Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

Published:  March 12, 2019 by Katherine Tegen Books 

Dates Read:  March 19 – March 20, 2019 

Genre/Category:  YA Fiction 

Read For:   TBR / Personal Pleasure  


5   stars 

  Why I gave a book that enraged me 5 stars….. 

Book synopsis:   Heroine is the story of Mickey, a high school senior who is the girls’ softball team catcher.  This year the team is planning on going all the way to winning the state championship, but when an automobile accident gets in the way of Mickey obtaining that goal, she does everything she can to fight back and be ready for the season.  Mickey pushes herself to the brink to be strong enough to perform for opening day, but not without the help of the prescription pain medications she was given post operatively after the accident.  Unfortunately, Mickey runs out of the medications, and without a doctors prescription, she is forced to find her much needed relief in less than conventional ways.   

Review:  Have you ever been angry at a book?  I mean, so angry that you don’t have a clue what to write about it in your review?   You WANT to write something, because it made you so mad, but you’re just at a loss for wordsFor someone who is rarely at a loss for words, that’s pretty darn significant.   

Addiction has always frustrated me.  I have always been torn as an RN, with my extensive ICU background and then with my personal experience with multiple back surgeries, I understand how people can become addicted to medications. But I still personally find it to be a choice.  (And I will argue that point if challenged.) 

Mickey’s story is a common one, and believe me, you get pulled right in to this novel from page one, and won’t want to put it down until you reach the end.  The thing is, I reached the half way point and I was still so terribly frustrated.  To me, from the nursing aspect, I felt like the author was almost making justifications or excuses through Mickey, saying that what she was doing was ok, that it was ok for her to continue to take these drugs.  It was almost like she was glorifying or romanticizing the whole thing.   When finally, after a doctors appointment Mickey realizes she is an addict, the tone of the book starts to change.  It doesn’t happen immediately, but we see Mickey transition from denial to acceptance of her problem while at the same time watch everything rapidly start to fall apart around her.  Once Mickey starts into recovery things start to move fairly quickly and I am happy with how they progressed.  I found Devra’s role to be absolutely amazing here, but where her friends and team come into play, other than Nikki and Lydia at the end, I am shocked at the lack of support.  I found this both very realistic yet discouraging at the same time.   

Does this help addicts?  Does reading about the types of feelings that Mickey is having throughout this experience verify that someone out there actually understands and “gets them” make addiction easier?  Is this therapeutic?   I suppose some people would say it does.  I suppose it could be compared to reading about break-ups or rom-coms and connecting with the emotions those characters portray.   

It’s the subject matter that frustrated me.  There are things in life that make you feel emotions, and those emotions stick with you for a very long time.  Joy.  Happiness. Sadness. Fear.  Anger.  Disgust.  Rage.  Anything that can stir that much emotion in someone, deserves a good review, regardless of the subject matter or whether I agree or disagree with it.  Emotion is powerful, it is what drives us, and it is necessary.   

After I finished this book, I read the Author’s Note.  I highly recommend you read it too.  This was the best part of the book for me.   That’s not to say this book wasn’t good.  Truth be told I loved it.  What Mindy McGinnis did with such an important and relevant topic was absolutely amazing.  She made me mad, and that was good.  I want everybody to read this book.  I just want the YA community to take it for what it is, the story about one very lucky girl.  Very lucky.  The Author’s note is an easy explanation of how addiction can start, she nails it.    Understand that it may only take one pill, but it’s always your choice to take that pill, as well as the next one, and the next.   

Published by ReadingGirlReviews

Serious book loving critical care RN dealing with RA, being married to a surgeon, my 2 crazy dogs, an obsession with crafting, and a mad desire to swing golf clubs (although quite poorly).

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