Michigan vs. the Boys

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When Michigan's high school gets rid of the girl's hockey team, she's devastated about not being able to play. Her best friend transfers to an expensive boarding school, and some of her other teammates play for a neighboring high school girl's team. Michigan is sure she's out of options, until a classmate convinces her to try out for the boy's team. She makes the team, but can she survive the hatred and hazing of her teammates?

Michigan vs. the Boys was a predictable story of a girl being harassed for excelling in a predominantly male sport. While I found the plot elements to everything I expected, I did love Michigan's character. I especially liked the added element of Michigan's struggle with being a female role model for younger girls. I don't know how many will flock to this story about girls and hockey, but it's definitely a solid read.
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I totally loved this book!  Strong female character?  Check.  Teenager problems that need solved?  Check.  Cute romance that’s appropriate for reading in school? Yup.  I think that this is probably one of my favorite current reads.  It shows girls that they can fight back, and win, when being faced with some major issues.  I love the resolution at the end but wish it included Jack more.  I will be on the lookout for other books by this author.  Great book!
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This book gave me all of the feels!  Michigan loves hockey, but when there need to be budget cuts to the school the girl's hockey program is one of the two teams to get cut.  Michigan finds her team going their separate ways.  Her best friend going to some snooty boarding school to play, other teammates traveling over an hour just to get to practice at the next closest school to take them (her mom said no), and others join the swim team.  Michigan gets asked to help coach her little brother's team.  SHe gets some inspiration and decided to go to the boy's hockey team tryouts.  She definitely showed herself out there because she gets added to the team.  The Coach tells her no drinking, no drugs, and no relations with the boys or she will be off the team.  On the first day of practice, they don't have a locker room for her so she has to change in the broom closet, and continues to get hit when she hears the word bounty thrown around during a break she decides to go and make a hit on the captain the rest of the season only gets worse.  Follow Michigan through her trials of balancing boys hockey, coaching hockey, homework, and life with her new cute swimmer boyfriend.   This book I could not put down.
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This was a fantastic, although frustrating, book. I become so incensed reading stories where young women are treated this way, and I don’t want to believe these things happen, although I know they do. Michigan’s story gives me hope, though, - that growth can happen, that it does happen, that it will happen.
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Michigan is one of my favorite characters, I’ve read about in a long time. She is determined, stubborn, and a heroine. The challenges she faced in this book, made it seem so real. While reading this book, I had a picture of what Michigan looked like in my head. As I got further into the book, she became real to me. Like she could of been a girl, I knew growing up. This book, was everything I needed and I wish I had this book to read while growing up. Being a girl, in a guys driven sport is never easy. The girls team at the high school got taken away due to funding issues. Michigan being as determined as she is, tries out for the boys team. This book goes into all the problems and situations a girl would face playing on a boys team. 
I absolutely loved this book, loved the writing, loved the characters. I found myself routing for Michigan through this whole book. As well as, wanting to hug her or eat Hagen daz ice cream with her, when she needed it. 
Five stars!!!
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For some reason, this book felt like it was more geared towards middle schoolers than young adults. I don't know if I'm getting too old or the characters too confusing but I felt like this was in no way how teenagers would behave. The story overall was fine if a bit predictable and I did like the sports aspect but just wished for a bit more depth to the story.
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In this book, our main character Michigan joins the boys' team when the girls' hockey team loses its funding. The boys aren't happy about that, and neither is their coach, so she has to deal with violent misogyny and abuse from them. Which made this book a very anger-inducing read. I especially found myself angry at the coach, who has a daughter himself but is so extremely misogynistic that I hated him even more than Michigan's team mates.

Beyond anger though, this book really didn't make me feel much. The main reason for that is that the book isn't very fleshed out. There's the main issues, yes, but aside from that, the characters don't have much depth, and neither does the setting. It's sometimes hard to follow the story and parts of it feel rushed, like the start and ending of Michigan's relationship.

CWs: toxic masculinity, misogyny/sexism, assault/violence, rape drugs & attempted rape, bullying, diet talk, homophobic language ("d*ke" used as a slur), ableist language (mostly from the bullies)
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When strength comes in numbers what do you do when you are the only girl on the team? When you screw up how do you make it right? When you make it through hell how does it feel so close to heaven?
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DNF @44% 
This one just wasn’t for me. It felt too young..more like middle grade & a bit too predictable. I’m not the right audience for it which is a downer because I was excited to get into this one 🙁
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Thank you Netgalley for providing me a copy of Michigan Vs. the Boys. 

