Michigan vs. the Boys

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Member Reviews

"Michigan vs. the Boys" is an impactful novel on hazing culture and sexual harrassment in the context of high school sports.

The main characters, Michigan, was a great protagonist and I liked the friendships she had with other girls and her relationship with her brother. It bothered me how little support she received from her parents, especially her mother, and her best friend and I wished this was adressed a little more. I liked how the situation with her mother was resolved, but there could have been a little more to it and her friends' lack of support wasn't really dealt with at all.

The hazing and sexual harrassment storylines were really intense and well done and I liked that Michigan wasn't the only person impacted by it.

Overll, this is an amazing book on a an important subject and I would definitely recommend it.
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Does anyone else just kind of skim book descriptions when trying to decide whether to read something or not? This is apparently my ultimate weakness, but it has lead to some pretty good surprises. I read the first part of the summary for Michigan vs. the Boys and knew I needed to read it. I love when girls step up and challenge guys, especially in sports. I thought I was getting something similar to Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally. Instead I got a book that handled both physical and sexual assault the right way, strong friendships and a good family dynamic all combined with a kicka** hockey playing girl that can hold her own with the boys.

At the start of Michigans' Junior year of high school, her and her best friend are running the girls hockey team and are on top on the world. Then the rug is pulled out from under her, the team is being disbanded due to financial issues with the school. Suddenly her best friend is moving to Chicago and her teammates are all going their own separate ways with other sports or distant teams. With no options left why not take a shot act trying out for the boys hockey team. What's the worst thing that could happen?

This book has a little of everything in it. The friendships between the girls was so genuine. While Michigan starts the book feeling like a one man team floating alone, her friends were always there for her if she needed them and showed up to have her back at the most crucial time. She also had the support of her little brother the whole time. He looked up to her but also had her back. Jack Ray, the lover interest, was also so supportive and encouraged Michigan even when he didn't know what was going on. While I thought the romance was a little too insta-relationsip/love, I liked Jack as a character and loved how he supported and set Michigan straight.

Assault is no joke and I thought the author did a fantastic job of handling this taboo topic properly. As the only girl on an all boys team, one would imagine a bit of hazing to happen but in a good spirited, non-harmful way that eventually ends in the boys excepting her as an integral part of the team. What Michigan experienced was beyond that. This novel is about Michigan trying to decide where the line between the guys "having some fun" and "assault" is. She feels alone, isolated from her friends and family while going through this. If she tells it will make her seem weak and could potentially take hockey out of her life. I don't want to give too much away, but she does wait too long and is fortunate to have her friends and family stand behind her while she tries to rectify the situation.

Overall I'd say this is a powerful read that other young women need to read.  It tackles hard topics but also has some light moments in it that helps to balance it out. Michigan is such a strong and admirable character that is a good role model for other girls to look up to. While it is about hockey, it keeps it light without too much details just key game moments. There is a cute fluff romance with a swoon-worthy swimmer.and a great supportive group of gal-pals who really come through for each other. I 10/10 recommend this read for the fall.
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I want to thank Netgalley for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest review.

This book was addictive.
I’ll be honest some parts of this book were hard to read because of what the main character has to endure.
It isn’t exactly a happy story but I feel like it was an important one to tell.
The boys team were honestly horrible and I admire the fact her character worked so hard and didn’t give up even when they were being horrible.
It touches on some seriously tough subjects but I feel the author handed it amazingly.
4 stars.
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Thank you to Netgalley for this ARC!

I loved the concept of Michigan vs the Boys - it's a tale that's been told many times but that doesn't get enough attention. We've seen it in football, basketball, but never in hockey, which is what makes this book fresh (or should I say, crisp like winter air?).

Michigan's character is very relatable and her actions aren't out of character. I really felt for Michigan as everything was happening to her. I commend her for her bravery and women out there just like her. 

Unfortunately, this book didn't feel like it lived up to its expectations. Even though everything Michigan went through was horrible, I felt like the stakes could have been upped. Maybe I've just become desensitized and don't find the events of the book "traumatic" enough and that is on me. I know the stakes are already high enough since she could lose everything if she told on the boys but as the book was progressing, I almost expected a big downfall for her. 

The coach was very confusing. He was very loving towards his daughter but not sympathetic at all towards Michigan. I would have really liked to explore that notion a lot more. 

