Junkie Love follows the roughly ten years Clifford spent wandering the streets of San Francisco and beyond, first as a wannabe rock star, and then as another homeless junkie with his head lost in the stars.
In between are the harrowing events and close calls, the shady characters and the enduring friendships, the redemption and restitution that led Fix Magazine to call Junkie Love “one of top four recovery memoirs” of all time.
From the Forward by Jerry Stahl
"The good news is Clifford’s is exactly the kind of voice our poor, strung-out country deserves in these toxic end-times. Like his hero Kerouac, this is a writer drawn to life’s more rough-edged and unsung corners. But, in the best Beat tradition, he writes about the lost and monstrous with a life-affirming, almost depraved sweetness. The miracle is, hardcore addicted, in love with a beautiful schizophrenic, Clifford returned with mind and talent intact. But that no trace of clichéd bitterness or streety one-downsmanship pollutes his tone."
Joe Clifford is the author of several books, including The One That Got Away and the Jay Porter Thriller Series, as well as editor of the anthologies Trouble in the Heartland: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Bruce Springsteen; Just to Watch Them Die: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Johnny Cash, and Hard Sentences, which he co-edited. Joe’s writing can be found at www.joeclifford.com.
Named to School Library Journal Best Books of 2014
Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy's pregnancy, Sebastian's coming out, the cute boys, her father's meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.
My mother named me Gabriella, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn't want to meet me when I was born because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her. BEAT HER! She was twenty-five. That story is the basis of my sexual education and has reiterated why it's important to wait until you're married to give it up. So now, every time I go out with a guy, my mom says, "Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas." Eyes open, legs closed. That's as far as the birds and the bees talk has gone. And I don't mind it. I don't necessarily agree with that whole wait until you're married crap, though. I mean, this is America and the 21st century; not Mexico one hundred years ago. But, of course, I can't tell my mom that because she will think I'm bad. Or worse: trying to be White.
Isabel Quintero is a library technician in the Inland Empire. She is also the events coordinator for Orange Monkey and helps edit the poetry journal Tin Cannon. Gabi is her debut novel.
"Sáenz' poetic narrative will captivate readers from the first sentence to the last paragraph of this beautifully written novel. . . . It is also a celebration of life and a song of hope in celebration of family and friendship, one that will resonate loud and long with teens."—Kirkus Reviews
"…There is never a question of either Sáenz’s own extraordinary capacity for caring and compassion or the authenticity of the experiences he records in this heartfelt account of healing and hope."—Booklist
"Offering insight into [an adolescent's] addiction, dysfunction and mental illness, particularly in the wake of traumatic events, Sáenz's artful rendition of the healing process will not soon be forgotten."—Publishers Weekly
"Sáenz weaves together [18-year-old] Zach's past, present, and changing disposition toward his future with stylistic grace and emotional insight. This is a powerful and edifying look into both a tortured psyche and the methods by which it can be healed."—School Library Journal
Zach is eighteen. He is bright and articulate. He's also an alcoholic and in rehab instead of high school, but he doesn't remember how he got there. He's not sure he wants to remember. Something bad must have happened. Something really, really bad. Remembering sucks and being alive—well, what's up with that?
I have it in my head that when we're born, God writes things down on our hearts. See, on some people's hearts he writes Happy and on some people's hearts he writes Sad and on some people's hearts he writes Crazy on some people's hearts he writes Genius and on some people's hearts he writes Angry and on some people's hearts he writes Winner and on some people's hearts he writes Loser.
It's all like a game to him. Him. God. And it's all pretty much random. He takes out his pen and starts writing on our blank hearts. When it came to my turn, he wrote. I don't like God very much. Apparently he doesn't like me very much either. Sad
Benjamin Alire Sáenz is a prolific novelist, poet, and author of children's books. Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, his first novel for young adults, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a Young Adult Library Services Association Top Ten Books for Young Adults pick in 2005.