Was this book perfect? No. Did it handle serious issues in a realistic way? Yes. That and more. When first getting into the book, I was a little uncertain. It seemed to focus on an insta-love relationship and an underdog story- I wasn't sure if it was going to be a corny romcom. Then, about halfway through the book, the tone shifted into something serious and darker. From that moment on, I couldn't put the book down.

I highly recommend this book to any young adult who feels like there's nothing they can do and that they have to grin and bare it. You are not alone.
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4.5 stars - thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to read & review it. 

I really liked this one and I thought not being a hockey fan that it wouldn't be as enjoyable but it still was. Michigan's school had to make budget cuts and the girl's hockey team and boy's swim team both got cut. And since the boys hockey team didn't get cut, Michigan tries out for that instead. She ends up excelling on the boys team and that obviously doesn't flow well with the boys. Not to mention she's juggling school, a new relationship, and her best friend and former teammates aren't really there for her. 

Michigan's strength and resilience was impressive. I admired her and really enjoyed reading this book. I loved that her family was very involved with the sport and that it showed how an athlete really needs a good support system aside from the dedication and strength to be a great athlete.
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Michigan vs. The Boys was one of my favorite young adult reads this year. Michigan is one of my new favorite book heroines - her attitude and drive to achieving her goals as a star hockey player is something I would aspire to. Michigan's overall persona was great; however, I thought her stubbornness and jealous mentality (especially when it came to her former teammates) was really irritating at times but eventually it was resolved. Like many contemporary novels, Carrie Allen addresses many common social issues that teens deal with today: bullying, harassment, and hazing. She wrote scenes in a way that makes the reader want to riot behind Michigan in support and love. The books also addresses a lot of stereotypes that are perpetuated like the entire "boys will be boys" - "women don't belong on men's sports teams" - "women are weak", etc. There is a romance in the novel was well and although it was featured heavily it wasn't the main focal point; however, I did find it refreshing that the relationship was with someone NOT on the hockey team. Overall, I'm excited to read the next novel released by this author.
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I have never felt such raw emotion reading a book as I did with Michigan vs. The Boys. I was happy, gooey over the romance, infuriated over the sexism exhibited by her teammates and coach, and was so deeply upset by what Michigan had to endure for the sport she loves. This was a difficult read, something that I want to recommend to everyone who thinks hazing or sexism is not a big deal. I will be thinking about this story for a long time. Michigan, you are a role model.
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A very difficult read, but absolutely worth it. Michigan is an extremely strong character and I admire her dedication to what she loves throughout this book.
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A refreshingly unique story unlike any other. A deep well thought out plot. Non-stop action that leaves you on the edge of your seat. The characters are very well developed and real. I really loved this book, and hope to read more from this author soon. I recommend for mature readers due to intense subjects.
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3/5 stars:

Michigan vs The Boys is, I would, a very important contemporary that I'm so glad is now out and that I feel has the potential to be crucial for young teenage girls. This book focuses heavily on hockey and it deals with very interesting and hard to read topics like misogyny in sports and bullying. I think for young girls involved in any kind of sport this book has a very strong capacity to resonate with them.

I think that the protagonist of the story, Michigan, is a good character. So many times in YA contemporary we get main characters that we don't really know outside of the plot of romance or friendship or whatever. Michigan was very passionate about her hobbies and it made her feel like a more realistic character because of that. 

The rest of the characters, however, were pretty plain and two-dimensional: we get our villains, our love interest, the family, the friends, etc. They don't offer much to the plot apart from a few key plot elements. We don't know their thoughts or emotions, really. 

By the last third of the story Michigan's friendship with her ex-teammates from the girls' hockey team starts being of more importance and I think that was the best part of the whole book. I wish we had gotten more of it and more interactions between the girls from the very beginning. In fact, I'm very sad at how irrelevant Michigan's friendship with her best friend was during the whole book. I thought at the very beginning of the book that it had so much potential and then it was taken from us until like the last chapter. It was very sad. 

In general this was a quick and important read, I think, but not great enough to become a favorite or for me to be able to rave about it. I do still recommend it, though!
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*I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review.* *Overall review of the book, no spoilers or details*

Michigan vs. the Boys, had me from the title. Being a Michigan girl myself, I was excited to see a book about the state and what it had to offer. After reading the description, I am hooked. 

