Cover Image: We Are the Wildcats

We Are the Wildcats

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

4.25 Stars (I received an e-arc from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review)

First of all the blurb on goodreads for this book definitely gives a major spoiler, so I am glad that I never paid attention to it. The story takes place over 24 hours starting with tryouts for the Wildcats field hockey team; a legendary high school girls team, and the team bonding sleepover before the first scrimmage of the season. We have five girls p.o.v's which consists of the senior players Mel (the team captain), Phoebe (Mel's best friend who is struggling with an ACL injury), Ali (missing an important family event in Korean culture for the Wildcats) and the freshman/underclassmen Luci (a sweet freshman who is roped into spying on the team for their coach), Grace (former JV player who was iced out her teammates for being weird and dyed her hair wildcat blue) and Kearson (another JV player who briefly subbed for Phoebe during her injury).

Over the course of the book we get flashbacks to the previous season and how the team kind of fell apart during the championship game. The Coach clearly distrustful of the girls after the loss and we see how problematic he becomes as the girls talk about interactions him and discover how manipulative he is to further his own interests. Which is why I don't like that the line about a toxic coach because that doesn't become clear until much later on in the novel. 

Through this night, tensions reach a boiling point as they steal the rival teams mascot, break into the gym, stealing a laptop and car, eating at a waffle house and ending up back at Mel's house. This is were the girls realize how the Coach has manipulated them through isolating them, making them feel special and controlling their future academic options. Also mental abuse and some accidental physical abuse, even some grooming and shrugging off hurtful racist comments made to one of the girls by the opposite team. Luci shares that Coach asked her to spy on the team, keeping them updated, then Mel finally accepts he is not a good guy after finding out some info related to her scholarship. She sees that her hero worship/ crush has damaged the girls and the team as a whole. Instead of showing up to the Coach's early practice at 9am (when going to bed at 4am) Mel decides to let everyone sleep in and leaving 30 minutes before the games start time. The girls are bonded in standing up up to the coach and when on the field they take back their power in several ways. They stare down the girl who made racist remarks to their teammate, use the pinnies to play (since it's just a scrimmage game, they don't need jerseys that the Coach has) and Coach is clearly realizing that the girls have discovered his nefarious plans. I did want to see Coach face some consequences for what he has done, but the ending is powerful and badass. Luci walks up to him and says "We are the Wildcats. And as of this moment you're fired. Now get the fuck off our field" And then in italics the word whistle signaling the start of the game.
Was this review helpful?
this started off very slow for me and i think it was due to the multiple POVs, which made it difficult to get to know any of the six characters in any real depth. it was also hard to differentiate between them at the beginning, although it eventually got easier as the story progressed. once things started picking up, i got through the rest of the book pretty quickly. i enjoyed the slow unravelling of coach’s character as a manipulative and abusive narcissist, which was revealed in a gradual way through flashbacks of the girls experiences and new information that came to light. this contributed to the overall suspense and made me want to keep reading. one thing i found a bit unrealistic was how none of the girls spoke up to each other about their grievances until the night of the psych-up and the fact that coach’s behaviour went completely unnoticed by the adults, other than kearson’s mom. however, i did appreciate the much-needed positive depiction of female friendships without underlying cattiness and internalized misogyny. in all, i enjoyed this book because i took it for what it was and it helped me get out of a reading slump. thank you to simon & schuster and netgalley for the e-arc. ♡
Was this review helpful?
I had to mark this as a DNF title after I pushed my way to the halfway point. I was really excited about this book and the idea of the girls getting back at their gross coach was a theme that I was hyped for. However the six POVs and the fact that the books “technically” takes place over 24 hours - despite repetitive flashbacks that never seem to end - just makes the book feel really jagged. Unimportant things seem drawn out and important things don’t seem to be present. I also found the switching back and forth between past and present tense was distracting. 

Sadly this book was not for me.
Was this review helpful?
This was a great read, I really liked how the book showed such solidarity between the wildcats and how they came together when faced with controversy. I did find the first part of the book a little slow paced but really enjoyed the writing style and loved how the story came together at the end!!

