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by Ashley Ream

Pub Date: March 6th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-209363-9
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

A successful, bipolar artist decides to live it up for 30 days before ending her own life.

Off her meds and manic (but certain she will never get better), Clementine Pritchard feels a sense of calm and purpose once she finally commits to killing herself. A well-known multimedia artist, Clementine suffers from debilitating, explosive mood swings not unlike the ones she witnessed her own mother going through during her childhood. Those ended badly when her mother shot herself and her younger sister Ramona, leaving Clementine to live with an aunt. Hoping to never leave her own loved ones to such a fate, she scores some animal tranquilizer in Tijuana and tells people she has inoperable brain cancer. Her inner circle, including her devoted assistant Jenny and still-smitten ex-husband Richard, try their best to help her, but her mind is made up. With the clock ticking, she makes good use of her time. She sleeps with both Richard (great) and her former shrink Miles (bad), poses nude for a rival artist and eats her way through the best ethnic takeout food L.A. has to offer. She works, too, hitting her creative stride and producing daring and dark new pieces. She also tries to get her affairs in order and find a home for her cat Chuckles, a male Persian almost as ornery as Clementine herself. Complications ensue, though, when she tracks down her long-lost father in Kansas City. Her hopes for healing and closure are turned on their head when a family drama gives her a chance, for a change, to be a caregiver rather than the one needing care. But is it enough to change her course? With her razor wit and over-it-all candor, Clementine makes for a fascinating companion, and Ream manages to craft an engaging and impressive debut without soft-pedaling how very sick Clementine is. You’ll sure miss her when she’s gone.

Hip and hilarious portrait of a crazy person.