Thursday, September 12, 2019

Book Review: HEROINE by Mindy McGinnis

I've read most of Mindy McGinnis's books, and this one did not disappoint. Scroll down for my complete review.

by Mindy McGinnis
March 12, 2019 (Katherine Tegen Books)
ISBN: 978-0062847195

Description from the Publisher:
An Amazon Best Book of the Month! A captivating and powerful exploration of the opioid crisis—the deadliest drug epidemic in American history—through the eyes of a college-bound softball star. Edgar Award-winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a visceral and necessary novel about addiction, family, friendship, and hope.

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.

About the Author:
Mindy McGinnis is an Edgar Award-winning novelist who writes across multiple genres, including post-apocalyptic, historical, thriller, contemporary, mystery, and fantasy. While her settings may change, you can always count on Mindy’s books to deliver grit, truth, and an unflinching look at humanity and the world around us.

My Review:

I often avoid "issue" books, because I don't want to feel sad, depressed, or hopeless due to the significant trials the main character must overcome. Funnily enough, I'd much rather read a horror or thriller. What does that say about me? 

But . . . as a fan of Mindy McGinnis, I wanted to read this book for two reasons: 1) She wrote it, and 2) the opioid crisis is an epidemic in our country.

In case you were confused about the spelling of the book's title . . . 

heroine means: "a woman admired or idealized for her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities ... and/or ... the chief female character in a book, play, or movie, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathize."

heroin means: "a highly addictive analgesic drug derived from morphine, often used illicitly as a narcotic producing euphoria. ... from Latin heros ‘hero’ (because of its effects on the user's self-esteem)."

her means: "used as the object of a verb or preposition to refer to a female person previously mentioned."

(definitions from Oxford)

The cover is SO PERFECT for this story. The main character starts out as such a heroine - the girl admired and idealized for her outstanding achievements and promising future. Then she's injured and needs pain medicine to help her recover. And then . . . we are up close and personal to watch her journey into heroin use. Then who is she? Someone "her" friends used to know, someone "previously mentioned."

In HEROINE, Mindy McGinnis sheds light on an epidemic that is happening on a daily basis in many, if not most, neighborhoods across our country. The people addicted to these drugs are not scary-looking creeps hanging out in darkened alleyways. Addicts are our neighbors, our friends, our family . . . people we admire, people we love, people we associate with, and people who are keeping a deadly secret, often suffering alone. 

HEROINE shows step-by-step how someone becomes addicted--the needs, cravings, wants, and lies.

This story is very gritty with language and details, but I still highly recommend it, unless you're a recovering addict. I would imagine this story would be triggering for anyone with substance addiction concerns. The narration goes into detail about the entire process. It is eye-opening and heart-breaking. If you've never had addiction issues, you'll be left with a better understanding of the epidemic and with more empathy for those involved.


  1. This sounds an excellent contribution to our understanding of this growing epidemic from an author who has achieved so much. Well worth reading!

  2. Seeing so much addiction is scary, but seeing recovery gives hope.

  3. I purchase this book after reading your review

  4. Very interesting book, Thank you for sharing such a wonderful article.