That’s how seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley has always thought of herself. Caring for her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But lately she’s grown resentful of everyone—including her needy best friend and her absent mom—taking her loyalty for granted.
Then Arden stumbles upon a website called Tonight the Streets Are Ours, the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter, who gives voice to feelings that Arden has never known how to express. He seems to gether in a way that no one else does, and he hasn’t even met her.
Until Arden sets out on a road trip to find him.
During one crazy night out in New York City filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either. ~ Goodreads
Source: ARC provided through he publisher via BEA15
My thoughts: I absolutely adored Sales This Song Will Save Your Life so I couldn’t wait to dive into his one but nothing seemed to click for me. I didn’t connect with the writing, the characters, the plot – nothing grabbed me. I quit at page 70 but I’ve heard the story picks up in the second half.
Sales is quite good at honest YA depictions so I’m willing to give her next book a try.
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. ~ Goodreads
Source: ARC provided by the publisher via Amazon Vine
My thoughts: I think this was a case of bait and switch that left me disappointed. I was hoping to read an edgy, gritty portrayal of drug trials and their consequences but Placebo Junkies is more about mental illness with an unreliable narrator. Not necessarily a bad thing – just not what I picked up the book for. The drug trials seem to be thrown in as an afterthought near the end and all the twists meant to keep you unbalanced rather than add anything to the story.
A boldly surreal novel from one of the best YA writers working today.
Four talented teenagers are traumatized-coping with grief, surviving trauma, facing the anxiety of standardized tests and the neglect of self-absorbed adults—and they'll do anything to escape the pressure. They'll even build an invisible helicopter, to fly far away to a place where everyone will understand them... until they learn the only way to escape reality is to fly right into it. ~ Goodreads
Source: ARC provided by the publisher via BEA15
My thoughts: I Crawl Through It is different from anything I’ve even read and even though, at this point, I dnf’d it, I think I will come back to it.
Surreal, and filled with metaphors that I just wasn’t understanding – I ended up frustrated and baffled.
Despite my lack of understanding, I think this book is important to young readers who can connect with the metaphors that relate to the overwhelming anxieties that teenagers face today. The writing is odd yet gorgeous.