It was a love story. Me, Gemma and junk. I thought it was going to last forever.
Tar loves Gemma, but Gemma doesn't want to be tied down. She wants to fly. But no one can fly forever. One day, finally, you have to come down. Melvin Burgess’ most ambitious and complex novel is a vivid depiction of a group of teenagers in the grip of addiction. Told from multiple viewpoints, Junk is a powerful, unflinching novel about heroin. Once you take a hit, you will never be the same again.
'Everyone should read Junk' The Times
With an introduction by Malorie Blackman and all-new material from Melvin Burgess and the publisher's archives on the book's controversial history.
'Everyone should read Junk' - The Times
'Believable and rivetingly readable. I couldn't put it down' - Evening Standard
'Moving and provocative' - Observer
'One of the defining books of YA fiction' - Fiona Noble, The Bookseller
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 27 members
This is an intriguing book, that may have shocked 30 years ago but now seems quite nostalgic for a different world we live in. The writing still has the power to shock, from the innocence of Gemma's arrival with Tar and their slow but inevitable corruption in the squats of Bristol, to the unresolved and uncertain endings for many of hte characters, A hard read, but also an important one in getting across an authentic message about the dangers of drugs, drink and families.
I remember reading Junk not long after it was released, as a 13 year old working my way through the whole school library collection. I didn't fully appreciate until now how seminal this book was. Before Junk, Young Adult fiction wasn't even a thing. I was 13 in 2000 and I remember only really reading books that were far too adult for me, or just re-reading the Babysitter's Club over and over. This edition of Junk was really interesting as it put it all in context. It still feels fresh and relevant now.