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.
J. C. CARLESON is a former undercover CIA officer who has navigated war zones, jumped out of airplanes, and worked on the frontlines of international conflicts. She now writes when she’s not traveling the globe with her husband and two… More about J.C. Carleson
“A perplexing, thrilling whirlwind of a read… This smart, beguiling novel will usher readers into the bizarre—but reality-based—subculture of drug-trial ‘volunteers.'” —Booklist
“There’s no denying the story’s power. Raw, funny, grotesque, unsettling, and very sad.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Audie’s character is well-drawn and totally believable, immersing readers in her world and, hopefully, opening the door to an ethical discussion about current mental health issues.” —School Library Journal
“A chatty, clever narrator with a twisted sense of humor grounds the story . . . raising challenging questions about medicine, ethics, and the true cost of big breakthroughs.” —Publishers Weekly