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4.28  ·  Rating details ·  1,919 ratings  ·  541 reviews

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

Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Katherine Tegen Books
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4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,919 ratings  ·  541 reviews

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Emily May
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

This book left me feeling hollow. By this I mean that it hit me so hard in so many different ways that I now feel emptied out. Saying it is "sad" is not enough. "Horrifying" is closer to the truth, but that seems too sensational.
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This book was heavy, but SO good. Wow.

TW: extremely realistic & descriptive drug use (anyone recovering from addiction should proceed with caution)
Trina (Between Chapters)
4/14/19 - Upped my rating to 5 stars (from 4) because of how much this has stuck with me in the months since I read it. It's completely informed my perception of addiction portrayal in everything I've read since, and so far it's standing out as a favorite of the year.

This was uncomfortable to read and I hated what was happening at times, but I have been discussing this book with people I know who with addiction recovery, which has really helped me process my feeling
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
"When I wake up, all my friends are dead."

This book is pain. You know what you're in for right from the start, the prologue makes sure of that. It all starts with pain medication after an accident. From there on, you will watch the main character bury herself in a grave of pills, needles, lies and betrayal, so deep she might never get out. 95% of the book is a downward spiral. And the things is, you just don't know if she can dig herself out again. If you have read a McGinnis novel before, you k
Nilufer Ozmekik
Four addicted, compelling, tragic stars!
Mindy McGinnis is one of the most amazing writers and storyteller, grabs your heart, steals a huge Parton it by creating her realistic, flawed, natural characters. As soon as you take back your heart, you feel like so many things, especially your perceptions about life, family, friends already change with it.

The first few pages of the book like a ticking bomb about to explode! So you start to turn pages quickly to reach the spot at the beginning.

At this b
Whoa, this book was intense!!! I wasn’t feeling this book at first, I was ready to give up on it. But it grew on me, it’s addictive, no pun intended. How quickly things got out of hand, the desperation and callousness was surreal. A very unique, well written story, kudos to the author.
Elise (TheBookishActress)
At this point in my life, I look almost entirely for books I see as providing hope, some kind of catharsis and release. It is this, that for me, makes literature and television and movies and music so compelling: stories so worth coming back to, narrative so worth building my life around.

Heroine contains a release of tension, yes, but it does not occur until the very end, until lead character Mickey has spiraled so far into an opiate addiction it's almost impossible to find a way out. This is n
Noa ☾
tw: addiction, substance abuse (heroine, oxy). Heroine is REALLY GRAPHIC and I urge you NOT TO READ THIS if you’re not in a good place.

(ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for a honest review)

I honestly don't know if I have the words right now. This was... heartbreaking, raw, sad and yet hopeful ?

Heroine tells the story of Mickey, a softball player, who gets into a car accident. An “innocent” prescription of Oxycontin makes Mickey want to “chase the dragon” meaning she wants to feel again the
Madison (life uh finds a way)
Wow wow wow. If you're in a good and healthy mental state please read this book. It's so eye opening and heart breaking.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vicky Who Reads
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drcs
4 stars

Mindy McGinnis is one of the most versatile and consistently amazing writers I know of.

All of her books are stunning and range from a little dark to SUPER DARK, all while being some of the best teen literature I’ve ever read.

Somehow, she effortlessly gets to the root of something with a narrative style that fits the story, and her latest novel, Heroine, was no exception to this streak of consistently great books.

Honestly? Heroine is the darkest, scariest book Mindy’s written that I’ve
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
This review originally appeared on Novel Ink.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Content warnings: addiction; opioid addiction; extensive drug use (opioid pills, heroin), described in detail; overdose; withdrawal; death; car accident; needles; vomiting

**Please use caution going into this review and/or this book if you are a recovered or recovering addict. This book contains content that could be e
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I started this novel this afternoon and haven’t put it down.
Mickey was such a complex character and such a good protagonist to bring the story to life. The author’s acknowledgements also show she put her time into researching this topic.
This is a heavy book,make no mistake. There are no punches pulled in the first chapter but it’s a book definitely worth reading. The brutal honesty opens yours eyes to the reality for a lot of people.
Jun 24, 2018 marked it as anti-library
Shelves: arcs

Also, no idea how she does it but I love the subjects she tackles in her books from a cli-fi about water scarcity to a historical YA about lobotomies to rape culture and now drug addiction. In other words, I stan one (1) Mindy McGinnis
Star Rating: 3.5 Stars

I admit to myself that I am a heroin user, while also updating in my mind what that actually means. 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.

Holy crap, this book is ROUGH. This book opens up with a trigger warning and it is real. This book is graphic, inte
Ellen Gail
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: so-pretty, edelweiss
It's 3.5 stars, but I'm rounding up.

It's dark and I'm driving exactly the speed limit, because I am a good girl. I am a student athlete and the catcher for an undefeated softball team and a senior who needs to get a good night's sleep before her last league game.....
I am not an addict.

