Title: Getting Clean With Stevie Green
Author: Swan Huntley
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: February 1st, 2022
At thirty-seven, Stevie Green has had it with binge drinking and sleeping with strange men. She’s confused about her sexuality and her purpose in life. When her mother asks her to return to her hometown of La Jolla to help her move into a new house, she’s desperate enough to say yes. The move goes so well that Stevie decides to start her own decluttering business. She stops drinking. She hires her formerly estranged sister, Bonnie, to be her business partner. She rekindles a romance with her high school sweetheart, Brad. Things are better than ever—except for the complicated past that Stevie can’t seem to outrun.
Who was responsible for the high school scandal that caused her life to take a nosedive twenty years earlier? Why is she so secretive about the circumstances of her father’s death? Why are her feelings for her ex-friend, Chris, so mystifying? If she’s done drinking, then why can’t she seem to declutter the mini wine bottles from her car?
A winsome, fast-paced read, Getting Clean With Stevie Green is about coming to terms with who you are, resolving the pain of your past, and accepting the truth of your life in all its messy glory.
I’m going to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what the point or plot of this book was. It wasn’t bad, but I finished it and had completely neutral feelings towards it. I didn’t have a good time, but it wasn’t a bad time? I just feel like I was missing something, either in the exposition or in the ending. It certainly is not a typical romance, so don’t go into this book expecting a romance because it’s more a conversation on alcoholism, secrets, and coming to grips with your sexuality.
Stevie Green spent 15 years of her life drunk, on drugs, working dead end jobs, and moving around after her life blew up in high school and her plans were destroyed, until one day she awakens and has the realization that she doesn’t want to live this way anymore. So she moves home to her mom’s house, opens a de-cluttering business, and tries to put the past behind her. But when her estranged sister, estranged ex-best friend and lover, and ex boyfriend all show up at the same time – Stevie is in for an interesting time while she tries to stay sober.
I think this book needed to be about 50 pages longer. It took so very long to get to the point where Stevie knows the “secret” everyone is keeping from her and she decides she understands her sexuality, and then all of a sudden it’s over. It was a jarring way to end the book and I didn’t love it. I also think there were far too many POVs in this story, I generally love extra POVs but when a side characters only gets two chapters you start to wonder what that really is accomplishing for the story.
Overall, it was okay.
Thank you to Gallery Books and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!