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explained Junk, review Junk, trailer Junk, box office Junk, analysis Junk, Junk c2ed Two Teens Fall In Love With Each Other And Heroin Tar Has Reasons For Running Away From Home That Run Deep And Sour, Whereas Gemma, With Her Middle Class Roots Firmly On Show, Has A Deep Rooted Lust For Adventure Their First Hit Brings Bliss, The Next Despair explained Junk, review Junk, trailer Junk, box office Junk, analysis Junk, Junk c2ed Two Teens Fall In Love With Each Other And Heroin Tar Has Reasons For Running Away From Home That Run Deep And Sour, Whereas Gemma, With Her Middle Class Roots Firmly On Show, Has A Deep Rooted Lust For Adventure Their First Hit Brings Bliss, The Next Despair

  • Paperback
  • 293 pages
  • Junk
  • Melvin Burgess
  • English
  • 22 September 2019
  • 9780380732234

About the Author: Melvin Burgess

Melvin Burgess is a British author of children s fiction His first book, The Cry of the Wolf, was published in 1990 He gained a certain amount of notoriety in 1996 with the publication of Junk, which was published in the shadow of the film of Irvine Welsh s Trainspotting, and dealt with the trendy and controversial idea of heroin addicted teenagers Junk soon became, at least in Britain, one of the best known children s bo



10 thoughts on “Junk

  1. says:

    Not suitable for younger readers the warning on the back cover is well worth taking seriously A classic and well deserving Carnegie Medal winner, Junk is painful to read for the reason that it is truthful, accurate and told in the voices of young people falling victim to heroin addiction They go through the various phases of invincibility delusion, adjustment to ever sinking standards, criminal behaviour, prostitution, desperate pain and physical downward spiralling while telling their life stories through their teenage perspective.It strongly reminded me of the true story of Christiane F., whose witness account on teenage drug addiction in Berlin in the 1970s was made into a book and later into a film, Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo It haunted me for years after I read it in my early adolescence, and it leaves me pondering on what to do with Junk Should I let my students and children read it It is very good, and it will hardly trigger a healthy and stable young adult to try drugs But it is a brutal account of violence and prostitution, and it might leave them with nightmares Should one shield teenagers from the worst hardships, or let them discover the world in all its ugliness That question always comes up when the American Library Association announces the latest banned or challenged books in school libraries Most of the time, it concerns sexuality, bad language, violence or politically motivated messages But this is teenage health and wellbeing potentially at risk I guess there is no definitive answer to what is suitable for young adults, but I tend towards letting them read whatever interests them, while being ready in the background to talk to them and offer a platform for reflection.I will go with Oscar Wilde There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book.Books are well written, or badly written That is all This one is well written.

  2. says:

    I read this years and years ago when i was about 11 so i remember it was very different reading it the 2nd time around when I am 26 Entertaining.I d rather a YA about drugs any day of the week than some shitty high school romance Fan girl etc etc etc etc

  3. says:

    5 Words Toxic, addiction, manipulation, love, realisation.This book is one of my favourites of all time It s so real and brave and gritty and it s UKYA at its absolute prime It s difficult and challenging.At the start, I always love Tar and hate Gemma By the end I ve always changed my mind about both of them This book allows me to empathise with a type of person I would usually avoid at all costs.Gemma is probably my favourite character, even though I can t stand her at all at the beginning.As shocking as this book is, as controversial as the subject matter is, that isn t what the book is about The book is about relationships and growing and trying to find yourself That the main characters are all junkies is just a fact, something that makes the whole process a little harder.I think Junk is a book that everyone should read at least once.

  4. says:

