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Junk Tie In (Puffin Teenage Fiction)

A true-to-life story of two teenagers whose lives begin to spin out of control as they sink into a void of heroin addiction and prostitution.

Series: Puffin Teenage Fiction

Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages

Publisher: Puffin; Film & TV Tie-in ed edition (May 4, 1999)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0141305576

ISBN-13: 978-0141305578

Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.7 x 7.1 inches

Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces

Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #5,119,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #93 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Health > Substance Abuse #631 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Difficult Discussions > Drugs #987 in Books > Teens > Literature & Fiction > Social & Family Issues > Drugs & Alcohol Abuse

Age Range: 12 and up

Grade Level: 7 and up

Winner of the Guardian Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal, the novel Junk by Melvin Burgess successfully allows readers to gain insights into what teenage drug life was like in Bristol during the mid 1980s. The characters in the novel go through many struggles and the biggest struggle is the challenge to get off `junk', or heroin.Throughout the novel, Burgess focuses on four characters in particular: Tar, Gemma, Lily and Rob. Lily and Rob are senior users of junk. Partying, taking drugs, even prostitution is nothing new to them. Tar, the protagonist, is sensible and responsible but unlucky. Unlucky to be born into a family with alcoholic parents; unlucky to have met Gemma, his girlfriend, who introduced him to drugs' unlucky to be the only one caught. He represents the typical teenager: confident to say `no' to drugs but slowly being dragged in due to peer-pressure. `The thing I have to remember is that I'm weak and that they're weak' said Tar after being in the `detox' centre for a while. Is he strong enough to stand firm and quit drugs or is the temptation towards heroin too strong for him to handle? The novel Junk is easy to understand and is suitable for people of all ages. I would strongly recommend this novel to teenagers who are curious about drug-taking. It is a fast-paced book that depicts the daunting reality of drugs. What I find fascinating is the way Burgess describes the characters and the settings which provide the readers with an image that is very real. `As for the people here... some are pure invention, some are seeded from real people and then fictionalized, some are fictitious with bits of real people stirred in,' commented Burgess in the introduction of his novel.

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