Book Review: Clear: A Death Trippers Novel
Release Date: 2/15/15
Publisher: Flat Finn, Inc.
Source: Purchased for Kindle
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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.
Having enjoyed Jessica Park’s contemporary novels, I was pretty interested in her first paranormal story since I knew she had the ability to create these really complex and likeable characters (ex: Julie, Matt… Celeste, FLAT FINN). Although I’d read the synopsis of Clear plenty of times before the book had made its way to my Kindle, I have to admit that I still didn’t have a clear (HA HA) concept on what exactly the story was about. This only made the reading experience 10x better because I legit had no idea what was happening or where it was going the entire time.
Right off the bat, I was invested in Stella’s story. Her strained relationship with her family made me feel for her, and then there’s this nice guy Sam who shows up and without any hesitation just lifts her spirits. So precious! Then you get the chapters that follow when her life hasn’t exactly improved, but she meets up with Sam again and he’s completely different as in ultra broody and all rugged. But then he’s actually still really nice? And then you everything is just coasting alone nicely and romantically and you’re like “Hey, isn’t this a paranormal novel? Oh well, this is pretty great, I’ll just keep rea–” BAM. The plot takes such a turn. And holy mole, yeah, this story is definitely a paranormal one.
Kiiinda spoilery, but basically Sam has the ability to bypass death (hence the death tripper title). He can fully die–and has died many times–but then he always comes back. There are plenty of ~side-effects~ upon his return, but I think it’s much more fun if you discover those on your own since they’re pretty entertaining/shocking/CRAZY so I won’t go into detail. In a word: Whoa.
What I probably liked the most about this novel was that it was so unique to anything I’ve ever read. Jessica Park totally created this whole death tripper mythology (??) out of nowhere and basically ANYTHING goes. Plot twist after revelation after OMG steaminess after another plot twist. However, while their ultimate goal was perhaps a tad too easily solved, I don’t think I would’ve minded that as much if I didn’t sorta dislike Costa, Sam’s best friend. I mean, dude’s got his issues and I feel like even though his heart was in the right place, he just never grew on me? Which is sad because I liked the dynamics of their friendship pre-death tripping.
Stella and Sam, on the other hand, didn’t have to grow on me because I liked them both throughout the novel, both as individual characters and as a duo. Let me tell you that there is A LOT that goes down in this novel (seriously, every few chapters I was texting fellow bevy member Steph with vague, yet manic capslocky freak-outs). Overall, it was insane and confusing because I didn’t know what to expect and at one point there are like three people making out with each other and I’m just like WAIT WHAT! But in a strange way, I kind of liked that the novel kept me constantly alert and surprised. Added with the fact that Jessica Park’s prose and dialogue just ~snaps together so well, I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for something different from the norm.
Clear was certainly quite the unique novel. It was… dare I say it? … SUCH A TRIP.