Go wildcats!!!!
Was this review helpful?
I was excited to read this book because I've enjoyed all of Siobhan Vivian's books that I've read in the past, and the synopsis grabbed my attention. I was excited to receive an e-ARC from Simon & Schuster Canada!

This was a sort of slow-build, character-focused story, so I don't know that it will be everyone's cup of tea. For the first few chapters, I kept waiting for something to happen, some sort of event to incite what I anticipated would be coming, but once I grasped that it was not that kind of book, I settled in and enjoyed this one a lot. 

This story is told via multiple different narratives, following six girls from the team. I found that a little confusing at first, and thought maybe six characters was too many, but I got used to it. It also takes place over the course of a single day/night, which was interesting because that can give a sense of urgency to a story, and I did feel the clock ticking down.

My favourite thing about this book was the girls' friendship and team spirit, and seeing how important the team was to each of them. (SPOILER ALERT) Reading about Coach and his gaslighting was super frustrating, and I was so happy when the girls, particularly Mel, realized it and opened their eyes to his behaviour. I loved their dismissal of him in the end, and while I know that the game was not the point, I felt like the ending was a bit too abrupt for me and I found myself wanting more. 

I loved seeing the girls become a team, and despite some nitpicks, I quite enjoyed this book.
Was this review helpful?
I have to admit, I am not much of a sports fiction reader, however, the synopsis intrigued me. It promised silly adventures and team bonding with a team that would do anything for each other. I absolutely loved seeing the dynamic between the six points of view. The story emphasized a lot on how the Wildcats were a family through and through, no matter the hardships and fights. However, we were also promised a suspenseful read as the girls try to "outplay their coach". Because the book focused so much on the dynamics between the girls, we never fully explore all the perspectives and their part in "uncovering the mystery".  Instead, we get a rushed, last 15% of the novel to discover why the girls even want to ruin their coach.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this! I loved the girl group we followed, seeing the character growth was amazing (which happens to be my favorite thing in a book). I'd recommend this for everyone who wants to read more books following badass girls.
Was this review helpful?
**Disclaimer: I received a free early reader’s copy of We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to them and the publisher for this opportunity.
We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian is a young adult contemporary novel about a high school girl’s field hockey team. It is multi point of view and you get the perspectives of a variety of girls on the varsity team at West Essex high school. We Are the Wildcats publishes on March 31st. I rated it 5 stars on Goodreads.

Here’s the summary from NetGalley:
A toxic coach finds himself outplayed by the high school girls on his team in this deeply suspenseful novel, which unspools over twenty-four hours through six diverse perspectives.
Tomorrow, the Wildcat varsity field hockey squad will play the first game of their new season. But at tonight’s team sleepover, the girls are all about forging the bonds of trust, loyalty, and friendship necessary to win. 
Everything hinges on the midnight initiation ceremony—a beloved tradition and the only facet of being a Wildcat that the girls control. Until now.
Coach—a handsome former college player revered and feared in equal measure—changes the plan and spins his team on a new adventure. One where they take a rival team’s mascot for a joyride, crash a party in their pajamas, break into the high school for the perfect picture.
But as the girls slip out of their comfort zone, so do some long-held secrets. And just how far they’re willing to go for their team takes them all—especially Coach—by surprise.
A testament to the strength and resilience of modern teenage girls, We Are the Wildcats will have readers cheering.
When I picked up this book, I didn’t know anything about it. I had seen the cover before and was admittedly intrigued by the title because it gave me High School Musical vibes. Then I read the summary and I was even more interested. That being said, by the time I actually got around to reading the book, I had zero expectations about what this book was going to be like. I was pretty impressed by this book.
The whole premise of this book is this group of very different girls coming together to bond as a team and become friends. They have to overcome a variety of problems to do this, and they go on some crazy adventures along the way. My favourite part of this book is the dynamic between the girls and the way that they grow and change over the course of one night. They had a lot to learn about themselves and each other, and it was really interesting to watch them do that. It was also really cool to read from all the different girls points of view. I really enjoyed each of their perspectives.
The writing style of this book felt really unique to me. I can’t quite put a finger on it to describe it, but the way it opened was really fascinating. Then it jumped into all the different points of view. I felt it was really well done in how the book was structured and I felt the more neutral way it opened set the stage really well.
To get a little bit spoilery, the major antagonist of this is the coach, but it’s not totally obvious at first. When I started reading it, the way she described the coach made me really uncomfortable as an educator and I didn’t really like how all the girls were talking about him, especially Mel. Mel later admits to being in love with him, which is especially problematic in the greater scheme of things. Then the more you read about the coach and the more you see how he’s manipulating each and every one of these girls, the more you realize how insidious and awful he is. It’s a subtle reveal over the course of the novel and as a reader you want them to figure it out and get out from his thumb. These girls can do so much better. Of course, I don’t want to ruin the ending for you.
The writing style can take a bit to get into, but on the whole I really loved this book and the characters. I highly recommend you check it out when it releases on March 31st.
Thanks you again to the publisher and NetGalley for this opportunity.
Was this review helpful?
We Are the Wildcats is not a book I would normally read. There were two things that made me pick this book up:
1. "Suspense" and a
2. 24 hour time window

