Heroine: a tragic story of teen drug addiction

Taylor Teifke, Memorial Staff Writer

Heroine- a woman admired or idealized for her courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities.


In this day and age, more young adult novels are tackling some of the most controversial topics seen in society. After her widely successful novel, The Female of the Species, author Mindy McGinnis recently published her newest book Heroine March 11.

Heroine follows Mickey Catalan, a high school softball player who severely injures her hip after a car accident, sidelining her from the game three months before the season starts. While Mickey goes through the healing process, she develops a reliance on a prescribed painkiller called OxyContin. This increasingly escalates from taking more than her prescription recommends to seeking out the services of a dealer as she becomes addicted to the opioids, which has the same molecular structure as one of the most dangerous known drugs, heroin.

Much like the style of Female of the Species, Heroine was written in a raw, unflinchingly honest style as the protagonist descends into addiction, as well as her struggle to keep the drugs a secret from her closest friends, teammates and family. The events highlighted in the story were very much realistic; the majority of the book focuses on Mickey’s denial of the fact she is becoming an addict or making excuses for consuming drugs outside of her prescription. A unique component of the book is that each chapter began with the dictionary definition of a word that alludes to the chapter’s events.

I found this book to be impossible to put down. As an athlete, I was able to easily empathize with Mickey’s dedication to her sport. I could truly understand her usual awkwardness in social situations and difficulty to say the right thing in a conversation. I was also surprised at the level of realism McGinnis presented; Mickey’s addiction did not happen overnight, but rather gradually throughout the story.

Heroine is one of those rare books that confronts controversial societal issues head-on and does so in a well-researched and realistic manner. This book is an excellent read for fans of athletics and realistic-fiction dealing with current oft-debated topics in society.

Contact Taylor Teifke at [email protected].