Two teens fall in love with each other and heroin 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 Their first hit brings bliss, the next despair.
Junk Two teens fall in love with each other and heroin 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 f

  • Title: Junk
  • Author: Melvin Burgess
  • ISBN: 9780141315935
  • Page: 102
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Junk”

    1. I read this years and years ago when i was about 11 so i remember it was very different reading it the 2nd time around when I am 26. Entertaining.I'd rather a YA about drugs any day of the week than some shitty high school romance. Fan girl etc etc etc etc

    2. 5 Words: Toxic, addiction, manipulation, love, realisation.This book is one of my favourites of all time. It's so real and brave and gritty and it's UKYA at its absolute prime. It's difficult and challenging.At the start, I always love Tar and hate Gemma. By the end I've always changed my mind about both of them. This book allows me to empathise with a type of person I would usually avoid at all costs.Gemma is probably my favourite character, even though I can't stand her (at all!) at the beginn [...]

    3. I’m conflicted about this book.On the one hard, it’s absolutely brilliant. It really is. It’s slow to start, but after the first chapter I was pulled in and just kept turning page after page. I was desperate to know what happened next. The character voices sang to me – sang to me through the pages.On the other hand, the subject matter.I’m not one to mark a book down purely because of the subject matter. This deals with teenager runaways, teenage junkies, spoilt bitches who get everythi [...]

    4. Junk is the drugs book against which I judge all drugs books, and so far nothing’s come close to matching Melvin Burgess’s unflinching portrayal of Bristol’s City Road in the 1980s through a heroin-addled lens.Burgess has no time for either hushed, poetic contemplations on heroin or clumsy, moralistic incitements to Just Say No. Without pretension, he wades into his milieu – with its squats, street kids and punk music – and matter-of-factly delivers a taut, compelling drama. Two naive [...]

    5. Meet Gemma and Tar, two 14 year old friends. Tar is a nice lad, thoughtful, intelligent and full of puppy love for Gemma, but Tar is also the victim of abuse from his parents. Gemma is a devoted friend, likes a good time and is all for helping Tar. She has parents the opposite of Tar's, they care too much and show this bytbeing too stric for Gema's liking. Both end up on the streets of Bristol to escape their parents, fall in love and get involved with fascinating but destructive couple Lily and [...]

    6. Wow. This was a powerful book.Tar and Gemma are fourteen year old friends. Tar comes from an unhappy background, filled with abuse. Gemma comes from a smothering family when all she wants to do is have a good time. When Tar decides to run away, Gemma supports him and then decides to join him on the streets of Bristol, thinking that being homeless for a while might be a bit of a laugh and alleviate the boredom of her existence.Once in Bristol, the pair live in a squat for a while and get involved [...]

    7. 4.5This is a tale of a group of runaway teenagers who end up addicted to smack/junk, aka heroin. We watch the characters spiral out of control, thinking "oh, I'll just be able to quit when I want to" which we find out is definitely not the case. Love happens, pregnancies happen (one in which the baby is basically born an addict as well), and death happens in one occurrence. Every chapter is told from someone else's perspective, which was one of my favorite aspects of this book. We hear about the [...]

    8. This isn't a terrible book, but I feel like I want to jump into it and smack every single one of these frustrating characters. It does a good job of simply saying FOR THE LOVE OF THE GODDESS'S SWEET BOOBS DON'T DO HEROIN! DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! It will RUIN your life and you'll talk like you know everything and everyone will want to hit you as a result.12/2016So I read this book again and it still stresses me out. I reckon I'm trying to scare myself into not trying heroin since I am on medic [...]

    9. Rating: 4.3 stars,but I'm giving it 5 stars on here because I think the book's overall rating on this site is too low.Genre: Edgy Young Adult.Subject: A realistic look at heroine addicts in England.Synopsis: Gemma runs away from home because her parents are too strict, Tar runs away because his father hits him. Different reasons, but the same end result. They become addicted to heroine and will do anything to get a high. Over the span of five years we are taken through their lives and meet the s [...]

    10. This book was recommended to me by a heroin addict, a beloved person who has since tragically died from an overdose. I'm still immersed in grief and read this to look for more answers. As difficult an account as it was, it definitely unsparingly showed the reality of what it's like to be under the influence of such a devastating drug. I can't even imagine what it's like to live with such an addiction but this was the closest I came to glimpsing what so many people have fallen victim to. The horr [...]

    11. Been almost a decade since I last read this. Bloody marvellous. Gritty and real, harrowing and beautiful and poignant and heart breaking and funny and terrifying and interesting. Enjoyed it just as much on the second read as I did the first time.I see a lot of bad reviews from Americans about the writing. Stop expecting 'American English' and read the bloody thing as its written - listen to a Bristol accent on YouTube if it will help!

    12. After an exciting trip to a different library near me as my closest is very small and the YA section is even smaller. I went into this library with the intention to get a couple of extra books and ended up coming out with 12 books. I could’ve easily got more but my library account would not let me. This book really stood out to me and not just because of the reflective needle plastered across the front cover. I had already seen reviews saying how it so gritty and one of the best UKYA they had [...]

