Losing Clementine

Losing Clementine

by Ashley Ream


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062093639
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/06/2012
Edition description: Original
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Ashley Ream got her first job at a newspaper when she was sixteen. After working in newsrooms across Missouri, Florida, and Texas, she gave up deadlines to pursue fiction. She lives in Los Angeles and works at a nonprofit.

What People are Saying About This

Jessica Anya Blau

“It’s hard not to fall in love with Clementine Pritchard—she’s talented, witty, inventive and suicidal. You won’t want this story to end as you root for the wonderfully lawless and impulsive Clementine.”

Gillian Flynn

“[LOSING CLEMENTINE] is poignant and insightful and also surprisingly funny, thanks to its nasty, charming narrator.”

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Losing Clementine: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
BarbaraSissel More than 1 year ago
Fiction is full of characters but they are seldom as individual or as memorably rendered and irresistible as Clementine Pritchard is in Ashley Ream’s boldly written debut novel, LOSING CLEMENTINE. From the start it’s clear that Clementine is planning to kill herself. She’s given herself thirty days to pull off a clinical, no-muss-no-fuss suicide. The reveal of her motive comes about page-by-page through Clementine’s often abrasive, yet compellingly honest voice that comes spiked with great doses of fall down laughing gallows humor. Some say suicide is the ultimate act of selfishness, but faced with the circumstances of Clementine’s life, the tragedy that lies in her past, its horrible legacy that has resulted in some form of pain for her and those whom she has loved every day since, it would seem that killing herself would bring the ultimate relief. What is striking, riveting even, is that as the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that her decision is less to do with her own release and driven more by her concern—gallows humor aside—for everyone else. You might say in her case it is the ultimate act of love. But will she go through with it? This novel is a real page turner, one you do not want to miss.
icedream on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Ream did a wonderful job in creating a character that I could care about. She also addressed the issue of mental illness in a sympathetic manner. I loved the use of humor since it was done appropriately.
SilversReviews on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Is it worth dying? Did Clementine really want to kill herself? Should she end her life?Clementine thought she should, but she had a few things to complete first...things like find a home for her cat and find her long-lost father who left the family when she was a child. Her first step was traveling to Mexico to acquire drugs that would do the job. Upon her return from Mexico, she continues with the remainder of her plan that definitely includes some bizarre occurrences. Clementine was determined to get things in order so no one would have to deal with the mess she left. There are a lot of surprises during these 30 days of counting down and many confusing sections.Clementine is an unusual character with several levels of personality. She is quite likable, and her character will also make you reflect about what makes people tick. You will follow her plan as she goes about her last days of final preparation. There are actually some funny parts that will make you laugh out loud along with a few good recipes.It is a little difficult to write a review for this book. The plot consisted mainly of the day-by-day routine of Clementine as she counted down the time until her demise....each chapter was labeled with the day count. The chapters are very descriptive in terms of scenes and character description. The vivid detail allows you to feel as though you are present and sharing her feelings and emotions that are boiling up inside her. The ending is somewhat redeeming and gives you faith in mankind. What I mean by that is we humans do care about each other and do help each other in a crisis. But¿..despite all the detailed description and the amazing writing, the book became tedious and confusing for me in terms of following the plot. Therefore, my rating will be a 3.5/5
jenniferjuni on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read the first three pages, then called my sister and read them to her. That's how taken I was with this book, right from the start. Clementine struggles with bipolar disorder, and she has decided to end her life in 30 days. Each chapter is a new day, counting down to the end of the month. Oh, but there is more mystery to the story as we gradually learn about Clementine's background.I laughed, I cried. I felt a personal connection to Clementine. As another reviewer pointed out, she is abrasive and a little obnoxious, that that kept the book from getting mired in sappy melodrama. Love. Recommend.
yourotherleft on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
