Placebo Junkies

 
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3.7
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3.0(3)
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4.7
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I absolutely loved this book. Audie made her trials so real, it was if I was there with her getting pricked by the nurse who could careless. This book made my heart ache, you really could feel how Audie and her friends wanted to be something in this world. They gave everything (literally) just so that can survive. This book truly shows how some give all to do what they want in life. Between the heartache and the physical pain that they felt, it really brings you into their lives.
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Great writing style, perfect characters that you fall in love with, and the want to join them in their journey.
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Twisty, gritty with an unreliable narrator.
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3.5
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3.5 stars (liked it a lot)

I wanted to read Placebo Junkies because I am drawn to stories about illness and the idea of putting yourself through medical procedures and taking medicines that can have nasty side effects for cash intrigues me in that morbid way. Also, the boyfriend that's sick that she thinks is worth the big surprise and money grabs my attention. I wondered if doing the clinical trials was also a way to connect with him and just trying to understand what he might be going through with a terminal illness. I knew this would likely be highly emotional and give room for lots of character growth and realization since the trials will effect her and things go to a bad place as a result of the trials.

This is a gritty book, and Audie describes with detail the horrible side effects of the trials she goes through, and we get pieces of her rough life and what has led her to this lifestyle. Most of the people in her life are also in the drug trials and can sympathize, but her boyfriend also has been through hard procedures and medicines. I couldn't decide if I was feeling their relationship- it was different from a lot of couples I've read about for sure, and they have seen unpleasant sides so its not putting on a front. But she couldn't decide as the book gets going if he is getting sicker or if he is moving on, and her uncertainty and not able to get in his head made me feel a lot of these things.

Things got really weird and a twist that I was not expecting. Audie ends up being an unreliable narrator. Characters that I thought I had a hold on completely transformed. It was nice because of the fact that I expected one sort of outcome and this managed to change that up.

We get answers to the why and how, and Audie's motivations and reasoning. The wrap up was complete, and though I was a bit confused at times, it resolved itself.

Source: Random House e-arc via Netgalley
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free.

Bottom Line: Twisty, gritty with an unreliable narrator.
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{Review}: Placebo Junkies by J.C. Carleson
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2.7
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It has never taken me this long to read a book before. Usually, I read a book within one or two days, but, my experience reading Placebo Junkies is as unique as the story.

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.
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