    13. ** spoiler alert ** I first read this in my teens and have been through about five copies of it. Wonderful because of its harshness. The nature of addiction shown through the gradual destruction of the characters, the acceptance of doing horrible things in order to get a fix and not a particularly happy ending.No one is really redeemed, just destroyed. Grace

    14. I would recommend this book to high school students because it can be an experience that relates to teens. The relatable part of the book for me was not that the Tar and Gemma did drugs, but that they looked for adventure and a way to escape from the world. I could, however, relate to the fact that they lost friends to overdoses. In Tar’s case, doing heroin was the only way to cope when he got abused. I can relate to the moment after Jenny talks about the overdose. After Jenny talks about it [...]

    15. Smack was one of those books that made me miss dinner and not get any of my homework done. It was as addicting as the drug it describes. The story of two runaway lovers and they're tale of the people they met and the adventerous ride of being an addict of herion, and the struggle of getting out of addiction. Tar, a victim of an abusive father, and an alcoholic mother who clings to Tar's side, decides he's had enough and runaways to Bristle, England. Tar is also in love with Gemma, who runs away [...]

    16. Junk is the unapologetic and unflinching look into the effects of drug addiction and the best book I have read all year. Set in 1980's Bristol and following the lives of two very young runaways, this book looks right into the center the life of an addict and the devastating consequences that addiction brings.There was a surge in popularity of drug films in the 90's and early 00's. And if you have ever seen "Requiem for a Dream" in particular, you will know the exact level of brutality to expect. [...]

    17. I find myself just thinking "meh" about this book--which is pretty good since I HATED it throughout the first half. I found the characters, particularly Gemma, to be shallow and annoying. Basically I wanted to pull my hair out anytime I read a chapter from Gemma's point of view. Looking back though, I'm not sure that I was supposed to like any of the characters. I imagine that a 14-year-old bratty runaway turned drug-addict would probably be pretty close to how Burgess paints Gemma. So points fo [...]

    18. Two kids, Tar and Gemma, run away from home. Tar runs escape being beaten, Gemma to have freedom she desires. While on the run, They meet other people "on the run". These people introduce them to drugs. From there they all spiral out of control. They try to get clean but they begin to realize that it is alot harder then they ever could have imagined. The question becomes, will they ever be able to get their lives back on track or will their addiction lead them to their death?

    19. I read this a few years ago when I was trying to write a book about drug use and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found the book to be very interesting and compelling - a page turner. I liked the way that it was written and it had good pace. The book was quite emotive and it was easy to make connections with the characters. Thoroughly enjoyable.

    20. This review contains some spoilers as I mention things that happen in the story to make some pointsWell, let me sum up this book in one gif (and I feel this is really appropriate)Oh, first off I need to say that I'm REALLY CONFUSED about how this is a children's book. I mean, it won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, among others, and I had to read this for my Children's Literature module. I- well, I would not let my child read this under the age of like 15. It's full of drugs (obviously, an [...]

    21. A book about a heroin addict. (Yes that's what smack means) so just bewareoh and it's not that crazy at least I don't remember it to be it seems to be made more for a young reader. I want to read it again and will update this review when I do to let y'all know.

    22. i love this books about these two teens that run away. the boy named Tar ran away first because his dad beats him, and his girlfriend Gemma decides to run away because she cant stand her familyey get addicted to heroine and a lot of really crazy stuff happens

    23. I usually like books like this, but this one didn't do it for me. I was totally bored and didn't care much for the characters.

    24. παρότι με σκοτείνιασε και με τύλιξε με ένα ασφυκτικό πέπλο κλειστόφοβίας δεν μπορούσα να το αφήσω από τα χέρια μου. Υπέροχα γραμμένο, διεισδυτικό, μου έφερε λίγο στο μυαλο το "η Αλίκη στη χώρα του L.S.D" που είναι και από τα αγαπημένα μου. Ο τρόπος που μιλά ο Burgess, μέσα από τον κάθ [...]

    25. Smack by Melvin Burgess is a well written book. It touches on the issue of teens, drugs and abuse. This story in particular focuses on two teens named Tar and Gemma who live in England. Tar experienced abuse at home from his father. His mother was an alcoholic and he spent most of his time trying to cover up for her. He eventually gets into a big fight with his father who beats him over chores. That then fuels him to runaway. Gemma lived at home with both her mother and father. They are very pro [...]

    26. Original review I don’t think Junk is powerful. Okay, it gives us the reality of being a junk and what the consequences are, but I don’t think the story is that great. There were many times that the characters were so annoying and were talking about things that weren’t even important. BUT it did affect me, even though it was in a negative way. In the beginning and in the middle of the book, when they didn’t talk about the negative parts of all the drugs, I felt the urge to do it myself. [...]

    27. Gemma and Tar, both young, both naive and both through with living with their abusive, strict parents. David or "Tar" a nickname given to him by his friends is the first to run away, and who else to bring along than his love of his life Gemma. Both innocent at the time find themselves living on the streets struggling until a couple of people befriend them leading them into the life of drugs and crime. Not so long after meeting these new group of friends, drugs are introduced and so is stealing. [...]

    28. Tar and Gemma are young teenagers who run away together; Tar has a reason, Gemma doesn’t – Gemma is bored of her life at home and sick of her parents, whereas Tar’s dad regularly beats him. They become squatters, and meet up with other runaways who introduce them to drugs; they are soon addicted, especially to heroin, and end up doing awful things like stealing and prostitution to fund their addiction. But whilst it is the central focus, this novel isn’t really about that; it’s about g [...]

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