We first meet Clementine on the day that she fires her shrink because she's finally really and truly decided to kill herself. She's flushing her meds down the toilet and dedicating herself to the doing of satisfying things, answering old questions, and making sure the aftermath of her suicide will be as tidy as possible for those left behind. The chapters count down the days of the month that are to lead up to Clementine's self-inflicted end. Before she shuffles off this mortal coil, Clementine has more than a few things to take care of, like traveling to Mexico to buy the tranquilizer to do the deed with the unexpected company of her ex-husband, tracking down her deadbeat dad and finding out the truth of her childhood, and finding a home for the one who's stood with her or at least been stuck with her through all the highest highs and the lowest lows: her prickly cat, Chuckles. As she more or less cheerfully prepares for her imminent passing, Clementine finds that her life has many surprises yet to be revealed, and readers discover that her reasons for making the choice to end her life are much more than meet the eye.One might think that a book about a severely emotionally unstable woman setting her affairs straight while counting down the last days of her life might be kind of a downer, but I found Ream's novel to be a weirdly delightful debut. If you've got even the slightest taste for black humor, you might well find yourself chuckling as Clementine practices injecting a chicken in preparation for her final day and tries on coffins for size. Laughter ensues even as Clementine takes on the depressing task of relocating her feline companion, Chuckles, who is almost as hard to handle as Clementine herself. Really, aside from her, Chuckles is the next most well-drawn character in the book, and if you know any cats with an excess of personality, you'll definitely get a kick out of Chuckles.For example, when he steals the dead chicken Clementine is about to use to practice giving injections:Ears flat to his overbred, smooshed-in head, Chuckles dragged the corpse, which was at least as big as he was, backward across the counter. Like Harrison Ford facing a leap from the top of a dam in The Fugitive, Chuckles threw himself and the bird over the side. It was a blur of cold, dead meat and fur, and it landed with a thud on the polished concrete floor.Though the situation combined with Clementine's wry sense of humor make for some good laughs, Losing Clementine surely isn't all about getting cheap chuckles at an unsual situation's expense. Ream takes her time fleshing out Clementine's character, and while Clementine certainly isn't a totally lovable sort, Ream puts readers into Clementine's shoes and helps them to understand her. She's frustrating and selfish and manic and sad, but she's also creative, impulsive, and passionate in a way that will make you root for her as she peels off the layers of her life, discovers some very unexpected things, and has to decide whether the new life she's discovered on the doorstep of her death is worth living. When all is said and done, Losing Clementine is an odd twist on an old question, "What would you do if you knew you only had so long to live?" where living might just be a viable option after all.
ForSix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What happens when you decided that 30 days from now you would end your life? Do you avoid all responsibility, have fun, and go wild? Or do you put all your ducks in a row, buy your burial plot, and find a new owner for your beloved cat? The latter is exactly what Clementine Pritchard did. This review is difficult to write for two reasons. The first being I still haven¿t mastered the art of reviewing without giving anything away. And the second is that I am not articulate enough to give Losing Clementine the review it deserves. Nothing I write can convey how powerful this novel is. I treasured every single second I spent with Clementine. She was funny, raw and candid in a way only someone preparing for her suicide can be. I¿m thankful the novel was written in first person. I enjoyed being inside her head, enduring what she did, feeling what she felt. Ashley Ream¿s idea to countdown the days until Clementine ended her life was brilliant. I liked how Clementine worked to resolve unfinished business with father, she knew that in order to rest in peace she needed resolution. The more I discovered about her, the more I understood her. The more I learned, the more my heart broke. Losing Clementine would not have worked as well as it did if not for Ms. Ream sensitivity and understanding of conveying and relating Clementine¿s battle with manic depression. She has a remarkable capacity to communicate Clementine¿s emotions that as the reader I felt them too. As a debut novel, this is nothing less than stellar. It was the perfect combination of heartbreaking, moving, humorous, shocking, raw and sincere. It reads like a memoir. Clementine jumped out of the page, became real and told me her story. In Losing Clementine, I found a wonderful novel that was twisted, dark, sad but redeeming, powerful and honest.
AquariusNat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a really interesting novel . Clementine is an artist that suffers from the same mental illness that her mother did . She has decided to give herself 30 days to "get her affairs in order" before committing suicide . The author has given us an abrasive lead character , but by the end Clementine has endeared herself to the reader . I enjoyed reading this story .
TFS93 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Poor Clementine! She is surrounded by people who are determined to suck the life right out of her! Her ex-husband, who is remarried, is still sleeping with her, as is her therapist. Her assistant is actually her unknown half sister. Her father has abandoned her and is deceiving her. A competing artist is "stealing" her ideas and copying her art. A client is invading her personal life. Her mother kills her sister and herself.Clementine does not need a mental illness to be a mess!! You can't help but love her "I will do what I want" and "suck it!" attitude. It is sad that she thinks so little of herself, as it is obvious that she has more self-worth than the majority of characters in the book.The sex is graphic, and it is not warranted. The ending left me upset.Ream's writing is lovely. She has potential, but some editing here would have helped very much!
