Michigan vs. the Boys

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Member Reviews

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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"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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