A story about a girl, named Michigan, who is a fierce hockey player, working so hard all last season and summer finally receives the title of Assistant Captain for her high school girl's team. She is on a high until she brought crashing back to earth when she is told that her team is cut because of funding. Hockey is Michigan's life, what is a girl to do? She could be like some of her team members, and move on from hockey, join another team in another school, or different sport all together. No, that, not Michigan, she decides to try out of for the boy's team. 

I like the pacing of the story; it was a quick read, had me laughing at parts with Michigan and her friends, and also her interaction with her brother. The relationship with her parents I would have like to see more development; I felt that overall, her mom and dad were not there and that her relationship with her mom never really develop. 

I did like her relationship with Jack, he is the perfect boyfriend that we all wanted in high school, sweet, and supportive, and in my mind, adorable! I did like that he wasn't afraid to stand up to Michigan, after her keeping things from him. It wasn't in a mean way, more in an 'I am an equal part of this relationship, and you should have included me in on what was going on.'

I will say, I did get annoyed with Michigan, always keeping the harassment and bullying that she was enduring from the boys on the hockey team a secret. I have never been in a situation like it, but I just wanted her to say something earlier. I felt like saying to her, 'is it worth it?' I guess it was. I felt the themes of harassment, bullying, hazing, and sexual assault were written well, for a YA book, and open up the conversations that young adults can have with their parents.

I will say the ending felt rush and cut short. I always want more from a story that I genuinely like. I am invested in characters, and the story, I still want more. I would like to see more from Carrie S. Allen and about Michigan. Possibly here going off to college? Or how Michigan and Jack relationship progresses with here in highschool and Jack in college? I would also like to see Michigan and her mom's relationship develop more. 

Overall I think this is a great book, a quick read, and I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a great story. Yes, it is a sports-based story, but even if you are, not a hockey fan, my knowledge is minimal; you can still understand the wring and description of gameplay sections. It's a fun, but yet serious story, with just a hit of first love.
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When her school cuts the girls' hockey team, 17-year-old Michigan is left with no other option than to try out for the boys' team. Hockey could be her future, but first Michigan has to survive the hell her new teammates put her through. The boys don't like that she is a better player than most of them, they don't want her on their team, and they make sure Michigan knows it.

This is a very uncomfortable book. And it should be. The author could have chosen to lean into the aspirational and uplifting aspects of a story like this, and it would have still been an entertaining - but slightly saccharine - read. By putting the misogyny, the hazing, the gendered violence front and centre, Carrie S. Allen has written the story of a brave teenaged girl who is stuck between two impossible choices: suffer the abuse and still play the sport she loves, or call out the misogyny and be dismissed as a girl who just isn't tough enough to play with the boys.

I flew through this book. I could feel my heart race during the hockey scenes, break during the abuse scenes, and soar whenever Michigan won some ground in her battles against society and herself. This story gripped me tight from the very first page and it hasn't let me go yet. I'm not a hockey fan. I don't think I've ever even watched five minutes of it during the Olympics when there's nothing else on. But maybe I'll watch a few games next time. In support of Michigan and her bravery.
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I received an ebook copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

First, I'd like to point out some triggers: there is quite a lot of physical and mental violence, sexual abuse.

Michigan vs. the Boys is definitely not a happy-go-lucky story about a girl making it to the boys' hockey team. It is exactly the opposite.
But that might be the thing that made this book so good. I don't mean it the way that all happening here is justified, not at all! I mean that this book managed to get so many different feelings out of me, some even that I did not know were possible. This makes you think a lot.

Michigan is my new role model. Such a strong girl right there! She goes through so much shit that I can't even imagine to survive myself. I could definitely argue with many choices she made but at the end, I understand why she did what she did.
The other girls from the girls' hockey team got my hair stick up at first. They didn't seem to care anymore and were doing their own thing, kind of blaming Mich for not joining them. But they did grow throughout the story as well as Michigan did.
The boys, oh boy. Some of them managed to make me be so darn angry that I'm not sure I have ever felt that way. I guess it was kind of the purpose. But I love it how there were some sweet and cute in the midst of them bad ones.
Jack. I don't quite see the swoonworthiness in him but I guess his okay. Though he has every right for his emotions.

The only issues I had were the facts that it all seemed to unravel so easy with everything. Like just a snap of fingers and the end. Which brings me to the end that was quite nonexistent, if that's the right word for it. Michigan vs the Boys kind of just ended, with not much content.

All in all I loved this book. I know so much shit like this goes on in the world and it should not be that way. Maybe we can all learn a thing or two from Michigan and from the others too.
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Michigan vs the Boys clearly shows the struggles female athletes endure in order to participate with male athletes.  It is a must read!
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