joyfiction on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a great first novel and the idea of the main character deciding to send their life in thirty days while struggling with bipolar disorder, while a sad one, is a very interesting one as well. Clementine is a character that not everyone will like but despite that the story was well put together even with the non-ending that it presented.
KatDJZ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Losing Clementine was an interesting book. Going into it, I knew it was about Clementine, who was going to commit suicide in 20 days. With a plot like that, I expected a sad, depressing story and I wasn't sure I was ready for that after having just finished The Fault in Our Stars. I was pleased to find out that while the story is about her decision to end her life, it wasn't done in a depressing way.Instead, and this part kind of messed with my head, Clementine is tired of a life full of mental illness and medications, so she's looking forward to ending it. And because she's so comfortable with her decision, I became ok with it too. It all seems natural until you realize at certain points that you're kind of rooting for her to kill herself. So while she's tying up the loose ends of her life, you're just kind of along for the ride, waiting for it to happen. But there's always that voice in the back of your head wondering if it's really going to happen,if anyone can change her mind. And because Clementine is a pretty cool character, I wanted her to live too...it was all very emotionally confusing. Whether or not she does it, you'll have to read it and find out.
SeriousGrace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ream, Ashley. Losing Clementine. New York: William Morrow, 2012.I don't know where to begin with writing a review for this book. I read in two days and the only reason why I didn't finish it in one sitting is that I had to be polite because it was Christmas day. Here's the skinny on Clementine Pritchard and why we lose her. Clementine is a gifted artist who has come to the end of her rope. It's actually a rope she wouldn't mind hanging herself with, except she doesn't want people to see her asphyxiated that way. Instead, she'll go with lethal injection. Despite a brilliant career, an ex-husband who still loves her, and an assistant who is loyal to a fault Clementine is ready to end her life. She makes the decision to research her method, put her affairs in order, and say her goodbyes within 30 days. Losing Clementine is a countdown; each chapter one less day in her life. Told in the first person Clementine Pritchard is sarcastic, funny, and painfully real. Like I said before She makes no apologies for her actions, her beliefs, nor her memories - for it's the memories she wishes to escape. As the reader you are held in delicious suspense. Will she or won't she? Clementine doesn't spend 30 days trying to convince herself for her mind is made up. She spends 30 days proving it to you.I wish I could quote this book because there were passages that had me holding my breath, laughing out loud and shedding silent tears. I can't wait to see what else Ms. Ream will write.
itsJUSTme on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Absolutely brilliant! A big huge two thumbs up for new Author Ashley Reams (and not just because she has the same name as my daughter! LOL) This basically was a book about a woman getting all her effects in order so she could commit suicide in 30 days. I loved how the chapters were labeled by how many days she had left. This kind of made it seem more real to me.Great character development! I loved Clementine, I wanted to hate her but just couldn't. And I absolutely loved the cat, Chuckles! I had never seen an author do such a great job with a cat's personality before.This book was Hilarious! I was literally giggling on every page. Until I got to the last 5th of the book then it got incredibly sad. I was in tears the whole time. I even had to put the book down a few times just to ... hmm reflect? think? maybe just rest my emotions. It amazes me how a book can be both Funny and so sad at the same time. I almost felt guilty for laughing at Clementine's depression, but she was just so dang funny.Then - get ready for the absolute shock near the end! I gasped out loud.The only thing I did not like about this - it had a NON-ENDING!!!!!! Why oh why? The perfect book with a non-ending! No really, its just me - I hate non-endings! So I had to take away .5 of a star as punishment.I will definitely be looking for Ashley Ream's next book.
metermaid1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Losing Clementine is about an artist who decides she is going to kill herself in 30 days. The subject, in the hand of another writer, could have been heavy and sappy, but Ashley Ream concocted a story that made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion, and cry only once. Clementine is a wonderfully written character and taking the 30 day journey with her was a truly satisfying reading experience. Highly recommended.
monkeyreader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Losing Clementine is a story about Clementine Pritchard who, in 30 days, is planning to kill herself.This was nothing like what I expected. There were sad situations but the whole book wasn't depressing.She had carefully planned her leaving down to the last penny. Everything was taken care of until Jenny calls. Then her life really did change forever.I absolutely loved it. The author's passion shown through in Clementine's character. I can't wait for more novels by this author.
Loried on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was pleasantly surprised that I very much enjoyed this book which I received through the Early Reviewers program. Given the subject matter, it was a relief to find a lot of humor and sarcasm to lighten the mood. There were several key missing pieces of information that were eventually revealed in the book which added elements of mystery to the story. I would highly recommend the book.
