Smack, by Melvin Burgess, reviewed by Kinberly Warner-Cohen

Wasn’t quite sure about Melvin Burgess’ Smack when I first picked it up. Just seemed like another book about another set of junkies. What I wasn’t prepared for was the raw honesty of the story, combined with the ease in which I got caught up in the narrative.
Meant for young adults, the story concerns two runaways, Tar and Gemma, living on the streets of London and embrace the squatter lifestyle. This spins out of control as their drug use progresses from pot to eventually heroin which in turn leads to petty shoplifting, some of the old ultra-violence and prostitution.
Burgess pulls off a technique that few other writers can, easily switching from the main character’s point of view to many of the others without missing a beat. That accomplishment itself was enough to make me glad I didn’t pass this one by.
If you, like me, don’t flinch during Trainspotting or turn off Requiem for a Dream midway through, you’ll like this one.

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