Some of the characters, okay all, lacked depth. It became a one person show and that really dragged the pacing and didn't make me care about the characters around her. I know it's Michigan's story but it would have added to the novel if other characters were made more prominent.
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4.5 stars
Truth be told, I didn't think I would enjoy this book as much as I did.
I was looking for a quick light read in between darker thrillers and this looked fun.
I'm not so sure about that assessment. Parts of it were cute and fun, but mostly was pretty heavy. Even a bit crime-y. 
Michigan (the MC) has a lot to deal with in this book and the themes are very relevant for girls (and women) right now. I think boys could certainly benefit from reading this as well. At times the behaviour of some of the characters felt a little unrealistic, but everything else was so good, I let it slide. 
It didn't feel preachy about what it was trying to convey.
I thought Michigan was a great female lead, a very strong, resilient young woman. 
I highly recommend this, especially to teen girls.
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I enjoyed this book more then I thought I was going too Michigan had to fight to be seen as one of the boys on the Hockey team because the girls hockey team got dismantled. Girls always have to fight and work hard in sports to be equal to the boys even though they still won’t be seen as equal which sucks to hear as a female but it’s the world we live in
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Thank You NetGalley and GoodReads for giving me an Advanced Copy!! This book was absolutely amazing. This is not a book I would have picked off the shelf, but it was one that deserved to be. It makes you question how far some people will go to prevent women from being equal with men in the sports world and how much women will put up with to be accepted. This was a great first novel by Carrie S. Allen and I can't wait to see what else she will be writing. A book I highly recommend this Fall.
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When the girls hockey team gets cut Michigan decides to try out for the boys team. When Michigan makes the team what follows is Michigan enduring extreme hazing all while trying to prove the she deserves her spot on the team.

Michigan is a strong, resilient character, she pushes herself to work hard for her spot on the team and every minute that she plays. Michigan endures brutal hazing from her teammates that make is clear that she is not accepted on the team. Michigan fears that speaking out will only make things worse so she stays quiet on all that she endures. It's angering to see how much her teammates attack her and how the coach turns a blind eye to everything. Michigan had a lot of friends who had her back when everything finally comes out and it was great to see all the support the she eventually receives. I loved the relationship that Michigan had with her younger brother Trent who shares her love of hockey. 

I love hockey and really enjoyed all the scenes involving games. I could picture exactly what was described in each scene. As a Red Wings fan I really enjoyed those references scattered throughout the book.

A quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed. A good read for hockey fans and even enjoyable for those who aren't. This does deal with triggering topics involving bullying, assault, and date rape drug.
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Michigan vs. the Boys kept me hooked throughout, but there were many parts that I cringed at. This story deals with many heavy topics and it was addressed well.
Michigan is a very strong and relatable girl. She has very real emotions and interactions with her friends. She endured so much but still continued to be the best that she could be.
Michigan's coach perplexed me. He had a daughter that played on a boys team and he treated his daughter and Michigan very differently.
I feel the need to note that there many good guys in the story as well. Between Jack, and Michigans' brother and father, there were many good examples. Her father supported her in everything she did and did his best to be there for her. Jack encouraged her to reach for her dreams. Her brother had his own moments of support such as teaching her how to play like the guys.
The hockey terms were easily understandable and compelling. I have never played hockey or been on a swimming team but both sports were explained well.
I would not recommend this book to sensitive readers.

Rating: 3.5 Stars
Content: 1 Star; many trigger warnings

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
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***Thank you to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of MICHIGAN VS THE BOYS by Carrie S Allen in exchange for my honest review.***

When the girl’s hockey team is disbanded Michigan decides to try out for the boys team where she experiences hazing, abuse and harassment. Afraid of being thrown off the team, she takes the beatings and mistreatment secret, not wanting to disappoint young girls who look up to her or hurt her chances at a college scholarship.

MICHIGAN VS THE BOYS is an uncomfortable book, and it should be. The hockey team is filled with entitled boys, abusers and silent bystanders. I cringed when the boys beat up Michigan, wondering how far toxic masculinity would take these boys. Most of the boys I grew up with knew hitting a girl was taboo, but Michigan’s teammates delude themselves under the guise of team unity and teaching rookies how to fit in. I hope boys wouldn’t be so brutal to a girl, but know they have been to other boys, which isn’t much better. High schools around here have made the news for rape being part of freshman hazing on boys’ teams.

I questioned why Michigan didn’t say something. Her story parallels those of teens battered by their boyfriends (or girlfriends). She minimized, thought she had to take the abuse and made excuses. The coach was allowed the hazing, even if he didn’t know all the details. He clearly didn’t want Michigan on his team.

MICHIGAN VS THE BOYS is an important book, one that can spark necessary discussions facilitated by adults. Carrie S Allen’s debut should be read by athletes, coaches and parents. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
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I read this book in a few hours and honestly I was happily surprised with how fast paced it went. The relationships were built up well and I think it was really interesting to see a novel like this. I also enjoyed the fact that the book was advertised as having to do somewhat with #MeToo and that how it was handled in the book was well done and did not go the angle I expected. I think if I had to say one thing that kinda bugged me it would be that I felt like the hockey lingo and game descriptions kind of went over my head and I think that could be the same for other readers who are not very knowledgable of the sport. However, I do believe that all readers will enjoy this topical, fun, &  inspiring story. I know I did.
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