Junk (Puffin Teenage Fiction)

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9780140380194: Junk (Puffin Teenage Fiction)

Winner of both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children's Fiction prize, Melvin Burgess's controversial young adult novel Junk redefined teenage fiction with its frank and honest portrayal of teenagers addicted to heroin in Bristol.

Junk = heroin = bliss = despair = a love affair you'll never forget

Tar loves Gemma, but Gemma doesn't want to be tied down - to anyone or anything. Gemma wants to fly. But no one can fly forever. One day, somehow, finally, you have to come down.

'Haunting and remarkable for the insight and understanding with which the author develops the characters' - Guardian

'Believable and rivetingly readable. I couldn't put it down' - Evening Standard

'A powerful talent who offers few easy solutions' - The Times

Award-winning children's author Melvin Burgess is one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary young adult fiction. His most well-known book Junk won the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Fiction prize and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year. Other titles by Melvin Burgess available from Penguin include: Sara's Face, Nicholas Dane, Doing IT (winner of the LA Times Young People's Book of the Year) and Kill All Enemies. If you enjoyed Junk and want to get inside more of your favourite books, then check out spinebreakers.co.uk for exclusive author interviews, competitions, and much more.

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Review:

Junk is an extraordinary book, and walks a terrain that is at once terrifying and totally compelling.

Tar and Gemma are in love. Tar has reasons for running away from home that run deep and sour, whereas Gemma, with her middle-class roots firmly on show, has a deep-rooted lust for adventure. Together they explore the dark world of the streets as, together, they explore the dark world of drugs, moving quickly on from the first hit of heroin that takes them towards bliss, to the next hit that ultimately leads to despair.

Melvyn Burgess packs one hell of a punch in Junk, a book that is certainly unnerving in its honesty about two teenagers and their very different reasons for wanting to flee their families and their lives.

The narrative is simple and to the point, adding fire to the characterisation of the two main protagonists as they dive deeper into their love affair with heroin and each other. Burgess hits hard with his convincing handling of controversial subjects ranging from alcohol abuse, prostitution, teenage pregnancy and child abuse, skilfully moving the plot and the characters forward with a pace that mirrors Tar and Gemma's spiralling relationship.

Junk is a must-read for any teenager who enjoys gritty realism and a gutsy, honest approach to the books they read. But be warned, this book is not for the faint-hearted: the language is realistic, the situations are occasionally terrifying, and Burgess certainly does not glamorise any aspect of Tar and Gemma's lifestyle. Parents of teenagers should take a close look too. Age 12 and over--Susan Harrison

Review:

Occasionally a 'teenage novel' comes along which makes one reconsider the whole genre and its potential. Such a book is Melvin Burgess's Junk (Robert Dunbar Children's Books in Ireland)

The most talked-about children's book for years (Mail on Sunday)

Brilliantly and sensitively written, it encompasses the raw, savage and ecstatic world of the adolescent mind... a superbly crafted and important book (TES)

Beautifully written (The Times)

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Eccleshare, Julia (Author)/ Burgess, Melvin (Author)
Published by Penguin (1997)
ISBN 10: 0140380191 ISBN 13: 9780140380194
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Eccleshare, Julia; Burgess, Melvin
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