Trigger Warnings: car accident, hospitalization, drug use, addiction, overdose, self-harm, underage drinking
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Please note before continuing – Heroine is an incredibly graphic novel. If you are struggling with addiction and/or in the process of recovering, I urge you to use extreme caution if you continue to read this review.
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.
Heroine gives such a raw and honest look at the opioid epidemic sweeping the nation. Mickey ends up using heroin, but her spiral started after a car crash when a simple prescription for oxycontin changed everything. This was my first book by Mindy McGinnis and holy hell was I floored. Not just anybody is cut out to tackle such a heavy, serious, and important topic, but McGinnis clearly is. Her words are captivating and powerful, leaving nothing to the imagination.
I am not a wasted person. I am not prowling the streets. I am not an addict. I am a girl spinning her locker combination. I am a girl who got a B on her math test. I am a girl who has two holes on the inside of her arm, but they do not tell the whole story of me.Heroine by mindy mcginnis
The above quote hit me so hard that I actually read it a few times before continuing. It shows so well how those struggling with addiction are just like you and me. They’re the people you go to school with. The people you work with. The people sitting at the table next to you in the restaurant. Mickey was a softball star with the brightest future ahead of her, but addiction doesn’t care who you are. This was even more apparent with Mickey started making friends who struggled with the same things. One was an incredibly smart girl planning on graduating high school and attending college to be a pharmacist, one was a basketball star from the next town over, one was a grandmother. The entire cast of characters will break your heart in different ways.
McGinnis also does a wonderful job pacing the story. Never did it feel like things were moving too slowly or quickly. There was an urgency to every chapter and a strong desire to continue reading and find out just how much Mickey’s life would be taken over first by oxy and then heroin. My heart was constantly breaking for not just Mickey, but for her friends and family who slowly watched her slip away without realizing the culprit.
If you are able to, I highly suggest picking up this novel. The accurate portrayal of how easily one can go from taking a legitimate prescription for the pain to using heroin will make you view addiction in an entirely new light. Though hard to read, Mickey’s story is important and necessary, and I truly believe that it will make a positive impact in some way.