Side Effects May Vary With "Placebo Junkies"

25278470 Title:  Pacebo Junkies
Author:  J.C. Carleson
Format:  ERC
Length:  304 pages
Expected Date of Publication: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Rating:  5 Stars

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.  Goodreads

My Thoughts
Reading Placebo Junkies is a lot like staring at one of those Magic Eyes pictures that they used to sell at the mall.  Trying  with all that is in you, to see the hidden image that you know is there.  All the while, not sure what the hell it is that you are spending so much of your time trying to see in the first place.

Audie, has what seems like a pretty normal life; from the outset.

Granted, there is no mention of parental units, of any sort.
Her friends and acquaintances do seem a rather motley bunch.
Their means of financial support does seem a

But...this is YA after all.  The place where slippery slopes double as sidewalks, and Alice's rabbit hole has its own doorbell and address.

Add to that the fact that "med prey for pay" is the dirty, not so "secret" secret that helps the drug companies sleep at night.  While making the millions of us popping their "little rainbow-colored happy pills" just think we do.  At least until those nasty little "adverse side effects" that they warned you about...kinda...sorta...but not really!  You know in the accompanying  "literature" that you threw away as soon as you got the damn pills...kick in
So in the interest of interest, because humans are by nature a nosey bunch.  You follow the well spoken, well intentioned, and  well...sane, Audie, as she and best friend/cohort Charlotte, make their way from one study to the next.  All in the name of the all mighty dollar.  Side effect may and do vary!  There is even a boyfriend to be found here.  One 'knight in shinning new remission', Dylan.  Who alternates between Audie's reason to...(insert verb here) and her greatest source of worry.
Well, things go on this way for a great portion of the book.  Then there is some mention of a medical guardianship, we lose Charlotte (take that to mean whatever you want), everything is turned on its ear...and.

Nothing that you have spent the last however long that you spent reading the book,  (In the interest of your sanity, I hope that you can speed read) is what you thought!
(Insert many expletives here, here,!)

What this book is.
Hard to read...check!
Like nothing you have EVER read...Check!
Hard to put down...Check!
Damn good reading!...Check, check, and check!

"How deep is your rabbit hole Alice?  Fall down mine and see!"

About J. C.
J.C. Carleson J.C. Carleson never intended to be an author. Although she was always a proficient writer of term papers, reports, and other necessary but mundane documents, she didn't consider herself cut out for the creative life.

Nearly a decade as an officer in the CIA's clandestine service changed that.

With her head now brimming with stories of intrigue, scandal, and exotic locales, Carleson was finally ready to give writing a shot. Her fiction and non-fiction works alike tap into her unique experiences, drawing readers into the highly charged, real world of espionage.

Find Her:  Website / Goodreads 

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