I have a LOT of thoughts on this one, but I need to say this one first, and say it very loudly: Mickey's mother is one of my all time favorite fictional moms. I LOVE HER.

Don't worry I'll say it again, I'm sure.

Adah Udechukwu
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heroine was an inspiring read. Addictions are bad is a lesson to be learnt from the novel. If you do not control yourself and your addiction your life will be fucked up real bad.
Never let it be said that McGinnis takes the easy way out in her books. Each one, at least those that I've read, handles something different and, usually, very dark. HEROINE tackles the opioid crisis through the lens of an injured sports star who is desperate to return to her previous incarnation as strong, capable, and on the fast track.

I could absolutely appreciate (whilst also being mostly terrified) of this downward spiral and the desperation that Mickey was driven to just to dull the pain,
Mar 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have no sympathy whatsoever for junkies (being raised by one may have to be the reason), and I have even less sympathy for writers who have no idea what the hell are they talking about.
Kim Friant
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whoa. Mindy McGinnis does it yet again! No one captures inner darkness like Mindy. And did she do it in Heroine. I can’t say I like it better than This Darkness Mine, but this one is definitely the most realistic of all her books. Now y’all know that I’m very tough on characters, especially the teens. I expected to go after Mickey. I am an incredibly addictive person and let’s be honest, narcotics are amazing. I absolutely love opiates. The morphine I got after my appendectomy made me fly 5 feet ...more
"Sometimes it's hard to decide what's the worst thing I ever did."
This was a hard book to read. Mickey feels like any sports-obsessed high school girl, like she could be real and out there. And to a degree, she is. Addiction is an epidemic in America, and it's destroying people's lives every day. Books like Heroine give a face to a disease that is easy to dehumanize. You don't think it could ever be someone you know, or a relative, or even yourself. Mickey thought the same. Seeing her rational
Jaye Berry
This was so sad and soul-crushing that I'm suing Mindy McGinnis for emotional damages. This book comes with a trigger warning for extremely realistic drug use. And it doesn't take that trigger warning lightly. This book is dark and messed up, so avoid if you aren't in a good headspace.

When star athlete Mickey gets sidelined after a car accident before softball season, she refuses to give up and let her spot as catcher go to someone else. Behind the plate is the only place she's felt like she's b
DNF at 150/286.

I don't typically rate my DNFs, but dear god was this terrible.

Every other page, the main character brings up the fact that she's adopted when it has NOTHING !! to do with the story, the writing is incredibly clunky and needs to be edited down more, the dialogue is terrible, and I started to skim read because nothing at all interesting was happening.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Mickey fractures her hip just a few months before senior year softball season. After one prescription of OxyContin, she’s hooked. Good thing she has it under control. She’s not an addict like Josie, the girl who gives her pills. She can stop any time she wants. Mickey just needs to be ready for spring training. She’d never crush and snort the pills. Until she does. She’d never mix them with water and shoot them into her veins. Until she does. She’d never switch to heroin. She can stop any time s ...more
Maria (Big City Bookworm)


That was such a tough one to read. This deals with intense subject matter and contains several trigger warnings. If you have a hard time dealing with drug abuse, I highly recommend avoiding this one.

Definitely one of those books that will have you thinking about it long after you've finished reading it.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 stars

Heroine is a Young Adult contemporary novel that I would classify as realistic fiction.

The narrator is Mickey Catalan (1st person POV). She is a high school senior and a star softball player (she is the team's catcher).

This book was so good. I read it in one day. It is not a particularly happy read. This book deals with a very serious and important subject. But it is a book that everyone should read.

The book starts with a prologue set a few months before chapter one. The prologue was
Jenny Jo Weir
Sometimes I just can’t with Mindy! It’s so difficult to explain her level of talent that I’m often at a loss for words.

Here’s the thing: this book is unlike any of her other works…yet…it’s not. She is so diverse in her books and writes completely different stories every time and yet I’m surprised when I come to a new one only to find I feel like it’s a completely different author. I don’t even know if what I’m trying to explain makes sense, but she just blows my mind.

She has the incredible tal
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars.

Heroine was an underwhelming book. With the premise of an athlete spiraling into the world of drug abuse, it should've invoked strong feelings of how someone can be fine one day but everything goes south when they start taking drugs. Except, it wasn't.

Being that Heroine tackles drug abuse and how it affects the individual taking the drug and the people around them, I was expecting more from it. And what I got, as a result, was a story that feels... adequate. It's a shame because I want
When Mickey and her best friend Carolina -- two star players on their high school softball team -- are in a car accident, both receive injuries that could compromise their upcoming season. Carolina suffers an arm injury, while Mickey sustains an injury to her hip so traumatic it needs to be pinned back together. The recovery prognosis isn’t especially great for Mickey in terms of being ready for the upcoming -- her final -- season. But she’s bound and determined to get better.

To handle the pain,
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star
Mindy McGinnis paints a strong, well-researched portrait of the spiral into addiction, but the characters themselves are not all that compelling on their own. While this novel has plenty of nuance, it was pretty middle of the road for me overall.
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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.
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