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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...
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...
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  • 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 the author of Not a Drop to Drink and its companion, In a Handful of Dust, as well as This Darkness Mine, The Female of the Species, Given to the Sea, Heroine, and the Edgar Award–winning novel A Madness So Discreet. A graduate of Otterbein University with a BA in English literature and religion, Mindy lives in Ohio. You can visit her online at www.mindymcginnis.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    December 15, 2018
    A compassionate, compelling, and terrifying story about a high school softball player's addiction to opioids.A promising life can be upended in a minute. One moment star catcher Mickey Catalan, who is assumed white, is living an ordinary life, talking about boys and anticipating a winning season with her best friend, pitcher Carolina Galarza. The next moment her car is upside down in a field, and their promising softball careers are in danger. Mickey's divorced parents and Carolina's tightknit Puerto Rican family are rooting for them to recover before the start of the season. After enduring surgeries, they are each given opioid painkillers, yet only Mickey spirals into addiction. From the novel's opening line, the reader awaits the tragic outcome. What matters are the details--the lying, the stealing, the fear about college scholarships, the pain confronted in the weight room, and the desperate desire to win--because they force the reader to empathize with Mickey's escalating need. Realistic depictions of heroin abuse abound, and the author includes a trigger warning. The writing is visceral, and following Mickey as she rationalizes about her addiction is educative and frightening. Even more frightening are the descriptive passages that reveal how pleasant the drugs make her feel. By the end, readers understand how heroin can infiltrate even the most promising lives.A cautionary tale that exposes the danger of prescription medications by humanizing one victim of America's current epidemic. (author's note, resources) (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from March 1, 2019

    Gr 9 Up-All it takes is one prescription to kick-start a student athlete's frightening descent into opioid addiction. After surgery following a car accident, Ohio softball phenom Mickey Catalan is prescribed OxyContin for pain. When she starts to run out of the Oxy she relies on to get through her physical therapy, she gets pills from a dealer, through whom she meets other young addicts. Mickey rationalizes what she's doing and sees herself as a good girl who's not like others who use drugs (like new friend Josie, who uses because she's "bored"). Mickey loves how the pills make her feel, how they take her out of herself and relieve the pressures in her life. Soon she's stealing, lying, and moving on to heroin. Her divorced parents, including her recovering addict stepmother, suspect something is going on, but Mickey is skilled at hiding her addiction. A trigger warning rightfully cautions graphic depictions of drug use. In brutally raw detail, readers see Mickey and friends snort powders, shoot up, and go through withdrawal. Intense pacing propels the gripping story toward the inevitable conclusion already revealed in the prologue. An author's note and resources for addiction recovery are appended. This powerful, harrowing, and compassionate story humanizes addiction and will challenge readers to rethink what they may believe about addicts. VERDICT From the horrific first line to the hopeful yet devastating conclusion, McGinnis knocks it out of the park. A first purchase for all libraries serving teens.-Amanda MacGregor, Parkview Elementary School, Rosemount, MN

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Katherine Tegen Books
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