    I m conflicted about this book.On the one hard, it s absolutely brilliant It really is It s slow to start, but after the first chapter I was pulled in and just kept turning page after page I was desperate to know what happened next The character voices sang to me sang to me through the pages.On the other hand, the subject matter.I m not one to mark a book down purely because of the subject matter This deals with teenager runaways, teenage junkies, spoilt bitches who get everything they ever wanted What worries me is that there s not really enough of an impact Not enough goes wrong There s not enough to dissuade young impressionable minds from using drugs, from dipping in, from experimenting with needles and tablets and powder.Now, I m not an impressionable teenage mind I ve never done drugs, never smoked, and I only drink alcohol once in a blue moon I m 24 years old.But, in light of recent events to deal with my personal situation, I have contemplated self harm.I thought about cutting myself when I was so deep into stress, anxiety, and depression And I only thought about it because from everything I ve read, it s not actually that bad It helps with release It helps make you feel better Sure, you scar up afterwards, but I was looking for something to help me deal with my situation which, in case you re wondering, is this I m Australian, and I m as good as trapped in shitty town England for the foreseeable future Which is not fun There s a lot of other factors contributing but that s the main one I didn t do it By complete chance I accidentally opened a vein in my leg and bled all over my bathroom My fianc e kept me calm and we eventually managed to close the vein But the sight of all that blood scared me off thinking of cutting myself any.By the way, if you re reading this Don t cut yourself I am being completely honest when I say there are better ways of dealing with things You don t have to harm yourself to feel better You don t have to starve yourself or get drunk or shoot up Talk to someone you trust and they will help you through whatever shit it is that you re going through.But I was reading the book I was appalled, because here are a bunch of strong voiced characters telling us how easy it is to get into drugs, how good it makes you feel, how easy it is to quit and pick you life back up view spoiler No one dies from an OD No one fucks up their life beyond repair hide spoiler

  5. says:

    Junk is the drugs book against which I judge all drugs books, and so far nothing s come close to matching Melvin Burgess s unflinching portrayal of Bristol s City Road in the 1980s through a heroin addled lens.Burgess has no time for either hushed, poetic contemplations on heroin or clumsy, moralistic incitements to Just Say No Without pretension, he wades into his milieu with its squats, street kids and punk music and matter of factly delivers a taut, compelling drama Two naive 14 year olds poor, abused Tar, the son of two alcoholics, and his restless, reckless girlfriend, Gemma run away from home and, over the course of the novel, they drift into drug addiction and slowly dig themselves deeper and deeper into a hole out of which they can t climb.However miserable their comedown, Burgess doesn t cheat and pretend there s any black and white to be found in heroin addiction the initial sense of freedom is intense, the good times are sweet and the friendships genuine The characterisation is sharp and wonderful, which helps to stop the novel from devolving into either a morality tale or a dark fantasy sequence The teenagers feel like teenagers lofty know it alls until, gradually, the reader realises they ve been beaten down into adulthood.Even peripheral characters like old codger Skolly or do gooder Richard are nuanced, displaying both sympathetic quirks and hard to like weaknesses Burgess skilfully uses first person narrative to catch his characters in their lies and contradictions It adds an important layer to what, at other times, feels like a straightforward teen novel.I hadn t read Junk for a few years and I wondered if some of its gleam might have worn off for me But no I m still mesmerized by Lilly in her string vest I still catch myself hoping that the perfection of the characters heroin highs can last forever I still sob at the broken pieces that are left at the end.

  6. says:

    Meet Gemma and Tar, two 14 year old friends Tar is a nice lad, thoughtful, intelligent and full of puppy love for Gemma, but Tar is also the victim of abuse from his parents Gemma is a devoted friend, likes a good time and is all for helping Tar She has parents the opposite of Tar s, they care too much and show this bytbeing too stric for Gema s liking Both end up on the streets of Bristol to escape their parents, fall in love and get involved with fascinating but destructive couple Lily and Rob who lead them further and further into squalid existence They head into a devastating spiral of destruction from the first time they chase the dragon Melvin Burgess holds nothing back, it makes for an addictive if slightly stomach churning read The story is told from different points of view of the various people involved in the lives of Gem and Tar which makes it chilling and horrifying as the main characters think they have a grip on their addiction and can stop anytime they like As the reader you can see what is going to happen and it is very realistic Any prejudices and preconceptions you have ever had about junkies will be confirmed but also dispelled in this book, it punches real hard and even though you can see the destruction and know it s not going to end well, you can still feel empathy for the characters, especially Tar A brilliant read that will remain with you and should be a lesson to all

  7. says:

