From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up–Thyme, 17, is stressed. She is trying to keep her grades up and maintain her status in The Twenty, a nickname for a group of overachieving, good-school-bound juniors. She steals a bottle of Ritalin from her friend Will, thinking it will improve her study habits. An A on a history exam confirms it. Soon, she becomes adept at stealing pills from purses and medicine cabinets, and begins to deal with other students. She even keeps a spreadsheet of classmates problems and pill preferences and who has merchandise she can buy or trade. At the same time, she begins a relationship with Will, continues in the National Honor Society, studies for her SATs, and applies to college. Following the overdose/suicide of a fellow honor student, Thyme finally decides to quit. Her recovery is a little too easy, but the descriptions of addiction and the stresses that cause it are accurate. Thyme observes the emptiness and materialism of the adults lives around her and their abuse of prescription medication, including her father. Given the situations and characters, the abundant use of graphic language is realistic. This quick read may warn some teens of the dangers of drugs.–Debbie Stewart Hoskins, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 9-12. In the tradition of Go Ask Alice
(1971) and Melvin Burgess' Smack
(1998), Lynn (the pen name of author Elizabeth Braswell) offers a cautionary tale of high-school drug abuse. Thyme is barely hanging on to her top-20 academic and social status at elite Ashbury High School. Unable to convince her distant parents that she has ADHD, she swipes a bottle of Ritalin from a friend and, after taking the first pill, realizes a control and focus she has never known. Desperate to retain her newfound abilities, she begins to buy and then sell or trade a laundry list of well-known prescriptions. Gradually, she becomes not just a user but also a popular, life-of-the-party dealer. This is a grim, didactic, recognizable story of high-school pressures, drug abuse, and teen angst, accentuated with not-so-veiled suggestions of a drug-dependent adult population too zoned out to notice its own missing meds and desperate children. Its somewhat strident drug message and only marginally hopeful ending may deter some teen readers. Adults can only hope the book will make a difference. Frances BradburnCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved