Author: Mindy McGinnis
Published: March 12, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
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.
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 off my bed and I enjoyed every second. I got this huge bottle of oxycodone to take home with me. I barely made a dent in the bottle and it now sits in our medicine cabinet, still full. The only time I’m allowed to take a pill is when I have to have my mouth numbed at the dentist’s office. About a year ago, I had a root canal and I was numbed up big time, so I took one pill. The thought entered my mind that once Ivan went to work, I could totally take another pill, even though the numb had worn off. I wasn’t even scared by that thought. When Ivan went to work, I didn’t take another pill.
Ever since then, I have been heavily critical of addicts. I’m not talking about people who get hooked on their legal prescriptions that their doctor went crazy with. I mean the addicts who get the illegal stuff. Mickey is that kind of addict, so I was all set. Gonna be tough on her, gonna criticize, gonna shake my head. I didn’t do all that to the degree that I was expecting. Of course I shook my head, cuz this girl decided to risk her future, her life, her everything to chase the dragon. Teens are stupid, we already knew that. But McGinnis broke down the process so well, that I felt far more sympathy than I did judgement. I did judge her parents though. Who the hell leaves prescription drugs on their kid’s nightstand???? Unsupervised??? In this day and age?????? Morons.
But I really did like this book. A lot. I absolutely recommend this book to older teens. McGinnis gives a true to life look at addiction and the drugs themselves. She didn’t shy away from talking about how great the drugs feel. She also didn’t shy away from the overall effects and the consequences. Obviously, I wouldn’t give this book to younger kids. But the older teens could definitely benefit from it. An excellent book; high five, Mindy McGinnis!
Today the Sunday Series Review is back for the first time in 2019 and today Kim reviews the Given Duet by Mindy McGinnis.
Books in the Series:
Given to the Sea
Given to the Earth
Given to the Sea
Published: April 11, 2017
Everyone has a place.
Khosa was born to be fed to the sea, to prevent the kind of wave that once destroyed the Kingdom of Stille. She can’t be sacrificed until she produces an heir, but human touch repulses her…except for the touch of the Indiri.
Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race with magic that’s seductive—a force of nature—but dwindling since the Pietra slaughtered their people.
Witt leads the Pietra, the fierce warriors who are now marching on the Kingdom of Stille. The stone shores of Witt’s kingdom harbor a secret threat, and to ensure the survival of his people, he’s prepared to conquer every speck of Stille’s soil.
Vincent stands to inherit the throne of Stille, but has no wife to share it with. When the beautiful and mysterious Khosa arrives without an heir, Vincent knows that his father will stop at nothing to make sure she fulfills her duty. Torn between protecting his kingdom and protecting the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is soon at odds with his heart.
While royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the Indiri struggle to survive, the rising sea calls for its Given, and Khosa is destined to answer.
Given to the Earth
Published: April 10, 2018
Although she was born to save the kingdom by sacrificing herself to the rising sea, Khosa’s marriage to King Vincent has redeemed her. As the Queen of Stille, she’s untouchable. But being Queen hasn’t stopped her heart from longing for the King’s stepbrother, Donil. And it hasn’t stopped her body from longing for the sea itself, which still calls for her.
While Khosa is made to choose between loyalty and love, Dara is on a mission for vengeance. Years ago, the Pietra slaughtered the entire Indiri race, leaving only Dara and her twin, Donil, alive. Now, spurned by King Vincent, Dara has embarked on a mission to spill the blood of Pietra’s leader, Witt, and will stop at nothing to show his people the wrath of the last Indiri.
As the waves crash ever closer to Stille, secrets are revealed, hearts are won and lost, and allegiances change like the shifting sand.
Kim’s Rating of the Series: 3 stars
I love Mindy McGinnis; those who read my reviews know this. Sadly, this series is my least favorite of her works. I’ll admit that my main issue was the fact that I had a hard time getting into it. It took me a while before I started caring about the characters and the story. I didn’t enjoy it like I should have while I was reading, which is why I gave it 3 stars. Looking back, remembering the story and each character, I like it better. I liked the guys in this book . . . which isn’t surprising since I don’t like women in general. 😀 Ivan likes to remind me of that especially when I’m critiquing a movie he likes!
Witt and Donil are strong men, yet with inner struggles. Donil manages to keep a smile on his face and an honorable spirit. Witt suffers from a dangerous culture, but I love how he continually puts his people first. Vincent is ok, just a little whiny for my taste, but thankfully he turns into a good leader. The girls are just girls. And unfortunately, there’s a really annoying love triangle. But dang, then the plot twist hits in the second book and I was flabbergasted! The ending was actually really good!
Overall, I did enjoy this series, after the fact. There is also a lot of sex . . . like apparently that’s all anyone does in Stille, with many different people! So, it’s probably best to reserve this for mature teens. I’d recommend this series to anyone who is looking for a unique fantasy story.
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Published: September 20, 2016
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it.
Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best—the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone.
As their senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.
Mindy McGinnis has such a grasp of the darker side of humanity and l love it so so much! I have been dying to read this book for the longest time and I finally got it for Christmas. I picked it up, and was soon engrossed. I love the differing POVs, the look into the lives of teens surrounding a tragedy, and watching them live their normal lives in a small town. And considering how much I hate teens, I really liked Alex and Peekay and Jack. Alex is very mature for her age and I found her self-awareness to be interesting. I related with Peekay and her position as “goodie two shoes” and trying to overcome her father’s religious position in the community. And Jack is just a cutie and I love him. And thankfully, the parents in this story weren’t idiots!!! Peekay’s parents are so awesome and understanding and realistic! They’re certainly better than any pastors I know! There is a little teenage drama, but it really only adds to the story, so I was ok with it! I would definitely save this for more mature teens due to language and adult themes. Overall, a fascinating read and a perfect example of Mindy McGinnis!