Teenagers In Real Life (irl) – A Very Short Story

This actually happened:

Two seniors walked into the school courtyard yesterday. They were both holding their phones out in front of them.

Senior 1 said, “Who’s your best friend?”

Senior 2 said, “I’m not sure. Lemme check…” Then he looked at his phone. “Oh, it’s you!”

“Wait, what?” Senior 1 tilted his head his head to the side. “That’s not right.”

“No, it is. Look, you’re my best friend. It says so right here.” He tilted his phone’s screen so his friend could see it.

“Nope,” Senior 1 said. “See this?” Now he held his phone up to his friend’s face. “You’re not my best friend. It says so right here.”

Book Giveaway (10 Free Hardbacks) + A Mad-Libs Summary

Knopf, Random House, and the book blog Me, My Shelf, and I are teaming up to give away 10 free hardback copies of This Is The Part Where You laugh.

Click here to see a Mad-Libs style summary of the book and to enter your name in the giveaway.

New Piece On Censorship – Huffington Post

I’m writing for The Huffington Post again (after a three year break). Here’s my new piece on censorship:

“Should We Censor What Teens Read?”

Podcast Appearance + Question Of The Day

Following my book release of THIS IS THE PART WHERE YOU LAUGH last week, I appeared on a new podcast from Ben Leroy and Adams Media.

Click on the book cover to hear the interview:

This Is The Part Cover

Also, there’s a question of the day at the end of the interview:

“Are some kids beyond help?” Basically, are some young people too messed up to ever rehabilitate? If you’d like to, give your take on that question in the comment section below.

My New Book Released This Week

PLACEBO JUNKIES Coming Out This Week From Knopf

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J. C. Carleson’s new book, Placebo Junkies, is coming out this week from Knopf, and I wanted to write a few words about it (avoiding spoilers):

First, this book is well-written. The phrasing is great. The voice is consistent and engaging. For an example, here’s half of a sentence from the first chapter:

” …hold in that razor-blade wetness long enough to find a cup, a bucket, anything to catch it, dammit, and you barely manage to stifle your scream of triumph as you find an empty Snapple bottle in the trash can and fill it with your beautiful, cloudy piss with its faint but unmistakable trace of blood.”

Second, this book is gritty (see example above). The characters, events, and relationships are real, honest, and brutal.

Third, this book will make you think about some big, important social and societal issues. How’s that for a vague promo with no spoilers?

Finally – and maybe most important for a young adult book – you will never be bored while reading this. There wasn’t a single moment when I thought, “Yeah, I’ll just read something else for a while and put this book down.” No, Placebo Junkies has enough of the unexpected to keep a reader going all the way until the end.