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on 18 November 2015
Very interesting book. I found it disturbingly realistic and scarily believable which made it so much more effective when it comes to giving an impact. It is enjoyable and also educational. There are a vast range of voices used in this book, with the two main protagonists speaking throughout, but also a range of other characters coming in with their own one-off chapter of first person narrative. Though I got used to it as the book continued, I won't deny I found it confusing in many ways, just because there was so much switching. The book was great, though. A really unusual and interesting read.
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on 24 July 2016
I enjoyed this book which was part of my OU Children's Literature module. It was written for young adults and describes addiction realistically without sensationalising. It appeals to adults because it is read from a different perspective to that of youngsters. This book is not delivering a message about the dangers of addiction but the warnings are implicit and the subject is handled sensitively. There are shocking moments but these are written in a believable way without being graphic. This is a great read and I was very impressed.
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 February 2010
This is the second time I've read Junk. The first was for pleasure, many years ago. The second time around because I'm studying it. It made a lasting impression on me the first time I read it, and I picked it up again praying that it would be as good as I remembered. It is.

It makes for troubling reading. This is the story of Tar, beaten by his alcoholic parents, who runs away to Bristol to start a new life, and Gemma, his spoiled princess of a girlfriend, who follows him thinking that running away will be a huge, exciting adventure, and really show her parents where to get off. They soon become sucked into a world of squatting and petty theft and finally heroin addiction with predictably disastrous results.

The story is told by the characters, predominantly Tar and Gemma, but with a full supporting cast, and it's utterly rivetting, believable and horrific by turns. Burgess walks the fine line of making you sympathise with the characters and at the same time despair. He never preaches and the injustices, ragged holes in the system and horrors are not neatly tidied up. There is no happy ever after and there are no pat answers, there's just the story and the people and you the reader, left to read between the lines.

This book is thoroughly deserving of all the awards heaped upon it. I highly recommend it.
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on 12 August 2012
Beng part of my reading list for my Open University EA300 Childrens Literature course starting in October. Firstly I would not call it a typical childrens book, as the title suggests its about junk in other words drugs, also deals with the subject of child runaways and more sordid subjects. However, even though I was reading it under 'duress' I found that I was drawn into it and as the story moved on I wanted to know what happened next. A good read told from different perspectives and at times very unnerving and I am not even a parent, had I been a parent I could be worried! This book won both the Guardian Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal and I can see why and I will read it again when all my studies are over as it was a good read. Totally worth a read. Avaliable for Kindle and as a hard copy book.
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on 11 August 2017
Reading this with a bunch of teenagers is great! As a teacher when reading to the class I got to swear! And so did they when reading aloud. A very controversial story full of all the things we're not supposed to expose young people to...a great read, me and the class really enjoyed it.
Themes include: love, sex, drugs (heroin), addiction and death.
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on 31 August 2016
I was so disappointed...had this recomended to me by an English literature graduate and I really couldn't get into it. The lagauge was just so bity and disjointed that it wasn't a relax and read, I found myself flicking back and forth just trying to work out who on earth was meant to be talking!
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on 11 February 2015
This book is about the perils of trying to grow up too quickly. I remembered really enjoying it as a teenager. Now I'm in my 20s it doesn't have quite the same appeal, so would recommend to teenage readers. I found the hopping between viewpoint characters disorientating when the character was a minor character whose POV you hadn't shared before.
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on 2 April 2016
I originally read it during my teacher training. After rereading it, ten years later, I am very impressed with the split narrative! It adds a dynamic to the whole story that would be missed without it.
Burgess has a way of portraying humanity in all it's imperfections and still provide insight, hope and irony within the plot/characters and us.
A mini world of reality I guess!
I will definitely read more of his books!
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on 2 March 2018
Great book - for anyone interested in teens, drugs, Bristol and just a good read.
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on 12 December 2016
Only bought this book as recommended by Kelly Osbourne. I think the book is more aimed at mid to late teens (I'm not a teenager) but I enjoyed it anyway.
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