Thyme Gilcrest is an honors student.
Thyme Gilcrest is popular.
Thyme Gilcrest is on student council.
Thyme Gilcrest is a drug dealer.
Like piecing together a logic puzzle, Thyme has organized a complex trading system that enables her to obtain the meds her friends need. They all come to her to diagnose their problems and provide the “cure” — be it Prozac, Ritalin, Vicodin…She’s therapist, doctor, and pharmacist all in one. She helps people. And that makes her feel a little more in control — a little more capable of dealing with her own frantic high school life. Because Thyme Gilcrest is nothing if not good at dealing.
Design – Greg Stadnyk
I really like that the cover for this story shows pill capsules all shiny and brightly colored like candy. The way the pills are evenly spaced out makes it feel clean and clinical. I also like how the title is written like it is on an actual doctor’s prescription pad. Overall, this cover is simple, clean, but very appropriate to the story.
Rx is the story of Thyme’s journey through her junior year of high school, from stressed out to drugged up. Thyme’s quest to help herself focus while studying soon blossoms into Thyme diagnosing and providing prescription drugs to her friends and people who treat her like a friend because of what she can get them. This book follows Thyme as she begins using and abusing prescription drugs, and becomes her school’s go-to dealer. It chronicles one of the most stressful years of your life – the year of college applications on top of regular classes and life.
- ending – I adore a nice inconclusive ending when it works with the story, and this one is great. When it’s a story about someone dealing drugs, there are a certain set of ways you’d envision the story ending, either with an arrest or bust, or with the dealer choosing to quit, or with some narrow escape. Thyme’s ending is really none of these scenarios, but one entirely in line with who Thyme is as a character, and it’s the best ending I could possibly imagine to this book.
- college stress – Thyme’s high school is so competitive that one of the cliques is ‘The Twenty’ – the kids with the twenty highest GPAs in their grade. That’s a lot of pressure to begin with. No one I know went through high school always aware of their class rank. They’re in AP and honors classes, taking and retaking standardized tests like the SATs, and applying for colleges. All of these things are very realistic to what high school juniors go through now.
- variety of customers – Thyme finds that there’s a lot of variety in her customer base. There are people whose parents won’t listen to concerns that they need medication; people who want to stress less about tests, oral reports, or studying; and people who just want to get high on something. The more valid their reason, the more desperate their need. Members of the Twenty trust Thyme because she’s almost one of them, while the druggies know they can just get their high from someone else. Thyme also discovers that everyone’s parents are either using or abusing prescription meds, and that their teachers are addicted to caffeine and sleep aids.
- Lida + Suze – Thyme’s supposedly close friends are either ignoring or betraying her. Lida is self-absorbed, off partying constantly and generally being a flake. Suze seems like a more reliable friend, yet acts selfishly and never acknowledges anything Thyme is doing or feeling. Overall, neither of these two are good friend to Thyme during this book – instead always taking and never giving, whether it be support, drugs, or Thyme’s possessions.
- everyone’s on drugs – It seems like Thyme doesn’t know a single person on drugs that were actually prescribed to them, or anyone who isn’t on drugs. Even the people not buying from Thyme are selling to her. I think Will is probably the only one not using anything. He’s the most likable character, yet the first person Thyme chooses to screw over. It just strikes me as strange that Thyme knows the street value of multiple prescription drugs, yet seemingly doesn’t know a single person who isn’t either prescribed drugs or interested in getting their hands on some.
End of my junior year was rapidly telescoping into my thirties, and the rest of my life.
Without thinking about it, I put my hand to my chest where my heart had begun to beat out of control. It probably looked really Victorian or something, like I was a woman with the vapors, about to faint.
– pg. 48
“Holy Christ,” Will swore, putting his drink down. “Why do any of you even bother with all of this? You cram and study and volunteer to teach orphaned dolphins how to dance just to get into snotty colleges so you can graduate, become consultants, get married, and raise little clones…who you force to do flash cards, cram, and study all over again. None of you is going to be a Nobel Prize winner or cure cancer or write poetry. So what the hell’s the point?”
An explosion or lightbulb went off in my head.
That was it.
I was angry all the time about the future I didn’t want with people I didn’t like. But I didn’t know what I wanted – so what else was there to do? That one path seemed unavoidable.
– Will + Thyme pg. 151-152