Michigan vs. the Boys

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Member Reviews

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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Actual rating 3.75 stars. This was a engaging and quick read for me! The story and plot kept me interested and I read it one sitting. As not a avid hockey fan this really got me interested in the sport. Michigan Manning is a dedicated and strong character she has her faults as all 17 year olds do, the second half of the book I wanted to pull my hair out with her questionable decisions.   Although this story needed to be told. The amount of sexism and toxic masculinity in sports is disappointing and I definitely think this story definitely opens up discussion in those areas. 
*I received this book from netgalley for a honest review*
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First of all, I knew I was going to love this book because it has one of the most clever opening lines/first paragraphs I’ve read in YA. But you’ll have to buy the book to know what it says.

Michigan lives, breathes, and sleeps hockey. Her teammates are also her best friends, so when school budget cuts doom their team to a disband in chapter one, the girls are furious. She can’t bring herself to quit hockey, but she also can’t transfer schools. So she makes a decision.

She goes out for the boys’ team.

This entire book, I felt like I was watching a literal hockey game, standing up out of my chair and cheering my favorite players on. Michigan is kick-ass. She’s unapologetically fantastic at hockey. And the boys don’t like that. For a plethora of reasons that aren’t limited to but are heavily rooted in misogyny, they’re threatened by the fact that a girl is outplaying them on their own team.

That’s when things turn physical. Michigan puts up with harassment that goes from bad to worse. I want to keep this review spoiler-free, while also talking about the way in which this book says so much that’s important about girls taking a stand against boys and men who take advantage of them. Not only that, but this book shines light on just how hard it can be to take that stand— for Michigan, speaking up will cost a lot more than just unwanted attention.

This is handled absolutely perfectly in the story. There’s concluding something neatly and then there’s immense narrative satisfaction, and the way it shakes out in this book is the latter of the two.

Michigan is a dynamite protagonist. I can’t remember the last time I was that amped-up about watching a character succeed. But she wasn’t perfect— and I loved that about her. She thrived when she needed to, and she struggled in plenty of places. I don’t mean struggles that had to do with the harassment— I mean personal stuff, real teenage stuff that any kid goes through, stuff that adds to a story and to a character’s experience in all the right ways.

There is an absolutely wonderful cast of supporting characters— I especially loved Jack, Michigan’s love interest, who was absolutely supportive and yes, swoony, while entirely giving Michigan the narrative spotlight. Also, a major shoutout to Avery, the Canadian goalie. I love that man.

Michigan vs. the Boys is an adrenaline rush, a social statement, and a feel-good story about a girl kicking ass and taking names, all at once. Fight like a girl, indeed.
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i have never joined any sports teams inside and outside of school, or played sports competitively, and i’m embarrassed to admit that yes, i know basically nothing about sports. in michigan vs. the boys, i was introduced to the world of swim and hockey meets, team spirit (or lack thereof) and high school showcases. but the book is so much more than that.

i went into this book expecting some bella and the bulldogs-esque plot, in which the guys admire the girl who outplays them and treats her as one of their own. but sadly, michigan vs. the boys is a much sadder story. once she joins the boys’ team, michigan is often mistreated by her teammates, and even sexually assaulted at one point. her determination and courage is so, so admirable. it’s heartbreaking seeing her try so hard to conceal her wounds and pain just so she can secure a hockey scholarship for her to go to college.

this is the separate-the-men-from-the-boys part.
lucky for me, i’m all girl.

but it’s still good to know that while some people are trying to hurt and take michigan down, there are also many good people in her life who’d do anything to protect and support her.

i loved michigan’s relationship with her family. they’re really close – her brother, trenton, is on the bantam hockey team, and i loved seeing how much he cares about her feelings – my favorite scene was the one where he sees michigan feeling sad, then cheers her up by practising hockey moves with her in the bathroom. and michigan’s parents are also so supportive – the both of them, michigan’s mom especially, don’t really approve of her playing on the boys’ team, but they must have realized how much hockey means to her at some point, because they let her join in the end.

michigan’s friendship with her former girls’ team teammates is also so amazingly positive. although at the beginning it seems that they’re all leaving her to go join other teams, or even try a different sport, i loved how they’re actually there for michigan all along, and silently giving her support. two of her friends even act as “bodyguards” and watch her practices to make sure her boys’ team teammates don’t hurt her on purpose.

the romance is also so good – i loved that while many of the boys in this book are horrible jerks who treat michigan harshly, michigan’s boyfriend jack is an absolute sweetheart. he’s a swimmer whose team gets cut too, and i really liked how he always encourages michigan to pursue her passion, and there’s so much respect and love in their relationship.

i don’t want to reveal too much about the ending, but that last part where the boys made confessions gave me literal goosebumps. in this time and age, when the sports scene is still sadly male-dominated, it’s amazing seeing girls stand up for what they believe in and play hard with determination, and i truly admire michigan for doing so.

to conclude, michigan vs. the boys is not your typical sports novel. it explores difficult topics like sexism, toxic masculinity and hazing, and also features a kick-ass heroine who is strong and determined. i loved this book and will certainly be keeping an eye out for more of carrie s. allen’s novels in the future!
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