Friday, November 6, 2015

Book review - Placebo Junkies

Title: Placebo Junkies
Author: J C Carleson
Genre: surrealism
Similar books: Going Bovine by Libba Bray

                       Winter Girls by Laurie Halse Anderson
interesting but odd
Summary (provided by publisher): 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 opinion: My first impression of this book was simply how strange it was. Audie’s role is so far from the norm, so “other”, that she’s hard to relate to. It wasn’t until she began hallucinating  that I realized that we couldn’t really trust anything she’d said or seen. As always with first person narration, we’re experiencing the story through one person’s lens and when that lens is clouded it is hard to know what to believe. For those who enjoy and atypical reading experience, this can be a lot of fun. Others will find it too difficult to follow.

Advance Reader Copy provided by NetGalley

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