Published by Katherine Tegen (3.12.2019)
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: eBook, 419 pages
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.
Wow. Just wow.
I’m gonna preface this review by saying this: I have never had any kind of substance addiction, so I don’t understand the way someone who had fought addiction would. But even still, this book was really powerful.
I’ve also discovered a new worst fear after reading this: injury. As in, injury to the point where I lose my mobility. It’s something that able people really take for granted, honestly. I can’t even imagine not being able to do the things I can now. I’m a weight lifter, and being out for just a week is terrible. I can’t even bear to think about 8+ weeks of recovery from an injury.
Anyway, back to the review! This book starts with a bang with this first line: When I wake up, all my friends are dead. Talk about grabbing you by the balls! This was a difficult read, to be honest. Even without having a history of addiction, you can feel what it would be like. And you know what’s scary? It wouldn’t be hard to fall into addiction. It starts with something as simple as a prescription for pain – that can happen to literally anyone. (See this is why I’m terrified to take any prescription drugs lol. People say weed is a gateway drug yet doctors are out there prescribing this shit?!) Reading this book makes it seem perfectly understandable that some people get addicted.
I can derail the lives of everyone I care about, or I can take one white pill and make it all better. When you think about it that way, it’s easy.
This book is raw, and sometimes uncomfortable. It doesn’t shy away from the ugliness of addiction. The thing that really struck me about this story is the fact that you can clearly see Mickey’s downward spiral. It’s almost like a map of decisions that she makes, one after the other, that lead her down that path. Lying, stealing, manipulating…anything to get the next fix. And with every poor decision she would make an excuse that sounded perfectly reasonable at the time.
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.
Side note: I loved the little dictionary snippets at the beginning of each chapter. It was like a little slice of foreshadowing!
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 4/5