The novel Roxy by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman is a strange and interesting read that talks about problems with drug abuse. The book is interestingly written from 4 different points of view with Ivy, Issac, Roxy, and Addison. Ivy and Issac are brother and sister who simultaneously have individual struggles with drugs, Ivy with adderall and Issac with oxycontin. They both have their own reasons as to why they do what they do, but ultimately neither of them are all that aware that they have an addiction. Roxy, oxycontin, and Addison, adderall, are portrayed as people who only interact with Ivy and Issac and are invisible to the rest of the world. While the reader is led to believe that Addison and Roxy could actually be people, all of their public interactions with Ivy and Issac go unnoticed by other people. The goal for Ivy is to get her life together by working harder in school and get a handle on her ADHD. The goal for Issac is to allow him to keep playing soccer even though he hurt his ankle badly. The goals for Addison and Roxy are to get Ivy and Issac to the party and take them to their boss, Hiro, who will lead them to their deaths. Hiro is actually heroine and his job is to ensure that people like Ivy and Issac never leave the party by killing them with an overdose. This book was a very interesting read for a few different reasons. Ivy and Issacs' points of view in the book are both in third person while Addison and Roxys' are in first person. I thought that was a subtle but powerful choice by the authors because it shows how Issac and Ivy are not in control of their choices, even though they think they are. Addison and Roxy are actually in control of them. I liked all the plot twists throughout the book that were super unexpected, and intriguing which made the ending very hard to predict, and also surprising. I also liked how at the party, all the "people" there are named with nicknames or parodies of the names of the actual drugs they're supposed to be. Like marijuana was Mary-Jane, and Al was alcohol. It was kinda fun trying to figure out all the names. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and interesting read, that makes a heavy subject a bit lighter.
— Payton L (Teen Book Crew)
From the team that brought you the New York Times bestselling Dry comes a “gritty and unflinching” (Booklist) thriller that proves when gods play games, even love is a lie.
The freeway is coming.
It will cut the neighborhood in two. Construction has already started, pushing toward this corridor of condemned houses and cracked concrete with the momentum of the inevitable. Yet there you are, in the fifth house on the left, fighting for your life.
The victim of the bet between two manufactured gods: the seductive and lethal Roxy (Oxycontin), who is at the top of her game, and the smart, high-achieving Addison (Adderall), who is tired of being the helpful one, and longs for a more dangerous, less wholesome image. The wager—a contest to see who can bring their mark to “the Party” first—is a race to the bottom of a rave that has raged since the beginning of time. And you are only human, dazzled by the lights and music. Drawn by what the drugs offer—tempted to take that step past helpful to harmful…and the troubled places that lie beyond.
But there are two I. Rameys—Isaac, a soccer player thrown into Roxy’s orbit by a bad fall and a bad doctor and Ivy, his older sister, whose increasing frustration with her untreated ADHD leads her to renew her acquaintance with Addy.
Which one are you?
About the Author
Neal Shusterman is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty award-winning books for children, teens, and adults, including the Unwind dystology, the Skinjacker trilogy, Downsiders, and Challenger Deep, which won the National Book Award. Scythe, the first book in his series Arc of a Scythe is a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. He also writes screenplays for motion pictures and television shows. Neal is the father of four, all of whom are talented writers and artists themselves. Visit Neal at StoryMan.com and Facebook.com/NealShusterman.
Jarrod Shusterman is the New York Times bestselling coauthor of the novel Dry, which he is adapting for a major Hollywood film studio with National Book Award winner Neal Shusterman. He is also the coauthor of the accoladed novel Roxy. His books have all received critical acclaim and multiple starred reviews. Jarrod wrote his most recent title, Retro, with Sofía Lapuente, and together, they teach a course on writing at UCLA. They are partners in every sense of the word, with love and multiculturalism as an ethos—living between Madrid, Spain, and Los Angeles. If they are not working, it means they’re eating. For behind-the-scenes author content and fun videos, follow them on Instagram and TikTok @SofiandJarrod.
"The novel feels like a stage drama from the tense first chapter to the tragic end...[p]owerful and chilling." — Kirkus Reviews
"This allegorical take on the opioid epidemic provides an utterly unique point of view on the lives of those struggling with drug dependencies. Surprisingly, this approach does not water down the stark realities besetting Ivy and Isaac as they sink into addiction. Rather, it captures the drugs’ allure, from granting small benefits and initial highs, before taking the reader through the horrible spiral that addiction can entail. Gritty and unflinching, this book portrays the opioid crisis in a way older YA readers can feel and understand." — Booklist
If the premise remains nebulous and ambiguous at times, it imbues the plot with elements of mystery and intrigue, coupled with interesting characters and the timely issues of the opioid crisis and other addictions. — The Horn Boook Magazine
The Shustermans’ depiction of each sibling’s spiral into dependence and misuse of prescribed medications sheds a critical light on the ongoing drug epidemic, subverting stereotypes about substance abuse while exploring each drug’s potential to help and to hinder. Ages 14–up. (Nov.) — Publishers Weekly
* "VERDICT Highly recommended. Neal and Jarrod Shusterman have outdone themselves from their last thriller, Dry." — School Library Journal, starred review