This book tells you what it's about right in the title; it's about smack, heroin, junk, whatever you want to call it. Smack is about two fourteen-year-olds living in squats in England in the 1980s. One of them, Tar, has an alcoholic mom and gets beat up by his dad so he runs away to live in a squat. His girlfriend, Gemma, hates her parents' restrictions, so she runs away to live with him. In Bristol, they meet two other teenagers, who introduce them to the drug that consumes their lives, heroin. Over the next four years, they are faced with addiction, prostitution, and numerous other things they didn't count on as they fall into and out of love with each other and heroin. They struggle with getting out of the deep hole of addiction, facing their parents, and regaining the lives they've created but have lost control of; all while learning many lessons about life, love, and themselves.
Burgess' style of writing each chapter from the view of a different character really pulls you into every side of the story, so that you feel like you are there. You come to know the characters inside and out, love them; you feel their pain and their joy. You worry for them and cheer for them throughout the whole book. But in addition to knowing the characters, you end up knowing the drug, heroin. This book reinforces everything you've ever been taught about drugs in a way more real than any health class.
I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants some drama, excitement, and emotion in a book. Teens especially will enjoy this book because they can relate to the feelings and the mindsets of the characters and what they are experiencing in this modern setting.