Thursday, January 28, 2016

Placebo Junkies by J.C. Carleson

You have to feel for Audie. She seems cool with everything, but her life is far from ideal. Audie makes money through medical trials. She fills out forms and answers questions; takes pills and injections; gets poked and prodded. All for the advancement of medicine! If only it was as noble as it sounds. If only the trials and medical personnel were as ethical as they should be.

Audie is just one of a group of people who sell their flesh to the medical profession. It is a seedy underworld of existence where the 'guinea pigs' cheat the rules by participating in more trials than permissible (nobody checks). It's a risk, but money is in short supply so Audie does what she needs to do. And the higher the risk, the bigger the payoff.

Audie wants to take her terminally ill boyfriend Dylan on a special vacation. If Audie can make enough money, she and Dylan can get away. Maybe she can even quite doing the trials. Maybe...maybe...Audie has no idea where her life is going. Her story is often cringe worthy and sometimes heartbreaking, but worth exploring.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Willowdean lives in a small Texas town known for its Miss Clover City beauty pageant. Her mom is a former winner. Willowdean has always hated the pageant - she does not have the physique of a 'beauty' queen, and she is really ok with that. Her mom on the other hand sees Willowdean's weight is a character flaw. So every year when it is pageant time, Willowdean braces herself while her mother dives deep into the preparations for the pageant as one of its directors.

It's not all about the pageant. First, there's Bo. He's the hot guy behind the grill at the hamburger joint where Willowdean works. He's been paying attention to her. When they kiss, Willowdean cannot figure out what someone like Bo would see in a fat girl like her.

Second, Willowdean is still not over the loss of her beloved aunt Lucy. She was not petite either and lived with Willowdean and her mom. Lucy shared her love of Dolly Parton with Willowdean. She had a bond with her aunt that she will never have with her mother.

Third, Willowdean's best friend Ellen seems to be drifting away. She has a new friend (who Willowdean can't stand) and a job at a 'skinney girls' store.

Willowdean decides to make a statement by joining the pageant. It turns out to be more difficult than she thought.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site.