Rx

Common Sense Media says

Heavy look at prescription drug abuse for teens.

Age(i)

2
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5
6
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8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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
Not applicable
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.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Author:Tracy Lynn
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon Pulse
Publication date:March 16, 2006
Number of pages:272
Read aloud:15
Read alone:15

This review of Rx was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 16 years old Written bylilpepper127 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

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 habit behind.
Teen, 16 years old Written bygsfjelp9 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

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 meds and snorting them like coke. i have not done that but i have taken oxycodone just to feel good. but it made me sick cause kept doing it and i had to end up taking 9 1/2 of them just to feel good because my body got used to them and i had to be rushed to the hospital. so i do believe that all teens that want to take drugs should should read this and think of the consequences.
Teen, 16 years old Written byelizfo April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Hits the real issues facing teens

This book talks about the real world. Kids at my highschool are addicts and it was helpful to me and my friends to read this. it was totally appropriate, because it's what actually is going on.

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