This brilliantly written novel explores many different themes such as morals, medical ethics, mental illnesses, addiction, human subject testing and control. That one word, control, is essentially what Placebo Junkies is about. Audie and her friends make a living by becoming “human guinea pigs” not because of necessity but, rather because they have the control of when they work, how much they make, and how much damage these tests are going to have on their bodies. They don’t care about helping discover new drugs to cure diseases, in fact, Audie and Charlotte conspire together to abuse the system and make the most money possible. I was disgusted reading about how people and especially these characters will do anything for money. It’s because of this reason that it took me so long to read Placebo Junkies. When I was reading there was a point in the story were I thought ” this can’t be real, people can’t actually do this to themselves” but, there are people who participate in human subject testing. This is all very real.
Overall, I did not like Placebo Junkies. I disliked all of the characters, especially Audie. Her only motivation in life was getting money so she could go on vacation with her boyfriend. I don’t like reading about people who don’t respect themselves or others and are driven by greed. The plot twist at the end will shed a little bit more light on Audie and her behavior but, it doesn’t make her a more like-able character. I gave this book three stars was because of the plot. It discusses a very important topic that society often tends to overlook.
After reading Placebo Junkies I will now wonder who had to be a “guinea pig” to put this medicine/drug on the market today? YA needs more books like this, where it changes your perspective and provokes discussion. I think that everyone should read Placebo Junkies.