    Wow This was a powerful book.Tar and Gemma are fourteen year old friends Tar comes from an unhappy background, filled with abuse Gemma comes from a smothering family when all she wants to do is have a good time When Tar decides to run away, Gemma supports him and then decides to join him on the streets of Bristol, thinking that being homeless for a while might be a bit of a laugh and alleviate the boredom of her existence.Once in Bristol, the pair live in a squat for a while and get involved in the punk scene Gemma is determined to sample all the delights a thriving city has to offer.Including heroin.This wasn t an easy read at all I consider myself moderately unshockable, but there are some fairly graphic descriptions of heroin use, violence and prostitution that made me cringe but it was definitely a worthwhile one It read like a Trainspotting for teenagers, although in some ways it was even disturbing because the characters are so young After a fairly slow start, the action ramps up and towards the end I couldn t put it down As a reader you have to just stand by and watch as these people flush their lives further and further down the toilet Without giving anything away, there is redemption of sorts at the end It s not what I would call a happy ending, exactly, but it s a satisfying one.The narrative is told from multiple first person viewpoints, which is a tricky thing to pull off but here it actually works because you get Tar and Gemma s stories from lots of different directions New narrators only come in once they ve already been introduced as characters, so you kind of get a feel for who they are before they start moving the story along You have the main characters Gemma and Tar who take up most of the narrative, but other characters chime in too, like a kind of smacked up Greek chorus.There was plenty of character development in the story, considering the MCs use a whole bunch of heroin to effectively smoosh out any actually emotions they might be experiencing Gemma is probably the best developed character She goes from this deeply irritating brat at the beginning of the book to a thoughtful, battle scarred woman by the end Tar doesn t develop quite as much, but his reason for getting involved in heroin was to blank out his horrible home life, so I guess that makes sense.Like I said, this isn t a happy read, but I d recommend it to anyone.

  8. says:

    4.5This is a tale of a group of runaway teenagers who end up addicted to smack junk, aka heroin We watch the characters spiral out of control, thinking oh, I ll just be able to quit when I want to which we find out is definitely not the case Love happens, pregnancies happen one in which the baby is basically born an addict as well , and death happens in one occurrence Every chapter is told from someone else s perspective, which was one of my favorite aspects of this book We hear about the addicts from their perspective as well as the perspectives of others Great book for those who don t know what it s like to experience the disease of addiction, as well as for those who have walked that path before be it their own or someone close to them May be triggering for anyone in recovery.

  9. says:

    This book was recommended to me by a heroin addict, a beloved person who has since tragically died from an overdose I m still immersed in grief and read this to look for answers As difficult an account as it was, it definitely unsparingly showed the reality of what it s like to be under the influence of such a devastating drug I can t even imagine what it s like to live with such an addiction but this was the closest I came to glimpsing what so many people have fallen victim to The horror of it is eye opening and harrowing Heroin takes away one s dignity, identity, values and personality and replaces all of that with a person unrecognisable to themselves and those who love them It creates a need so intense for the next fix that everything else is obliterated I had previously read Beautiful Boy A Father s Journey Through His Son s Addiction and consider that to be the best perspective of what it s like to helplessly watch your loved one become someone you don t know while under the influence of heroin Smack, orignally called Junk , is now it s counterpart for me as the most accurate story of the addict s perspective In many ways this addiction is a terminal illness The rate of recovery is low but not impossible A very important drug called naloxene counters the deadly effect of an overdose and needs to be readily available in our society The alternative is a mounting death toll and aching hearts as lives are ripped apart There is no doubt in my mind that this is a disease and not a choice The stigma of addiction needs to be removed so people can be saved and better treatment options are developed for rehabilitation We are losing wonderful, loving people by the minute Heroin is a cheap drug and can be acquired easily There is not enough public knowledge of its effects or help for those who are afflicted I hope to be part of the change somehow.

  10. says:

    This isn t a terrible book, but I feel like I want to jump into it and smack every single one of these frustrating characters It does a good job of simply saying FOR THE LOVE OF THE GODDESS S SWEET BOOBS DON T DO HEROIN DON T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT It will RUIN your life and you ll talk like you know everything and everyone will want to hit you as a result.12 2016So I read this book again and it still stresses me out I reckon I m trying to scare myself into not trying heroin since I am on medicinal marijuana.Everyone insists marijuana is a gateway drug, but really alcohol is It s socially acceptable at least This book still stresses me out Especially Lily I hate her She struts around half nekkid going on and on about doing heroin and I just want to say, you are a silly teenager, stop making such bad decisions GuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhAlso, reefer is so nice Why even do heroin Marijuana does have actual health benefits It s can be soothing and relaxing I don t understand the use of hard drugs I want to avoid them like the plague i swear this book should be called Teenagers Making Bad Decisions such as Using Heroin when they should not.

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