I’m a huge fan of Juno’s work, and she’s an author that i think i will constantly support for a very very long time to come. Not only is she an incredible woman, her books are ridiculously well written and funny. So all that being said, i had high hopes for Meat Market.
Meat Market seems to be set in the same world as her previous novel, Clean, which i also adored. Whereas Clean was about rehab and celebrities being admitted for numerous addictions, Meat Market follows the cut-throat fashion industry and how harsh it can be. I didn’t know what to expect because i have very little knowledge of the fashion industry, nor have i ever had the want to learn about it. Jana was born in London, is in college and has a very stable relationship with her boyfriend Ferdy when she was scouted at Thorpe Park with her friends. Jana is shot in to the fashion world head first and as you can imagine, there’s chaos.
As usual, Juno’s writing was absolutely stunning. She creates a wonderfully humorous world and very amusing and realistic characters. I really loved the way Meat Market was written due to the more adult themes and little bit of stretch to the language used and topics that could be discussed. I haven’t laughed so much at a book for quite some time, mainly because Juno has an excellent grip on sarcasm and how and went to use it.
The characters themselves were excellent too. I thought i’d struggle with the amount of names being thrown at you during this book. There is Jana, her friends, her parents, her teachers, models, model agency workers, photographers, designers, so many characters that get mentioned and i definitely thought i’d forget who was who and what they did. But it turned out it was quite easy to keep track and i think Juno did an excellent job at keeping everyone in line as their own character. Everyone was equally as well rounded as each other and it was interesting to learn about the different personalities of the models. I also really loved Jana as a character. She didn’t turn in to an extremely tough girl all of a sudden (something that really annoys me), she still had human features and a personality throughout, that really shone through as excellent writing.
Without a doubt the strongest part of Meat Market was the story-line. Juno has a skill of making quite a regular story in to something exciting. I never got bored, and i never thought twice about wanting to continue on with the book. We effectively just follow Jana’s journey for the first 200 pages, which is something i’m never too fond of usually, but i think the mix of learning about the industry and the characters made it a lot easier to deal with and actually really fun. The story does definitely get heavier as you go along, similar to Clean, so keep that in mind!
Without a doubt there’s some trigger warnings that go along with this book. Weight related conversations happen very often, along with weight related slurs, so be very aware if you have any triggers regarding your weight. Also there is a very large plot point based around sexual assault. So if you have any triggers relating to that, this book might not be for you either. That being said, if you can deal with these triggers, it’s a wonderfully harsh reality of a book that i enjoyed so much.
I urge you to pick up Meat Market. It’s been one of my most anticipated reads of the year and i’m so happy that i got chance to read this wonderful book. Juno is truly changing the pace of YA and adding something different that many U.K. YA authors aren’t doing. She’s bringing something new to the table and it’s wonderfully refreshing. I want so much more from this world.