Juno Dawson – YA Author

Juno Dawson has been writing for young adults since 2012 and has won a number of awards for her books, including the 2020 YA Book Prize.


Please note that these books are for older teens and young adults and include mature themes.

Meat market is my favourite Juno Dawson book so far. It tells the story of Jana, a young woman who is “unexpectedly scouted as a model and catapulted to superstardom”. This book delves into the seedy world of modelling, and covers themes including sexual assault, drug use and body image issues. Ex-models have praised the accuracy of this book’s depiction of the industry – a testament to Juno’s extensive research. The author has perfected the voice of a teenager with her authentic wording for the character’s age. I also liked the minor characters, especially Jana’s boyfriend and the other young models.

The style of this book is one I love – with media articles, text messages, and interviews interspersed with short chapters (the chapter names are also great!). This book is recommended for ages 15+


Clean is a 2018 publication and an account of a teen socialite who is forced into rehab. The main character, Lexi, is very funny and not shy when it comes to profanity. Her journey through addiction and onto the road to recovery is told in a sensitive and relatable way. Dawson’s style of character development is again well demonstrated with great personalities joining Lexi in rehab for a range of issues, including anorexia, binge-eating, and OCD.

Again, the chapter layout was unique – 12-step program headings such as  Step 5: I accept I am not a bad person.


The newest book from Juno Dawson is Wonderland

Alice lives in a world of stifling privilege and luxury – but none of it means anything when your own head plays tricks on your reality. When her troubled friend Bunny goes missing, Alice becomes obsessed with finding her. On the trail of her last movements, Alice discovers a mysterious invitation to ‘Wonderland’: the party to end all parties – three days of hedonistic excess to which only the elite are welcome.

I enjoyed the play on ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and the references to characters from the above two books, but I didn’t like it as much. This book contains plenty of sex, drugs and swearing (as the back cover says: not suitable for younger readers!) and explores mental health issues, privilege and identity. It is aimed at ages 16+ and seems more targeted at this young adult age group than her other books, which also appealed to a middle-aged mum like myself!

Link to Catalogue record for Meat market
Link to Catalogue record for Clean
Link to Catalogue record for Wonderland


In addition to her popular YA novels, Juno has published a number of non-fiction books on topics including gender, puberty, and LGBTQ+ issues. She is a transgender woman and writes from a place of experience and care.

You can reserve any of Juno’s books by clicking on the covers or see all of her titles on the library catalogue.

Link to Catalogue record for What's the T? : the no-nonsense guide to being trans and/or non-binary for teens
Link to Catalogue record for Mind your head
Link to Catalogue record for What is gender? How does it define us? and other big questions
Link to Catalogue record for This book is gay