Placebo Junkies by J.C. Carleson | Review

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Placebo Junkies by J.C. Carleson | ReviewPlacebo Junkies by J.C. Carleson
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 27, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 298
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
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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.

(Last Updated On: June 11, 2022)
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As soon as I heard about Placebo Junkies, I knew that I wanted to give it a read. I actually heard about it a while ago, and it instantly became one of my most anticipated reads of 2015.

Anyways, the story follows a girl named Audie who basically takes drugs for a living. She gets paid to do this. Sometimes she ends up with the placebo, so nothing happens, though other times, she ends up having to take a pill that actually has an effect. She’s okay with it, though, because it’s like a job… she gets paid for it.

Her boyfriend Dylan has had cancer for a while, so she decides to suddenly start getting in on tons of experiments to make a lot of money quickly for his eighteenth birthday.

She wants to pay for the two of them to go on a trip to a place that he’s always wanted to go to. However, what could possibly go wrong while doing tons of different experiments at the same time?

I really enjoyed this book! I really felt for Audie and what she wanted to do for Dylan. She cared about him so much and would do absolutely anything to keep him happy. She was really sweet because of that.

The ending had an absolutely huge plot twist that I did not see coming at all. As soon as it happened, I was mind-blown. I couldn’t believe what I was reading! I had to sit and process it for a little bit before I continued reading. The huge reveal made a lot of sense, though.

I have to say I definitely think this book is worth the read. If you read it, don’t question what’s going on because all of your questions will be answered in the end. I think that it’s perfect for fans of We Were Liars. 

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