Author: Melvin Burgess
Page Count/Review Word Count: 280
I’ve never read a book quite like this before – for the first third, it’s almost like a romance novel, for the second it’s brutal as fuck, and for the third, it’s one of the best drug books that I’ve read. It has weird similarities with the work of Marni Mann, who released a cracking drug book called Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales – Marni has also released a bunch of romance novels, and when you look at both her successful career and this novel, you start to realise that drugs and romance work together pretty well.
The romance in question is between Tar and Gemma, two teenage runaways who live in a squat in Bristol. I found Tar to be more relatable, as I have quite a lot in common with his personality, but I didn’t think much of Gemma – that said, all of the characters are totally believable, and you don’t get any of those weird moments you sometimes get as a reader where you start to question whether the characters’ behaviour is true to their personality.
One of the interesting things about Junk is that each chapter is written from the perspective of a different character, which adds an extra element – you know things that the characters don’t, giving the reader a warm fuzzy feeling through the literary irony.
It’s a great book, and very much recommended from me, especially if you’re a fan of this sort of thing. It’s also much more accessible than most other junkie books on the market, and so I think it’s a pretty good place to get started.