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.
I always enjoy Mindy McGinnis’ books, and Heroine is no exception. I went into this book knowing that it was going to be dark and difficult, and it was, but I also greatly appreciated reading about Mickey’s story.
Before I continue, let me reiterate that this book is dark. I’m normally ok with dark subject matters (the only thing that got to me recently was that chapter in The Poppy War), and even I found Heroine mildly uncomfortable. I wouldn’t recommend this book for people who struggle with drug abuse (currently or previously), and I probably wouldn’t recommend it for people who know people who struggle with it.
I thought it was incredibly interesting to read about Mickey’s journey, but it was also incredibly heartbreaking. As the reader, you know what is coming from the first page, and when Mickey and her friends think it starts out as perfectly innocent – Mickey was on painkillers for a broken leg – but you know where this path is going to lead and it’s painful. There’s a tonne of tension throughout, and just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse it did.
I absolutely adored Mickey’s relationship with her stepmother. It really grows and develops through the book, and by the end they had me sobbing. It’s so well done, and I applaud McGinnis for writing such an intricate relationship between a stepmother and stepdaughter! Those relationships aren’t always done well in YA, but this one was perfect.
I think Heroine does a great job of showing the reader how addiction can happen, and how it can progress rapidly and how addicts can start to spiral. It would hopefully allow people to feel empathy and understanding, and it shows that some things are out of people’s control.
I would highly recommend this book!