, and still think it sounds worth reading as a debut novel!
Dawn recently posted..Prayers Like BouquetsMy Profile


3 Joyness Sparkles March 11, 2012 at 12:46 am

This book sounds very interesting. My mother was bi-polar, it would be interesting to see if this book is similar to what she went through.
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4 Bethany March 11, 2012 at 1:01 am

This definitely sounds interesting! I’d love to be entered :)

cbus.blogger at gmail dot com
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5 Liz March 11, 2012 at 3:51 am

Just finished Outside the Lines by Amy Hatvany, another compassionate look at mental illness (w/o noticeable bad language and mere illusions to sexual encounters).


6 Trish March 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Thanks for the suggestion; sounds like a good book!


7 Tammy Gordon March 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm

sounds like an interesting book


8 Linda Kish March 11, 2012 at 11:46 pm

This sounds like a very interesting story. One that I would love to read.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com


9 Cindy Brooks March 12, 2012 at 1:26 am

I’d like to read this, thanks for the giveaway!
someluckydog at gmail dot com


10 Trish March 20, 2012 at 10:00 am

You won, Cindy! Please reply to this email with your mailing address so we can have your book sent out. Congratulations!


11 Vilmarys March 12, 2012 at 8:52 am

Sounds good, thanks for the chance!


12 Van March 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Sure sounds like a good one to read.


13 Ellie March 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Thanks for this interesting book.


14 John March 13, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Would like to win this book.


15 Natalia March 13, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Interesting book! I’d like to win.


16 Britt T. March 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Count me in please!



17 Anita Yancey March 15, 2012 at 8:18 am

I would like to give this book a try. It definitely sounds different and interesting. Thanks for having this giveaway.


18 June March 15, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Add myself to this giveaway, so far have liked all the books.


19 Jen March 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm

I’d love to read this one, sounds very interesting. Thanks for the chance.


20 Chuck March 17, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Put me down for this one too please.


21 Angela E. March 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm

This book sounds so good, please enter me also.


22 Garrett March 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I like the part about her getting rid of all her medications, and facing life at full steam.


23 Ray Tyler March 19, 2012 at 1:40 am

The suicide rate for people with bipolar disorder is horrific. Official American mental health department statistics state that 20% of those who have the disorder successfully commit suicide.


24 Trish March 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm

That’s very sad to hear; thank you for sharing that info.


25 Jeff March 19, 2012 at 11:21 am

Sounds great, sign me up.


26 Natalia March 19, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Nice book, would like to win it!


27 John March 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Count me in!


28 Don March 20, 2012 at 9:13 am

Another great book to read.


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