Junk – Melvin Burgess

“Junk = heroin = bliss = despair = a love story you’ll never forget.
Gemma wants to fly. But no one can fly forever. One day, somehow, finally, you have to come down.”

I agonized over whether I should include this in the blog because it is SUCH a controversial book. I also feel that it is an important book in teen fiction, however, so I’ve decided to review it here. Junk is the horrifying account of a homeless boy and a run-away girl who both become addicted to heroin. It is about the drug scene, addiction, abuse, teenage sex and the too-often terrible outcomes. Burgess is not in any way patronising and he utilizes multiple-narrators to portray this world with the conviction of a non-fiction documentary. It is graphic. It is frightening. It is raw and jarring and ‘in-your-face.’ It is also a very distinct reality for a number of people (young and old) worldwide. As far as exploring and facing head-on the shocking issues of our time, I think Burgess does a superb job.



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