Rx by Tracy Lynn

Tracy Lynn crafts another gripping, yet comedic, novel for the eyes of young adults. This book, titled Rx helps the modern teenager understand the ongoing strife between their daily ‘Job’ of being a teenager and the struggles that come with it: self-esteem issues, self-recognition, relationships, romanticism, academic achievement, and highlights drug abuse.

Rx’s main character, Thyme, has a preconceived fascination with drugs, not because she wants to have to rely on them. Simply because of what drugs have the ability to do;

“They can’t make you fly, but that can make you feel like you do. They can make you jump higher and run faster. Think better and smarter. Make your cough and cold go away. Put you to sleep. Wake you up. Get old geezers’ johnnies goind and put the kibosh on sexual predators. They can grow more hair for you or stop it from growing on your chin. They can give you clear, beautiful skin. They can keep you from getting pregnant or help you get pregnant. Cure your salmonella, your gonorrhea, your fricking foot fungus. Forget just uppers and downers: Prescription drugs really are the magic potions of the real world.” Thyme is like many other high school students that experiment with prescription pills; she is curious and wants to know more about them, and for this curiosity, she cannot be blamed.

She begins her short tenure as a drug dealer in her upscale suburban high school after she steals her close friend, and eventual boyfriend, Will’s bottle of Ritalin for herself to use as a study drug after he rejects using it. Once she begins using it for herself, she starts to try other drugs wherever she may find them: medicine cabinets, purses, kitchen counters, friends’ book bags. Once she begins controlling her own mood swings and the counter effects of the drugs she’s taking, she begins selling and dealing them to her other friends that have the same dependences as she does. 

In the final section of the book (the novel is divided into two sections: Junior Year and Senior Year, the last chapter of the book, titled The End goes into Thyme’s very first year as a freshman in college), Thyme finds herself in the bathroom of her dorm in college, and as she organizes her bathroom caddy, she finds a few pills. She goes to the toilet to flush them down and end her cycle as a dealer, but before she can react, she overhears her new acquaintances asking where they might get Adderall or Ritalin or Stratera. They're willing to pay, and Thyme is willing to supply.

Tracy Lynn crafts Thyme in a way that she does not, in any way, fit the profile of a drug dealer: she is a straight A student, intent on going to college, finishing her work, being kind and cordial with everyone, looking out for those she loves, living in an affluent community. She doesn’t have the assumed conniving spirit of a drug dealer. She keeps her situation quiet for as long as possible, she remains under the radar.

Lynn shows that not only middle and lower class children experience the temptation of finding a way to ‘help’ themselves with whatever they need, through the assistance of drugs and drug abuse. She gives a different perspective; it is one that some are aware exists, but is unbeknownst to the masses. She brings it to light in this thought-provoking novel.

In Lynn’s afterword, she tells her readers that her reasons for writing a book such as Rx are “purely personal”. She was friends with two people whose lives were adversely affected by the wear and tear of illegally obtained prescription drug addiction and abuse. She warns readers that the phrase “just say no” does not get easier to follow with age. A touching finish to a book such as this, I find that Tracy Lynn really implemented her personal life in this novel, which is always reassuring to recognize when it comes to a novel like this.

I find that the summary on the back fits the book perfectly, but doesn’t give too much away. It summarizes but isn’t too revealing. Rx by Tracy Lynn is a novel that I recommend to those who love a book that they can connect with. I found one quote especially moving, and have used it in my writing:  “In high school, hell is not the absence of God, but of communication.” I will carry that with me forever. Nevertheless, Rx is a novel for all readers. Insightful and appealing, Rx will always find itself on my bookshelf.