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At the beginning of the novel I wasn't sure whether I liked Clementine or not - she was abrasive and kind of obnoxious. But I was really interested in finding out what she was going to do, and as the novel progressed, many of her behaviors and thoughts began to make sense. I liked that Clementine's back story was revealed over time, almost like a puzzle coming together. I gained a real sense of empathy for her and found the ending to be very emotional. There is a fair amount of cursing and some sex scenes.
aimless22 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Losing Clementine is about one woman's plan to kill herself in an orderly fashion. Each chapter covers the thirty days she gives herself to get everything in order and serves as a countdown to the final event. A well-written debut. An intriguing main character.
AnnieLeo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Losing ClementineClementine is an artist in LA, and decides to commit suicide in 30 days. She has too many black days and does not want to continue on all the medications she needs to take. So she flushes them away and begins planning her demise. Each one of the 30 chapters is one day closer to the event. Clementine is loud, bossy, pushy, and headstrong. The ditching of her meds does not help. Clementine is also funny, though the writing is tedious at times because the constant wry humor feels forced. With seven days to go, there is a good twist that I did not see coming. I had a difficult time getting into this story because I really didn't take to Clementine. I enjoyed the final 10 days (chapters) more than the first 20.
Sharn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a dark book about a girl, Clementine, who tries to commit suicide in 30 days. That's the whole gist of it and I don't like going on about a book in my reviews bc I'm afraid of spoiling it for someone else. With that said, I really enjoyed this and I will recommend it to others.
lorimarie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Angry girl with fatal disease, mad at the world goes about living out her last thirty days. But upon further reading, turns out she's not angry so much as resigned to the fact that she must end her life because though she doesn't actually have a fatal disease, she has a fatal history of deep depression and she can't let it do to her what it did to her mother and sister. Really engrossing read. Hard to get used to the cutting sarcasm of Clementine at first, but after several chapters, or days as it reads, I really felt for her and actually rooted for her to get to her last day. Not to say I was wanting her to die but more like wanting her to fulfill her quest? Also loved all the descriptions of different places in LA as well as the food! Some of the food descriptions made me hungry they were so good. Not to mention the art angle. I wanted to drive around LA, eat some mexican food and then create some killer art! Excellent first novel.
LisMB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent read by Ream. I was immediately taken into the story of a depressed young artistand those around her. This book seems personal, as if you are reading the tale of a dear friend. The story gives a bit of insight to the dark sadness that consumes her (Clementine, the artist). Though planning her death, she has a wonderful sense of humor. A few surprising twists and turns within her last days. A bit edgy, I loved it. Highly recommend.
ceh0017 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a great first novel for Ashley Ream; she has great potential to be one of the top names out there! I liked how the format of this book was broken down into chapters that represent days coming closer to the date of her planned suicide. The twist around 7 really got me; I didn't even see it coming. I have to agree with a reviewer before me though; there was a non-ending to this book that somewhat rubbed me the wrong way; however, it did grow on me as I pondered it more. Overall, I would recommend this book and think it was well worth the time taken to read it.
lahochstetler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Clementine Pritchard plans to commit suicide. This novel follows the last thirty days of her life as she plans for her demise. Among her projects are finding her father, who disappeared years ago, finding new owners for her cat, and obtaining the animal tranquilizers that will do the deed. I really liked this book. Clementine is endowed with a wicked sense of humor, and there's plenty of entertaining snark in the first-person narrative. We learn more about Clementine's traumatic family life over the course of the book. There are also plenty of lush and interesting descriptions of Los Angeles (and of Mexican food- I found myself frequently getting hungry while reading this.) The one thing I found unsatisfactory about this book was the ending. The concept for the book is excellent. I'm not sure, though, that it's possible to have a satisfying ending to this sort of story. We spend the duration of the book wondering if Clementine will kill herself of not. Either way, it seems, the reader will be disappointed. This reader was quite disappointed in the ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MeghanD More than 1 year ago
The book is mediocre and uninspired. I really had high hopes for it, but it turned out to be predictable with lots of profanity, graphic sex, and humor that quickly got on my nerves. As you read it, you will follow Clementine's plan as she goes about her last days of final preparation to suicide. There are actually some funny parts that will make you laugh. But quickly, the humor makes you feel like the author is trying too hard and it becomes exhausting. The topic (decision to commit suicide) is treated too light and careless for such a serious topic. Overall, an ok book.