Front Cover
Penguin Books, 1997 - Child abuse - 278 pages
17 Reviews
Winner of both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children's Fiction prize, Melvin Burgess's controversial young adult novel Junk redefined teenage fiction with its frank and honest portrayal of teenagers addicted to heroin in Bristol. Junk = heroin = bliss = despair = a love affair you'll never forgetTar loves Gemma, but Gemma doesn't want to be tied down - to anyone or anything. Gemma wants to fly. But no one can fly forever. One day, somehow, finally, you have to come down.'Haunting and remarkable for the insight and understanding with which the author develops the characters' - Guardian'Believable and rivetingly readable. I couldn't put it down' - Evening Standard'A powerful talent who offers few easy solutions' - The TimesAward-winning children's author Melvin Burgess is one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary young adult fiction. His most well-known book Junk won the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Fiction prize and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year. Other titles by Melvin Burgess available from Penguin include: Sara's Face, Nicholas Dane, Doing IT (winner of the LA Times Young People's Book of the Year) and Kill All Enemies. If you enjoyed Junk and want to get inside more of your favourite books, then check out spinebreakers.co.uk for exclusive author interviews, competitions, and much more.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ClicksClan - LibraryThing

Remembered one of my friends reading this when we were at secondary school so I had a fair idea of what this was about and what would happen. Most of the characters really annoyed me and I felt like ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - satyridae - LibraryThing

I was up a goodly portion of the night reading this book. I didn't mean to be. It's that kind of book, though. Stark, brilliant and uncompromising, this is the story of a couple of kids who find a ... Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

5 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1997)

Melvin Burgess is best known as the author of Junk - one of the most acclaimed and controversial books for young people ever to have been written. Neither the fact that Melvin came to write Junk, nor its resulting success surprised those already familiar with his work. "This writer involves the reader (and) plays havoc with the emotions," observed Wendy Cooling long before the controversy over Junk began. His debut novel The Cry of the Wolf had prompted author Robert Westall to say, "As the shocker of the seventies, I'd like to say hello to the shocker of the nineties...". The Cry of the Wolf was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, as were Burgess's later titles: An Angel For May, The Baby and Fly Pie and The Ghost Behind the Wall. Fly Pie, a thriller in which a group of street children get involved in a baby kidnap, provided a clear signpost to the road that Burgess was travelling; the road that would lead to Junk, Bloodtide and, most recently, Lady: My Life as a Bitch. (Described by The Guardian as " a book about a teenage girl who embarks on a rampant sexual odyssey on the eve of her GCSEs.")

Melvin Burgess was brought up in Sussex and Berkshire. As a child, his reading included The Wind in the Willows and Gerald Durrell's animal stories. He went on to enjoy The H

Bibliographic information