Heroine By Mindy McGinnis

Mindy McGinnis’s Heroine is a gut-wrenching exploration of addiction, friendship, and the unraveling of a promising young athlete’s life. This young adult contemporary novel delves deep into the opioid crisis, delivering a raw and emotionally charged narrative that leaves a lasting impact. McGinnis doesn’t glamorize addiction, but rather paints a stark and unflinching picture that serves as a cautionary tale for readers.

The story revolves around our protagonist, Mickey Catalan, a high school softball star with dreams of earning a college scholarship and helping her team win State. Mickey’s life takes a dramatic turn when she sustains a severe injury, leading her down a path of prescription painkillers. What begins as a legitimate means of pain management soon spirals into a harrowing addiction, causing her to lose control over her life, relationships, and ultimately, her dreams.

Mindy McGinnis masterfully captures the complexities of addiction. Her portrayal of Mickey’s struggle is both authentic and agonizing, shedding light on the desperation and denial that often accompany addiction. McGinnis doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of substance abuse. One particularly hard scene for me was about a mother overdosing in a Dollar General with her toddler trying to wake her up. The picture is so vivid and heart-wrenching, I had to put the book down and walk away for a moment. In fact, I had to put this book down numerous times because it’s so painfully realistic. 

This is not an “enjoyable” read, but the books I remember–the ones that change me in some fundamental way, seldom are.  


Read this book, then find me after to discuss! 

Your Teen Librarian, 

Krystal S. 

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