Opioid, Indiana

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 24 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

There is some strong writing here, but to me, it felt too meandering for no purpose or to no effect, as if it was still an early draft. 
I definitely enjoyed some of the descriptions and characterization. This was a part of America I was very eager to learn about and experience.
I could have done with shorter bits of backstory, more deftly weaved into the forward action of the plot. The Remote myths didn’t resonate for me, so I ended up skipping them after the first one.
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Thank you NetGalley & SoHo Press for the advanced copy of Opioid, Indiana in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb from Goodreads : "During a week-long suspension from school, a teenage transplant to impoverished rural Indiana searches for a job, the whereabouts of his vanished drug-addicted guardian, and meaning in the America of the Trump years." 

This was a pretty gritty book that i feel YA readers will relate to the most.

I think it was well written and felt like a true story , even though its fiction.

more in depth review to come on GR.
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I struggled to make it through this book. I was intrigued by the very timely topic of the book, but I was not gripped by the writing.
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I finished this book a couple of weeks ago and I cannot stop thinking about it. It's not a true story, but might as well be … certainly a true-to-life snapshot of a teenager's life in a small, impoverished town wrought with dysfunction, sadness, drug addiction and death. I received this book via NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest review - and was absolutely NOT disappointed.

The course of the book takes place in one week while 17-year-old Riggle is suspended from school. Both of Riggle's parents have died, so he lives with his uncle who has recently disappeared - most likely on a drug binge. Rent is due, so Riggle sets out to either find his uncle or find the rent money, whatever happens first.

The premise is what grabbed my interested from the very beginning, but it was the story that kept me engrossed for hours. I've always been one to gravitate towards a gritty novel - either adult or teenage-oriented - and Opioid, Indiana fills that need. Riggle is just a kid living in an adult world, dealing with adult things, while still needing the love and nurturing that only a family can bring. It's a heartbreaking yet riveting story. The writing was honest, beautifully poetic at times. This is definitely a novel I'd read over and over again.
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I read Opioid, Indiana in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for my ecopy, Netgalley  + Soho Press. 

I was intrigued by this one because the opioid epidemic has not been kind to my hometown, and I like reading stories from perspectives of people very different from myself (in this case, a teenage boy.) 

This coming of age story follows one week in the life of Riggle, an orphaned teen living in "Opioid Indiana." Throughout the week, Riggle is on a quest to find his missing uncle. 

What I liked about this story:
- From the very first page, I was immersed in the story. There was very little introduction - it read more like you just stumbled upon any random page in the book. I flew through the book - read it in the span of a weekend. 
- I genuinely felt for Riggle and routed for him throughout the story. He thinks like (I would imagine) a teenage boy thinks. He's imaginative, and goofy, and has the wisdom that comes from experiencing a lot of tragedy at a young age. 

Things I didn't love about this one:
- The book takes place over the span of one week. To accompany each day, there's a little mythological anecdote. While I like the idea of these, I didn't love the execution. I ended up skimming them by the end. 
- I wanted a little more of a visualization of the town itself. Given that it's the name of the book, I expected to feel a little more connection to it. 
- There was a "matter of factness" about the addicts (referred to as junkies, etc) that sometimes bothered me. Maybe it's because it was being told from the perspective of a hardened teenage boy, but there wasn't much empathy.
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Thanks Netgalley and Soho Press for the advanced Kindle copy of Opioid, Indiana by Brian Allen Carr.  Look for this YA book to be released on September 17, 2019.  

Seventeen year old Riggle lives in a small Indiana town with his uncle.  Riggle has experienced more than his fair share of tragedies but tells a stoic and introspective story rife with teenage perspective.  That may be a turn off for some adults, but I think that many YA readers will connect with his authentic voice.
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For what this book is, it's great. Was it for me? Not really.

Riggle has to come up with rent money (800) as his uncle is missing and rent is due. He has to either get the money himself or find his uncle. This leads Riggle and the readers to see the current choas that has hit many of the small towns in America from political events. 

It shows small town America and the issues that teens Riggle's age deal with in a world of cultural and political chaos. It's rare to find a book that goes in such depth of such issues and from a teen's POV.

I recommend this book to people who have, themselves, feel the harrowing affects of current events in Trump's America.
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OPIOID, INDIANA picks you up by the collar. There's no putting it down until the last page. I had both laughed and cried by page 24. The plot is compelling, but there's so much more going on in this book about the nuances and complexities in people....the kind of truth that polarized news cycles just can't quite reach. This novel blurs all of the lines in the best way by getting in proximity with people and by storytelling with empathy. There are no throw-away people in this novel. The protagonist, Riggle, is a 17-year-old with no filter who bumps into controversial topics in the most open-eyed way. He also moves through grief in a way that is both heartbreaking and hopeful. Without giving any spoilers, it should be said that the novel is constructed in an original and suspenseful way, too. Few writers can capture the balance of the light and dark of being human quite like Brian Allen Carr.
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A believable look at a tired, run down town, told in a voice that elicits empathy from the reader. The teenage protagonist has lost everyone he loves, and this is the story of one tough week.
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Riggle, an orphaned teen, has been shifted from one foster home to another until ending up with his opioid-addicted uncle in a small Indiana town. It's a big change from Texas, but he manages to make a friend and find a job. When his uncle disappears, he and his 'aunt' are left with no means of support and they do what must be done to insure their survival.

