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YA Review: Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

Title: Heroine
AuthorMindy McGinnis
Year Published: 2019

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 448
Rating: 5 out of 5

Location (my 2020 Google Reading map): USA (OH)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): When a car crash sidelines Mickey just before softball season, she has to find a way to hold on to her spot as the catcher for a team expected to make a historic tournament run. Behind the plate is the only place she’s ever felt comfortable, and the painkillers she’s been prescribed can help her get there.

The pills do more than take away pain; they make her feel good.

With a new circle of friends—fellow injured athletes, others with just time to kill—Mickey finds peaceful acceptance, and people with whom words come easily, even if it is just the pills loosening her tongue.

But as the pressure to be Mickey Catalan heightens, her need increases, and it becomes less about pain and more about want, something that could send her spiraling out of control.

Review: Wow this book is good. Totally depressing in its accuracy and topic, but so well done. I read McGinnis' Female of the Species a couple years ago and liked that one so looked forward to reading this book.

This story shows that addiction can be the burden of anyone as Mickey succumbs to the evils of Oxycontin and heroin. The author did an amazing job at showing how slowly and steadily the downward spiral happens; the self justification, the excuses, how it makes her feel all contribute to her not giving up the drugs when she really knows she should.

Nothing is sugar coated in this story, which makes it so effective. But through out it all, I liked Mickey and wanted her to get better. She is a good person who just can't handle the drugs. McGinnis also did a good job of showing how those around her (both the addicted and those who don't really know what's going on) deal with Mickey and her drug addiction. The best friend, teammates, family, doctors, dealers, and other addicts all plan an important role in her story.

This book is my choice for the winner of the CYBILS awards, we'll see what the rest of the group decides. Note (2/14/2020): This book ended up being our first choice book and winning the CYBIL Award! I can see high school students reading this and passing it on to their friends.

Challenges for which this counts: 
For the Pop Sugar challenge, this book has at least a 4 star rating on Goodreads (4.29).

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