Friday, December 18, 2015

Book Review: Placebo Junkies

About the Book
Title: Placebo Junkies
Author: J.C. Carleson 
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Going Bovine meets Trainspotting in this gritty portrait of at-risk teens gaming the prescription drug trial system.
Meet Audie: Professional lab rat. Guinea pig. Serial human test subject. For Audie and her friends, “volunteering” for pharmaceutical drug trials means a quick fix and easy cash.
Sure, there’s the occasional nasty side effect, but Audie’s got things under control. If Monday’s pill causes a rash, Tuesday’s ointment usually clears it right up. Wednesday’s injection soothes the sting from Tuesday’s “cure,” and Thursday’s procedure makes her forget all about Wednesday’s headache. By the time Friday rolls around, there’s plenty of cash in hand and perhaps even a slot in a government-funded psilocybin study, because WEEKEND!
But the best fix of all is her boyfriend, Dylan, whose terminal illness just makes them even more compatible. He’s turning eighteen soon, so Audie is saving up to make it an unforgettable birthday. That means more drug trials than ever before, but Dylan is worth it.
No pain, no gain, Audie tells herself as the pills wear away at her body and mind. No pain, no gain, she repeats as her grip on reality starts to slide….
Raw and irreverent, Placebo Junkies will captivate readers until the very end, when author J. C. Carleson leans in for a final twist of the knife.

My Review of Placebo Junkies
Placebo Junkies is not the typical novel I usually pick up, but it sounded intriguing. I decided to go outside my usual comfort zone, and boy was I rewarded. Placebo Junkies is twisted tale full of unexpected turns right up to the very end. It looks at the underbelly of human testing and clinical trials and what some people do to but it is also very much a story of a young girl trying to survive on her own. 

Audie’s story is one of terrible circumstances and her battle to exert her control over her situation. She also has one good thing in her life, her boyfriend Dylan. She wants nothing more than to give him the best experience in life before his cancer possibly takes him. This love story is beautiful, but tragic in many ways. 

I have to say I loved the writing style that J.C. Carleson chooses to express Audie’s story. It alternates between Audie’s different clinical trials and the pain surrounding selling your body for science. The author also uses Audie’s “Guinea Pig” blog posts to give more insight into Audie’s viewpoint on human test subjects and her life. I also love that as a reader I had no clue what was going to happen or what was going on around Audie until the very last few pages. 

This book is not an easy read for the squeamish, even though it does not go into severe graphic details. I still found it enjoyable in the sense that the book kept me enthralled with trying to find out what was going to happen next, and what exactly was going on with Audie as the story progressed. I would recommend this to also most anyone. I think it is especially enjoyable for fans of realistic fiction or medical based books. 

**Unabridged Bookshelf received this book, in exchange for an honest review**

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