Friday, December 4, 2015

Blog Tour Review: Placebo Junkies

Today on WinterHaven Books I am participating in the blog tour for Placebo Junkies by J.C. Carleson hosted buy the publisher.

Placebo JunkiesPlacebo Junkies by J.C. Carleson
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 27th, 2015
Purchase: Amazon
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.
My Thoughts:
This book made me feel like I was on one of the trial drugs Audie was taking.  It was crazy and just not at all what I was expecting, but it you it kinda worked.

I will say first that the synopsis is a little misleading.  I totally get why, but I'm sort of shocked that this book is being promoted as a drug trial volunteer taking things too far for her terminally ill boyfriend.  What this book is actually about is so much more intense, so much darker, and so complex.  I think that's why it worked for me, I really fell into the story halfway through when things started to change for Audie and I just couldn't put the book down.  I'm drawn to all things dark and really things don't get much darker than this.  The little glimpses we get throughout the story from a certain persons point of view were just bone chilling and I found myself hoping after each chapter that there would be more. 

I think the story itself was an interesting one.  I can't say I have ever read one like this before which automatically puts it in a fun category, but what really stood out for me was the whole drug trial money making scheme.  I never really thought about all this and after reading Audie's journey I am left wanting to know more about this trial thing.  Do people really do this for a living??  I think in the next few days I will more than likely look into this subject more because I am so intrigued.  When I book makes me want to do research I know I have found a unique read and it's awesome!

The one thing that did bother me a tad was that by the end of the story I felt like there was a certain agenda trying to be thrown at me.  It wasn't too heavy handed but I felt it there in the shadows.  The author gives us a side note at the end saying this wasn't her intention, but I still felt it nevertheless.  I think that should have been left out.  We get to see how terrible these drug trials are for most people without the added few scenes at the end and that was enough for me.  I mean we have all heard the commercials listing millions of horrific symptoms so I didn't really need to hear the campaign against pharmaceutical companies.  I think the message was loud and clear from the get go and so I wish the author would have focused more on wrapping up this dark tale.

All in all I actually really liked this one. It took me for a dark and strange loop, but it totally worked in the context of the story.  I felt for Audie and her predicament and I have to say I love how she went out in a blaze of glory.  No that is not a spoiler I promise, if you read this you will get it I promise. 

Placebo Junkies is for contemporary fans but also for the readers like me that need a side of dark and creepy with their contemporaries.  It will grab you I promise and make you wonder what Audie will do next!

3.5 snowflakes

About the Author:
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.



  1. I really wanted to read this back when I first saw it, but I've been having second thoughts as the reviews have been pouring in. My sister is on a clinical trial for an autoimmune disease, and I don't think I need to read this just yet. My emos are already out of whack.