Rx

Book review by
Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
Rx Book Poster Image
Heavy look at prescription drug abuse for teens.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 17 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids learn a lot about prescription drug abuse and how common it is. Could lead to some good discussions between parents and teens (see our "What To Talk About" section for some conversation starters).

Positive Messages

Teens will never forget that this book has a message: to educate kids -- and parents -- about the dangers of prescription drugs. Narrator Thyme not only details her own addiction, but also documents the drugs' prevalence by including bits of drug talk heard in the halls of her high school and by weaving drug facts into her story.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Parents certainly wouldn't want their teens selling and using prescription drugs the way Thyme does, but her story is a good cautionary tale -- and in the end, she learns some painful lessons about the dangers of turning to drugs to solve problems.

Violence

A teen commits suicide.

Sex

Thyme has a boyfriend, but it doesn't go beyond kissing. A friend has casual sex and thinks she's pregnant.

Language

Lots of "f--k."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

This novel is about prescription drug addiction, and almost everyone is taking them, from teens to parents. This is an educational novel, though, full of facts and storylines meant to raise awareness of prescription drug abuse. The story also includes drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book is about a teen girl's addiction to Ritalin. Almost every character in the book -- parent and teen -- takes drugs (prescription or recreational), and the protagonist becomes a popular dealer at her high school. There's also swearing, drinking, casual sex (a character thinks she's pregnant), and a suicide. But this is a cautionary tale full of facts and storylines meant to raise awareness of prescription drug abuse.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bylive.love.elise December 6, 2009

An honest book with an important message

This book was a great portrail of perscription drugs in high school. One reason I loved it so much was because it was honest and didn't pretend to be somet... Continue reading
Parent of a 14 year old Written byCocoLaFille June 13, 2010

Great book , teaches the harshness of drugs

The book has a great story line and a lot of interesting twists. There is some inapproraite parts though including a complicated teen pregnancy, drug abuse and... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bylilpepper127 April 9, 2008

good book

I loved this book. especially the ending when she doesn't throw the two riralin pills in the toilet. Whic means she has not fully left her high school habi... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bygsfjelp9 April 9, 2008

every teen should read

I like this book so far and i do know kids like this that use ritilin and atterol just to use it. I lost one of my best friends cause he was crushing up these m... Continue reading

What's the story?

An overachieving high school student decides she has ADHD and starts taking Ritalin (stolen from a friend). Soon she's hooked, diagnosing her peers so she can deal to them -- and keep supporting her habit. Teens will never forget that this book has a message: to educate kids -- and parents -- about the dangers of prescription drugs. Narrator Thyme not only details her own addiction, but also documents the drugs' prevalence by including bits of drug talk heard in the halls of her high school and by weaving facts about the drugs into her story. Her mom even trades Xanax with her co-workers.

Is it any good?

This is a dramatic story -- Thyme deals with withdrawal, having her stash stolen (and found by police), and even a teen client's suicide. But it's a timely book, too. The author is definitely didactic, but she connects the dots well, showing how the pressure to succeed combines so dangerously with the prevalence of pills, prescriptions, and self-diagnosis, creating a serious culture of dependency for both teens and parents. Parents are encouraged to read along -- and discuss -- this book with their teens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the book's relevance. Do they have friends -- or classmates -- who use prescription drugs, legally or illegally? What have they heard about "study drugs" like Ritalin and Adderall?

  • This book shows both kids and parents taking lots of prescription drugs; are we too drug-dependent as a society? Do TV ads that promise dramatic weight loss or the end of depression have an impact on our culture's drug use?

Book details

For kids who love controversial books

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