A quick paced story, compelling and real. One of the most noteworthy aspects of this book is that it's about making choices, and that, even if you've made a bad choice to start, you can change course and make good ones instead...Highly Recommended." (CM Magazine 20121017)
"Features clean prose, believable characters, current cultural landmarks (especially in the tracks Rob spins), and a powerfully sharp, abrupt ending. Even seemingly innocent choices have consequences, and the path from piano lessons to prison is not as long as many teens think it is. Ross plots that particular course with transparency and without moralizing, offering a story that will resonate well beyond the targeted reluctant readership." (Booklist 20121101)
Rob wants to be a DJ—more than anything. And when his older brother Adam lands him a gig at a local all-ages club filling in for DJ Sly, Rob is ecstatic. This could be his big break, and when he finds out that the girl of his dreams will be there that first night, it seems like it is all coming together. But things fall apart—Mary Jane overdoses on Ecstasy provided by Adam, and DJ Sly turns Adam in and implicates Rob. The brothers end up on the run, evading the police while trying to force DJ Sly to tell the truth about the brothers' part in the death and Sly's own role in supplying drugs at the club.
Where it came from: Coming Clean came about because my friend, Rob Solo (actual name Rob Maclean) told me to write a story about him so I could sell it and we could go heli-boarding in Japan. Well, I decided to do just that. I created a DJ named Rob Solo and then put him in a difficult position. I gave him a brother, a friend, and a girl. I wanted to keep this really short so it fit well into the Orca Soundings series when it was done. The problems I see for Rob were very much the same issues I saw when I was a DJ. People get sucked into a certain lifestyle and though it seems fun and exciting, there are always people looking to take advantage. I didn't want this to be a moral tale. It is a story about brothers.