Michigan vs. the Boys

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Member Reviews

I was really enjoying this book until the overbearing male “girls can’t do anything” became too much for what would  be allowed in today’s public high school. I let it go and kept pushing through because Michigan’s story is awesome and the writing is tight. 

However, at 39% Michigan decides to insult cheerleaders everywhere by mentioning how they get their letters by “gift wrapping” and I just cannot continue. It is absolutely DISGUSTING and you would think the love they showed would be a seen as someone being happy for her. Instead, we get an utter lack of respect and mean girl vibes. 

SHAME ON YOU CARRIE S. ALLEN!
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What a fantastic YA novel. Michigan vs The Boys is about Michigan, who tries out for - and successfully joins - the boys hockey team when her school disbands the girls hockey team. Naturally, the boys aren't happy having a girl (and a very good hockey-playing girl at that) on their team. Michigan goes through a lot to stay on the team, but comes out the other side stronger. I don't want to give too much away, but I thought Allen expertly handled some serious issues in this book. Some of the hockey jargon went over my head, but I was still able to easily following along. It's a great novel for teenage girls.
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Ever read a book and think to yourself, "why haven't I been begging for a book like this? Why didn't I consider something like this was possible?"

Yep. That about sums it up.

Michigan vs. the Boys is the book about hockey, badass women, and toxic masculinity that you weren't aware you needed but definitely wanted the moment you set eyes on it. 

I have so much love for this novel and cannot wait for it to be released into the world.
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This book kicked @$$ and I loved it. A YA book about a hockey playing heroine that wasn't sappy or trite never existed until now! There are so many young readers out there are will be clamoring for this book and I will recommend it to all the others!
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This was a great book. Michigan is a kinda tough character, who just gets tougher as more goes wrong – however it does take her a little while to get tougher. I loved the relationship between her and Jack. I kinda hated the coach for the way he treated her, and her ‘bad’ male teammates for their attitude towards her, however, I understand that that was the whole point. Michigan’s mom also frustrated me with her lack of support. This book is intense, but it deals with important topics, so it is definitely one I would recommend.
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When Michigan Manning discovers that budget cuts have caused her school to dismantle the girls hockey team, she is determined to find a way to continue playing the sport she loves. She tries out for the boys team and makes the roster. Then comes toxic masculinity, bullying, hazing, and harassment. Michigan is fierce, determined, and resilient through it all. She's determined to be a good role model and pave the way for all young girls dreaming of becoming hockey players. Along the way there's a bit of romance too, but it doesn't detract from the story. There are a few moments that fall flat and a few one-dimensional characters, but overall it's a great addition to the YA Sports fiction section.
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This book was so much different than the typical YA, sports contemporaries that I read. This wasn’t a feel-good, romance-powered book. Instead, it covered real-life issues and centered around female empowerment. Michigan is a strong female character and there are many instances included in the novel where we see females supporting other females. I felt really connected to Michigan, and found myself rooting for her from the very beginning of the story. While this book isn’t a light-hearted read, it addresses real, societal problems that women are currently battling. Michigan vs. The Boys opens up the important discussion of sexism in our world today and I hope that anyone who has felt the way Michigan did can read this book and feel understood.
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It's safe to say I loved this book. First of all, I love a good hockey story. Maybe it has to do with my New England roots or having a crush on all the players in the movie Miracle, but you can definitely get me to read any book that has to do with hockey. I think this Michigan Vs. The Boys is the perfect book for fans of Beartown by Fredrik Backman. It's definitely written for a YA audience but it's totally worth reading as an adult. Michigan is a fantastic role model for young girls. But the main reason I loved this book is because it is a story of female empowerment. It is a story where girls, women, stand by each other and where women who come forward are believed. It was deliciously satisfying. Even if in our current climate women are rarely believed when they speak against men, at least this story will give girls the courage to stand up for themselves, what is right, and their female friends. Loved it.
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This was a great sports read that finally didn't dig to deep into a romantic relationship. It's about a strong likable female character who stands up for a game she loves and joins the boys team when there's no girl's team. Things don't go as well as she hopes. She endures hazing and other tortures but in the end comes through it even stronger. Yes, this story has been done before. But it's not done often enough. I really enjoyed everything about this book. It does contain some triggers such as abuse, drinking, date rape drugs. Certain teens might be turned off because of some of that, but others, especially athletes, should read this book.
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First time reader of Carrie S. Allen. Total girl power. A quick read. 

Michigan is strong and dedicated. When the girls hockey team is over she joins the boys team. Yet the boys don’t want her apart of it. 

Because of this she experiences hazing abuse and harassment. But Michigan takes it all in stride not wanting to be thrown of the team. 

Such a heart wrenching story. I felt pain for her. Not too focused on romance. This was an overall great read. 

*Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
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This was an incredible story. I found myself getting extremely attached to the heroine, Michigan. When her school endures budget cuts and eliminates her girl’s hockey team, she tries out (and makes) the boy’s team. She is strong and determined to show she can keep up and belong on the team. I know I wouldn’t be able to hang like she does. 

