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Thyme Gilchrest is a model student who participates in numerous school activities and is definitely college-bound. She has an excellent reputation --- but that is about to change. This upper-middle class teen walks a very fine line, or straddles a pretty wobbly one, depending upon your point of view. Thyme is not your average drug dealer.

The story begins as Thyme is finishing up her junior year. She's obsessed with improving her GPA, getting great scores on her SATs, and being accepted by the "right" college. She has a nice wardrobe, a generous allowance, and all her parents expect of her is that she gets excellent grades and keeps out of trouble.

Thyme is convinced that Ritalin, a prescription medication used to treat attention deficit disorder, would really help her study more efficiently. At school Ritalin is called a "study aid." Unable to convince her parents that she needs to visit a doctor, who she assumes will prescribe Ritalin for her, Thyme steals a bottle of medication from her friend Will. While the contraband Ritalin does help Thyme concentrate on details and memorize facts easily, it doesn't help her understand concepts.

She spends a lot of time online learning about various prescription medications, their uses and side effects. She considers herself a bit of an expert and attempts amateurishly to diagnose other students who seek her out. With her meticulously detailed database, organizing which students she thinks need what drugs and the drugs they may already have access to, Thyme quickly becomes the "go to" person for drugs. Soon she is trading, stealing, buying, and selling drugs at school. She doesn't intend to use anything other than Ritalin, her study aid, but soon she's experimenting with other prescription and illegal drugs.

Thyme gives Dave some Ritalin to try, and he gives her a marijuana joint that she plans to trade for something else. Genevieve notices their transaction and asks Thyme for Xanax; Genevieve has access to codeine and ADD meds. Before long Thyme is deeply involved in drug dealing. She gets invited to parties hosted by the cool kids who used to ignore her. Now they accept her but only because they want what she has to offer --- access to all kinds of drugs.

Thyme finds that Ritalin is not without side effects --- for example, a rather frightening accelerated heart rate. And when she runs out of Ritalin and decides to quit cold turkey she experiences nausea, weakness and depression. She vows never to run out of Ritalin again. The story continues on to its surprising conclusion.

Sometimes the reader almost forgets that this is a work of fiction. The dialogue is very authentic. The descriptions of the stresses of being a teenager, with all the confusion and angst that sometimes accompany the teen years, is entirely believable.

Author Tracy Lynn had only one reason to write a book about illegal use of prescription drugs --- to let the teen reader vicariously and safely understand drug abuse. Armed with detailed, accurate information about drug abuse, Lynn hopes her readers will not, for even a moment, follow Thyme's example.


Reviewed by Carole Turner on October 18, 2011

by Tracy Lynn

  • Publication Date: December 27, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • ISBN-10: 1416911553
  • ISBN-13: 9781416911555