I used to be heavily involved in sports, so that was another thing that I found enjoyable. This story has multiple POV characters that change by the hour, this was fun but also was sometimes hard to remember all the girls. 

The girls love their sport, they love each other, and they love Coach. But Coach has secrets that none of the girls know about. They spend their first night together after making the team, a rollercoaster of emotions, accidents, parties, and confessions. The girls have secrets of their own that they must overcome to be the best team they can be.

I really loved the relationship between Mel (the captain) and her best friend Phoebe. They were best friends, but then Phoebe was injured and they lost touch. Now that they're both back on the team they hope to get their chemistry back and kick ass again this season. But the secrets and insecurities that each girl has puts doubt on whether their friendship will survive. If you play sports I think you'd relate to their dynamics in some way. I thought it was well done and I really liked their POVs. 

This story is about the real lives of young adults in school and sports. It talks about juggling of school and sports, but also of love and relationships. These girls are dedicated to their sport in hopes of scoring scholarships to good schools, but also to impress Coach. Over the course of the 24 hours, the girls grow a lot, each individually and as a group. They find what is most important to themselves and what is best for the team. The ending was satisfying and I was kind of sad that it ended, I did want a bit more. But overall, it was a good, quick read.

I would watch out for Siobhan Vivian, she's a good writer and I would pick up more of her books. Her style is honest and it fit well with this book. Thank you NetGalley for this ARC!
Was this review helpful?
I am a huge fan of Siobhan Vivian and this book did not disappoint. Vivian has an uncanny ability to write a story about a bunch of girls, make them all unique and give them different roles and have them come together as a team. That takes a real gift so I'm always glad when she has a new book out. If you haven't checked out "Stay Sweet" I highly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
Not typically the kind of story I would pick up, but there was hype surrounding it, so I thought I would give it a try! I think it represents a possibly very real portion of some groups and the authority/child relationship that could exist.
It is so crazy that this book takes place in such a short period of time! There are flashbacks to situations and conversations of the past and between different characters. There are also bits of the story that are slowly revealed or at least enough information is revealed so that the reader can begin to put pieces of the puzzle together themselves. 
I like that this story revolves around a sport (and not one typically found in books!) because I think sports can be a very high pressure environment and manipulations can easily occur.
I enjoyed getting to know each of the characters and discovering their motivations throughout. 
I would have absolutely loved a story like this as a teenager and quite enjoyed it as an adult! I think it is a great story with a powerful message! A conversation starter for sure!
Was this review helpful?
This book blew me's words, it's setting and the way that the story is getting unfolded is amazing!
Highly recommend!
Was this review helpful?
not impressed.

