Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Clear: A Death Trippers Novel by Jessica Park


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.

A thriller, a paranormal, and a passionate romance, CLEAR crosses genres and breaks boundaries.

*Please note: CLEAR is a standalone. This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content.


When I stumbled upon Jessica Park's Flat-Out Love several years ago, I was charmed by her characters. Her writing was quick-witted & the story, though heartbreaking in parts, was delightfully humorous. I was thrilled to get to revisit her characters when she released the companion follow up, Flat-Out Matt, which filled in some of the gaps that I didn't even know were there. Then, she did what I didn't think was possible & created a story that I loved even more with Flat-Out Celeste

She stepped out of her "Flat" world with Left Drowning a couple of years ago & while I didn't completely fall in love with it like I did her other books, I couldn't deny how drawn in I was to the story. It was a much darker world to be in & while the humor was still there, the heartbreak was the prevailing emotion.

When she announced Clear, I wasn't sure what to think or expect, but the subtitle of "A Death Tripper's Novel" made me think it might be more in the direction of Left Drowning in tone & content. I was pleasantly surprised to find it somewhere in between.  Fair warning, this is going to be more of a response than a review.  I feel that, there is so little I can say about this story that wouldn't be a spoiler. I managed to avoid all teasers & excerpts before I started reading & I think I enjoyed the story better for it.

What I can say is that Clear is unlike anything I have read before. It melds several different genres & takes you on a roller coaster ride of feelings. There were times that I was confused, disoriented, & a little disturbed by the world, but there were also times that I was amused & delighted. The one constant is, where I could & did put the book down often, I couldn't stop thinking about it & kept being pulled back to it.

One area that I'm conflicted about the more I read of "New Adult" books is sexual content. Where I can enjoy some heat & steamy scenes in the books I read, It seems that a lot of authors have come to the conclusion that more is better. I appreciate that Jessica Park writes on both ends of the romance spectrum. Where the Flat-Out books are more focused on the sweet & innocent side of love, Left Drowning & Clear definitely take on a more seductive & erotic tone. While, as a reader, I tend to be drawn to the former more, I can enjoy the latter as long as it feels appropriate for the story & characters involved. Where Clear takes a few turns that were more jarring than erotic to me, the scenes depicted felt in character & appropriate to the story (even if not appropriate for all audiences).

I have purposely said very little about the actual story because as I said before I knew nothing going in & I think I was better off for it. I took a few days after finishing the book to write the review because I thought maybe I'd have a better idea as to my opinion on it. I'm still wrestling with that. Am I glad I read it? Absolutely! It was an exhilarating ride! Will I read it again? ......Probably not. Do I recommend it? If you read Left Drowning and loved it....Yes! If you are looking for a palette cleanser from reading too many similar books...Yes! If you are feeling adventurous...Yes! However, if you read Flat-Out Love and are looking for more of the same....Proceed with caution.

***ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.***

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