Saturday, January 2, 2016


Placebo Junkies
PLACEBO JUNKIES by J.C. Carleson presents a subject I never even thought about.  Although I have seen drug trial advertisements on TV and online, I never considered the idea as a way to make a living, but after reading this book, my eyes have been opened.

The lure of easy money attracts Audie and her friends.  As a minor teen living on her own, Audie has very few options when it comes to earning enough money to avoid homelessness.  Minimum wage jobs that will hire a teen are limited, and the option of selling her body for sex is not something Audie will consider.  That leaves being a guinea pig. 

Audie convinces herself that her decision to offer up her body as a test subject is somehow honorable.  After all, the results of the tests could help those who need the groundbreaking drugs and procedures to survive debilitating and even deadly diseases.  So what are a few needle sticks, a few tissue samples snipped from her thigh or belly, or a bottle of pills that might be the real thing or just a placebo as long as there's a paycheck involved.  The money always justifies the headaches, the rashes, and the bellyaches.

When Audie meets Dylan, she is even more convinced that her work is important.  Dylan is perfect except for the fact that he has cancer.  Hoping for remission that will keep Dylan with her, Audie is planning a huge birthday surprise for him if her body can take it.  Her roommate Charlotte suggests one last whirlwind of drug trials to make earn enough money to pay for a dream trip for Dylan.  Both girls know the risks and are willing to accept the consequences.

As Audie's story unfolds, readers will learn more and more about the problems created by such a risky way of life.  Audie's mental stability is questionable and begins to complicate matters as she finds it difficult to separate fiction from reality.  Author J. C. Carleson includes a surprise twist that will shock readers and keep them thinking long beyond the last page.

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