Mindy McGinnis is known for writing dark YA contemporaries. I read The Female of the Species last year and loved it, dark, twisted, super compelling, and this was no different.
Heroine follows Mickey, a softball superstar in her small hometown where the only way out is a scholarship that can take her far away. But one night she gets into a car crush the puts an abrupt pause on her life. She breaks her leg, she cannot play softball, she cannot work out, she can barely walk. To cope with the pain, the doctor prescribes oxycontin and thus begins a dangerous journey of addiction.
I have a hard time thinking about this book, not because it wasn’t good, it was incredible, but because of how vividly this was written. Addiction is a real thing and it ruins lives and this story does not shy away from that truth. The judgement, the lack of information, the accessibility to these drugs, the torture that it puts the user and their loved ones through… it’s all in there and more. McGinnis really lets you feel what Mickey is feeling, understand what her driving need is and borderline sympathizing with Mickey while she is behaving dangerously and selfishly.
A story about the need for escape, perfection, and mental freedom and how all of them can lead to great things and horrible things. To make a story about drug addiction for a YA audience is so smart, in my opinion. Addiction is not just for adults and to keep the reality of it and the consequences that come with it from young adults is foolish. I know of a high school with a heroine problem. I think if the kids at that school read this book, it could help one more student say no. That’s what’s important.