This book sucked me in and I felt myself celebrating with Mich and wanting to cry with her too. I look forward to seeing more from the author! As a reader, I felt like the author built the characters well and it was an enjoyable read.

(I do plan to also leave my review on Amazon, but I'm currently getting an error message).
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*Recieved from netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Michigan loves hockey, and unfortunately, her girl's team gets cut, so she takes matters into her own hands and tries out for the boy's team, and she makes it. Her teammates aren’t happy about it and do all they can to get Michigan to quit, taking it a step too far...

Michigan is one of my favourite characters I’ve ever read. She is so passionate about ice hockey, I mean I have no interest in it and know nothing about it, but you could feel the pure joy Mich got from playing that you couldn’t help but love it too ❤️ 

I, however, hated the majority of the men in this, mostly the coach and the team. The pure audacity, sexism and pure right hatred they spewed had me seathing!! To think people still actually think such sexist things in 2019 truly baffles me. Can we also talk about Jake?! Like he seemed the sweetest dude but the way he reacted to Mich’s troubled annoyed he hell out of me. Like NO you don’t get to react like that. 

The friendships in this book were also great, her female teammate stuck by her even when they didn’t have a team, believed her every word, was truly girl-power at its finest 🎉

100% would recommend this powerful read.
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4 or 4.5 out of 5 stars. This book's impact hasn't fully settled in yet.

My full review can be found on: https://atlanticreads.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/review-2-michigan-vs-the-boys-by-carrie-s-allen/

Here's a preview of my thoughts: 
I love this book. I love the message it sends and the points it proves and generally how real it feels. I, as a teenager, live in a world where this happens. I see it all the time, I hear it all the time, yet it’s still a problem. This could’ve happened at my high school, this could’ve happened at yours, it’s so absolutely generic and relevant and I feel so passionately about this book that my sentences are starting to get repetitive. 

I personally believe that each book has at least one shining characteristic, one aspect of the novel done so well that it outshines everything else and for Michigan vs the Boys, the purpose of this book shines so bright.
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This story is about Michigan who loves hockey. When the girls team is cut in her school she decides to join the boys team AND people have opinions about it. The boys don't want her there, the coach doesn't want her there, her mom does not like it. But Michigan loves hockey and that makes her try even harder. However, when some of her teammates start bullying her, Michigan is faced with a hard decision - stay and have something horrible happen to her or fight for all the girls who will one day have to face something similar.

It was often difficult to read this book and see what Michigan had to experience. I felt sad for her, and often shook my head and the choices she made. However, I understood her a well - she wanted to be strong and didn't want to rely on anyone. She did not feel like anyone was in her corner and she really wanted to be noticed as the hardworking athlete she was. 

"The girl will never have a day off" was somethnig that was often mentioned in this book and the author showed us how hard Michigan had to work for everything. It starts the conversation about sexism in high school and how we have to face it in all aspects of life. This book explores how men in power can influence a womans life, how men centered sports are and how often bystanders won't do nothing because they do not want the hassle. 

It is an important book and I wish teenagers would read it and learn from it. I will definitely be on the lookout for this author and what she writes next.
I recieved a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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When Title 9 passed, and made it so that women’s sports had to get the same funding as men’s sports, athletics changed in the United States. 

When I was a child, there were very few girl’s teams. 

And you would think that would be the end of it.

But in this book, the school cuts Michigan’s hockey team, and cuts a boys team, to even it out, and thus gets around the rule.  But Michigan still wants to play, so she signs up for the boy’s team, and makes sure she is “one of the boys” and take all that is thrown at her, so that she can stay and play.

And like a horror movie where you are yelling at the next victim to not go into that room, or into the woods, or answer the door, there are many times in this book where I was shouting at Michigan to stop what she was about to do, just to stay out the team, or to question the actions of the other boys.

This made for a heart wrenching story, as I ached for her, and rooted for her at the same time.

Oh, and there is some romance, but that does not get in the way of the story. 

Well done, good read, and great story.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
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"The girl will never get a day off". Michigan vs. the Boys was a brilliant exploration on what it means to be a girl in the world of sport, particularly when competing against (and on a team with)  men. 

The book begins when Michigan's women's hockey team at her high school is shut down due to budget cuts, and with no other available opportunities to play women's hockey, she decides to try out for the men's team. But making it onto the team is the easy part; the challenge really begins when Michigan comes up against her fellow teammates, who are threatened and angered by her presence on the team. 

At times the way the boys, particularly team captain Daniel, treat their supposed teammate made me uncomfortable, but that's the point of the book. To expose toxic masculinity and misogyny, and also the influence that men in power can have on the future of a woman. It calls out cases of active harassment, but also the ignorance of watchful bystanders who let other men harass women and stay silent. Michigan was an admirable character, fiercely protective of her friends and her position on the team. I felt how badly she wanted to play hockey, and her determination to set an example for the future girls and women of her sport, but I also felt her discomfort and her fear in the male-dominated environment.