i feel like you don't even need to read the book because the whole story is in the summary/synopsis. the actual book is just a long drawn out story about a field hockey team called the wildcats and their manipulative coach. 

there were so many things that did not work out for this. i want to touch on the plot of the book which is the field hockey team and their coach. i feel like the main element of the story became the entire story & that leads to a lot of repetition & more opportunity for readers to get bored early on. it really didn't work well because there are only so many ways you can illustrate field hockey, characters who only care about field hockey & a coach that is disgusting beyond belief. 

all characters introduced only care about field hockey & place it above their families & loved ones. almost every single character in the story did this & it wasn't exciting having to read about all 6 characters blow off their loved ones or give them the cold shoulder for a sport & a coach who they basically worship. i really just can't believe how naive some of the characters were & how they trusted this man more than themselves or their parents/loved ones, but they were severely manipulated so i understand it's not entirely fair to critique the characters solely based on their naivety, but overall i didn't really like the characters.  

another element that did not work well was the structure of the book. at first it steadily rotated between characters & then closer to the middle of the book it started focusing on 1 or 2 characters which isn't a big deal, but it is noticeable & has an effect on the fluidity of the story. 

i don't understand how some of the coach's actions were not deemed suspicious by more adults in the book because there were definitely instances where another teacher or another parent could have witnessed that something was very wrong, but i feel like the author wanted the wildcats to be the heroes which is fine, but it just creates a more biased atmosphere & a lot of grey area for questioning, especially since there were a lot of events where adults were around this coach while he has doing highly questionable things like yelling & swearing at a high school field hockey team during a game. 

i never dnf a book because i always have hope i'll like some aspect of it, & i only like the bulldog because i'm & dog lover, but none of the events or characters stuck out to me & a grown ass man manipulating  teenage girls & texting them at 3am is not exciting to read it's gross.
Was this review helpful?
“This is why the field hockey girls would live on this field forever if they could. This blessed rectangle where their worth is wholly quantifiable, statistical, analytic black and white. How incredibly freeing it is to live a few hours each day where they don’t worry about being beautiful or sweet or modest or smart or funny or feminine. The only thing required of them here is to be their absolute best.” 

I absolutely loved this book!  In “We Are The Wildcats” by Siobhan Vivian, a toxic coach finds himself outplayed by the high school girls on his team in a feminist-minded and suspenseful novel, which unspools over twenty-four hours through six diverse perspectives.  As an athlete during my own high school days, I was incredibly drawn to the book’s plot as well as the focus of the experience of female athletes.  From the very start, readers will be fully engaged in the story and deeply impressed by the authors authentic writing style and genuinely detailed characters.  Siobhan Vivian’s words so accurately reflect the often maligned experience of female athletes in high school settings where male teams are placed on pedestals regardless of achievement or success.  A testament to the strength and resilience of modern teenage girls, “We Are the Wildcats”, coming out in March 2020, is certain to have readers cheering aloud.

Sincere thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for an advanced readers ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
this gets the big ole NOPE from me.

this novel follows 6 girls on the wildcats varsity field hockey team as they embark on a mission the night before their first scrimmage of the season. most of the book explores the back stories of these girls and how they got to where they are in the present, but aside from that, there's not much plot.

while some of the characters were marginally enjoyable, the book dragged to no end... and it only took place over one day/night. but this book focussed heavily on the girls' relationship to their coach (referred to only as 'coach'), and while this relationship is VERY inappropriate, much of the book tries to justify it. even though the girls eventually see his behaviour as unacceptable, it's still VERY NOT OK.

also, i don't really want to support this author any more, due to the very Not Cool twitter responses. (authors needs to not engage with readers' reviews, unless to say 'thank you.') see more here:

all in all, this was very very Not Good.
Was this review helpful?
This book was so exciting! 
I spent my whole day dedicated to this book and I was hooked. I couldn’t put it down. It was so thrilling and incredibly well written filled to the brim with detail. 
Loved it!
Was this review helpful?