This coming of age story will be popular with teens.
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Deep, powerful, and moving. This is the story of Riggle, a 17 year old boy suspended from school for the week and looking for his missing, junkie uncle. You'll be hooked from page one, I promise. Opioid, Indiana is a Catcher in the Rye for the 21st century.
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Unfortunately, I only made it about halfway through. I didn't feel much for the characters, and was uninterested in the execution of the plot.
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Opioid, Indiana
Book Review | 📚📚📚📚 4/5
Brian Allen Carr (author) | Soho Press

Growing up as a transplant teenager in Opioid, Indiana isn’t easy. Especially when adults are completely self-occupied, and your only friends are a cellphone-addicted buddy and an insightful hand shadow puppet.

Why I was interested in this book:
Opioid, Indiana is another grit-lit tale, this time from a small midwestern town. Author Brian Allen Carr was written some other gritty and horror-based books that I have not yet read, but have found very intriguing.
Full disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley.com for an honest review. I would not have requested to read this book had I not been interested in the topic. And I was not disappointed!

My assessment:
This was a very finely crafted book. It took place over the course of a week and had all the best elements of a grit-lit novel: a self-reliant and lost protagonist; unavailable, unreliable, and/or self-occupied family and authority figures, and quirky friends and community folk. The story is from the perspective of the 17-year old main character, Riggle. It integrated an allegory of growth via the days of the week, philosophical social construct, and despondent adults. While the situations and commentary were adult and serious, the youthful perspective was riddled with humor and thoughtfulness. The sentence in the book that seemed to sum up the story was “You have to focus on how the pain of now can lead to the joy of tomorrow.”

The biggest challenge I found with the book was its writing perspective. While Riggle is a quasi-experienced teen in Opioid, Indiana, (which could have just as easily been renamed as Anytown, USA) it was hard to believe that he could be so intuitive, know so much about philosophy and life in an academic way, and still be as naïve and in need of adult love as he did. His voice was an awkward mix of teen vernacular and context well beyond his abilities. There were some great support characters who demonstrated providing appropriate attention and nurturing, despondency, or an inability to care.

Stories of the human condition:
This story is a reminder of so many parts of our current country’s problems: addiction, loss and death, child neglect, gun control, fear, and quick answers via Google. It’s also a story for self-realization, hope, personal growth and the pursuit for a positive life. Each character adds to the fairy tale that is Riggle’s life, and the allegorical use of a quirky but lovable, and fantasized authority figure is endearing. Ultimately, it’s a moral of “it gets better, but it’s up to you.”

#OpioidIndiana #Opioid Indiana #BrianAllenCarr #BrianAllenCarr #NetGalley #Net Galley #Soho Press #SohoPress #review-book #book review #ComingOfAge #TuggleGrassBlues #Tuggle Grass Reviews #Tuggle Grass Blues #TuggleGrassReviews
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I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  			
From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.			
During a week-long suspension from school, a teenage transplant to impoverished rural Indiana searches for a job, the whereabouts of his vanished drug-addicted guardian, and meaning in the America of the Trump years.

Seventeen-year-old Riggle is living in rural Indiana with his uncle and uncle’s girlfriend after the death of both of his parents. Now his uncle has gone missing, probably on a drug binge. It’s Monday, and $800 in rent is due Friday. Riggle, who’s been suspended from school, has to either find his uncle or get the money together himself. 

His mission exposes him to a motley group of Opioid locals—encounters by turns perplexing, harrowing, and heartening. Meanwhile, Riggle marks each day by remembering the mythology his late mother invented for him about how the days got their names.
With amazing directness and insight, Carr explores what it’s like to be a high school kid in the age of Trump, a time of economic inequality, addiction, confederate flags, and mass shootings. A work of empathy and insight, Opioid, Indiana pierces to the heart of our moment through an unforgettable protagonist.

This is one h*ll of a polarizing book: Both my husband, my sister and my father (and I) read it and had varying takes on it. (good thing that we are all speed readers or this book would have taken ages to read 😂.)  Therefore, a book club choice it is!!! 

The story is well crafted and it could easily have been a non-fiction book: in fact, when I requested it I was surprised that it was not a true story! The characters are fascinating and they will stick in your brain for weeks on end. No matter what your politics are or your opinion of Donald Trump is. you will enjoy this book and talk about it for weeks: tell your friends to buy it and read it, too! 

For the sake of those gentle readers, I will leave out the profanity I have directed to a certain POTUS: ergo I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by Millenials on Instagram and Twitter) so here we go:  let's give it 	🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡.
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I was hesitant about this book at first. I wound up devouring it in two sittings. I was stuck by the RIggles intelligence and self reflection. It was a book about addiction that did not hit you over the head. I was concerned that it would be added to a chain of books that is voyeuristic, but the narrator made it personal.
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This novel was surprisingly refreshing considering that it covers today's current events, which are relatively degrading and depressing, with such candor and wit from our 17 year old main character.  This novel will attract both YA and adult readers.  The novel begins with our main character, Riggle, questioning his personal identity in this world of locking up immigrants at the border, locking up drug addicts, waking up to discover his mother dead in bed, his father already dead, and dreading finding out if his uncle, who he is living with in Indiana, after leaving Texas, is dead from an overdose.  The novel begins talking about fitting in as white, Hispanic, mixed race, where race didn't seem to matter as much in Texas as it does when he moves to a small town in Indiana, where he faces more Confederate flags, more Trumpers, more discrimination, more pain..  What makes the novel so unique is hearing about all this through the voice of a teenager, and how all this political and cultural madness  affects teens, people who are rarely considered when discussing politics.  I love how the author address gun violence and brings up the Parkland massacre. It does show the emergency of  teen activism. Carr hauled ass to get this novel written--very timely, very enjoyable, even though the novel is surrounded by such bleakness.
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