Occasionally I struggled to understand the sporting references, but that did not take away from the overall message of the novel, which was one surrounding the culture and existence of toxic masculinity, even in an extracurricular school activity. Carrie S Allen's debut opens up the discussion of sexism in a whole new arena, and I will immediately add any other releases to my TBR.
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Reading a contemporary book that did not focus on a love story was pretty refreshing.

It all starts when the main character's, Michigan, girl hockey team gets cut from the high school budget. What is she going to do now ? Leave and find another school to play for ? Nope. She decides to join the boy's team.

And that's why I got interested in this book. In 2019 you'd think girl and women would be a little more equals to guys than before, but this book is a reminder that it's not always the case. Some men will always feel threatened by women seemingly stronger than them. It's obviously not the case everywhere and this is a fiction, but I was glad that it brings up that topic, and most importantly, highlights the fact girls shouldn't shut up about being abused buy boys. Being silent is the worst way to deal with it.

Now that all that aspect has been talked about, I can finally go on about how much I love Michigan hahah ! She is definitely a strong character ! Not only is she playing hockey, which I find super cool as I was never able to do so much as stand on skates, but she's just passion driven, and powerful. So, okay she gets some moral support from her former teammates, but she still doesn't give up on the guy's team, no matter what happens. She plows through all the obstacles, and that people, is a character I stan !

I was a little less enthusiastic about the love interest, Jack, because he's so useless to the story. Like, okay he goes through the same kind of things as Michigan, but honestly, I couldn't be too bothered by his story (or lack of it, in this case). To me, the whole book was more about girls sticking together, even if Jack was there supporting Michigan as well. I'm a sucker for a girls' group and I loved that whole team vibe coming from the girls' team !

My biggest disappointment though was Brie, Michigan's "best friend"... That girl just chooses to leave hundreds miles away so she can keep playing hockey, without so much as a glance back, and only keeps in touch with Michigan when she has stuff to say (mostly dumb stuff), and I couldn't understand the end of the book regarding her character. That was really bad. I don't even know why Brie was written. She's a ghost throughout the whole story and just pops in here and there for the most random stuff. She's totally expendable to me.

Overall, I really did like the whole book and plot. Michigan is a character you come to like pretty quickly and the good vibe is always present in the background, even with the topic of girls vs boys being the main focus of the story. 4 stars is my rating for it, and I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a contemporary with a slightly stronger topic than just romance. It was also a quick read and would probably be able to get you out of a reading slump !

Thanks Netgalley and Kids Can Press for providing me with and e-arc !
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I read a hockey themed romance earlier this year, and am trying to write a sporty YA, so I thought this was going to be such an awesome fit for me. Don't get me wrong, it IS overall an awesome effort as stories about abuse and violence and gender issues like this deserve to be written, read and appreciated, but I had a hard time fully immersing myself in the story. There were several parts that were too sensitive, and I was probably not mentally prepared to digest them all, therefore affecting my enjoyment. Again, still a worthwhile read, especially if you're into sports and are invested in the politics and dynamics of how it is to be an athlete.
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A thought-provoking, at times shocking, story that highlights the challenges female athletes face in male-dominated sports such as hockey. Sports fiction is one of the most requested genres in many school libraries but it seems there is never enough available to recommend to students. This will be a welcomed addition, even more so since it not only satisfies the sports aspects by giving readers first-hand experiences of a hockey game - definitely action-packed - but equally shines light on what it means to be an athlete, the struggles of meeting academic and athletic demands, finding support and acceptance for one's passion, dealing with success and failures, family and friendship struggles and coming-of-age in all of this. I couldn't put the book down and basically read it in one go.
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What an enjoyable YA read! I married into a family that enjoys hockey so I thought I would give this a read when I saw it over at Netgalley. YA books tend to be hit or miss for me and so I went in with "middle of the road" expectations. Allen's story of Michigan and her fight to continue to play hockey exceeded those expectations. I did not want to put this book down, which is saying something for me and a YA book. 



While it seems hard to believe that a school in Michigan would disband the girls' hockey team, even with budget constraints, that is the scenario that Michigan and her teammates encounter. While the girls find other alternatives, Michigan is left with only one option: try out for a spot on the boys' team. I found Michigan to be believable as a young woman. As an athlete, she is tough and determined while also typically being interested in a cute boy and clashing with her mom. It was a little unbelievable how detached her parents seemed but set up certain situations in the book. While I found this annoying and puzzling, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story. 



Michigan faces hazing that ranges from ostracization (difficult and not the best but not horrible) to sexual harassment (appalling). I want to believe that boys don't act like this but then I remember that they are not adults and are prone to making poor decisions. (And yet, how did they get to the point where some of their actions actually seemed okay to them). And I am completely lost when it comes to the coach's response. 



Overall, Allen's book takes a hard look at equality in sports and hazing providing insight to those subjects. Michigan is a girl you root for; her journey to valuing herself, standing up for herself and not allowing the captain and his crew to mistreat her leaves you cheering.
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