My posts may contain affiliate links, if you buy something through these links it doesn't cost you anything, but I may make a small commission which helps to keep this site up and running. Your virtual dog could be the next champion!

26 March 2019

Book Review: Meat Market by Juno Dawson *AD Gifted

Quercus Children's Books sent me a free electronic review copy of Meat Market by Juno Dawson via NetGalley.

Meat Market by Juno Dawson is a caustic take-down of misogyny and the treatment of girls in the fashion industry. It's dark and uplifting, haunting at times, and amazingly written. It is sublime.

Meat Market by Juno Dawson coverAdd to Goodreads button
Jana Novak's history sounds like a classic model cliché: tall and gangly, she's uncomfortable with her androgynous looks until she's unexpectedly scouted and catapulted to superstardom.

But the fashion industry is as grimy as it is glamorous. And there are unexpected predators at every turn.

Jana is an ordinary girl from a south London estate, lifted to unimaginable heights. But the further you rise, the more devastating your fall...

Honest and raw, this is a timely exposé of the dark underbelly of the fashion industry in an era of #TimesUp and #MeToo. It might just be Juno Dawson's most important book yet.

Source: NetGalley

5 Word Review: Fashion, pressure, family, friendship, #MeToo.

5 More Words: Strength, abuse, life, change, justice.

Content Warnings: eating disorders, transphobia, sexual assault, sexual harassment, body shaming, coercion, drug use.

When I read Clean last year I thought it was glorious. But when I read Meat Market this year I thought it was sublime. Holy shit, Juno Dawson has done it again. And dare I say it? Meat Market was even better than Clean (which was one of my top reads last year) and I am struggling with how to even begin to review it. So forgive the rambling ahead.

I could not put the book down, I was so caught up in Jana's story. And Jana. Oh, my precious Jana. I cared so bloody much for her. It hurt to read her cracking, breaking, shrinking. But goodness me, she is amazing. I felt like I cracked a little with her at times, I felt violated with her, I felt as invisible as she did despite the billboards, but I also felt the elation of doing something, the high of the catwalk. I felt like I was right there with Jana.

The writing is breathtaking. At times it was like reading poetry, there were so many lines where I just stopped and reread it again and again, read it aloud, listened to how it flowed. It's just so gorgeously crafted. I liked the mix of medias in the story, the references to a piece of trash journalist that had me cackling even as I rolled my eyes at the misogyny she spewed.

And yet, Meat Market is such an ugly story. It's so beautiful that it almost hurts to read, and the story itself is so ugly and harsh that at times I didn't want to read on. Meat Market hits right in the feels, it gets right into the heart of you. It's dark and gut-wrenching, but also uplifting and powerful. It made my heart sing, even as it filled me with dread and brought tears to my eyes.

Juno's caustic take-down of the fashion industry, and everything that is wrong with it, is amazing. It's gritty and raw and excruciatingly honest. But it's not just the bad bits cherry picked for drama - Meat Market also shows the good bits, the friendships and highs and the moments that sparkle.

And there was so much swearing and god, I loved it.
Swear Count:
Fuck 194
Shit 92
Bitch 36
Cunt 10

I really love what Juno has done with the ending of Meat Market. It could have been so different, but just like with Clean it circles back on itself a little and offers a bit of hope. A story that was so dark and scary still holds a glimmer of hope.


  1. Sounds like an amazing book! Lovely review, Cora!😊

    Shirley |

  2. man im so excited to give this a try even tho its outta my usual reading genre!!

  3. Oooh I've seen this about and it looks so good!

  4. I'm gonna have to read this now Cora...

  5. Wow! Sounds like and intense but important book. I am definitely interested in reading this one.

  6. I recently got a netgalley copy of this book and I cannot wait to give it a read! Your review has made me more excited! Great review!

  7. I've been seeing this book floating around a lot and definitely need to preorder it after reading your review - it sounds so good!

  8. I've seen this cover a few times and been intrigued, even more intrigued now I know there's a load of swearing haha!

  9. LOVE the swear count! Can't wait to get to this book, love your review :)

  10. Sounds like a great book! Lovely review!

  11. Great review! I’m really intrigued by this book, I read Clean by Juno and enjoyed it so think I’ll like this book too!

  12. This book sounds so interesting, I definitely want to check it out! Lovely review!


Please leave a link to your own blog when you comment, I'd love to visit yours!

Thank you so much for your comment!