Cover Image: Whistleblower

Whistleblower

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Member Reviews

*Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an E-ARC of "Whistleblower" by Kate Marchant.
*The story takes place in the fictional town Garland, in California, where Laurel Cates, the main character, attends Garland University as a journalining major.
She uncovers something suspicious about the coach of the football team, Truman Vaughn, and with the help of Mehri Rajavi, am art student, and Ellison Michaels, the head of the Daily newspaper, they try to get proof of the fake sobriety of the coach.
But during Laurel's investigation, she uncovers more about Truman Vaughn.
Laurel must find a way to sort everything out and bring justice to the people, but how can she do this if the university itself is against her?
*I had low expectations for a book that had been on Wattpad first, but the story surprised me. It had a good plot, well built and developed characters and a fast paced storyline. It was a nice read, and I'll definitely recommend it to my friends!
*Overall, the story gets a 5 out of 5 stars!

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Thank you to NetGalley and the author for providing an arc in exchange of an honest review.

I originally read this on Wattpad but forgotten most of it. Now for the second time, I enjoyed this still. This book borders on New Adult and YA. At first, it was hard to get into the story but once I did the story was gripping. I also liked how the main conflict was handled in a realistic manner.

However, the best part of the story was the characters. Laurel is a college student studying journalism and she wants to expose the college's revered football coach for fraud and sexual abuse. Laurel was likable and brave to shed light on a problem that's relevant. Then there's the team's star quarterback, Bodie, who is a literal golden retriever and helps Laurel through her investigation of the coach. The two had a subtle relationship that grew naturally. There was romance, but not as much as there tends to be in New Adult books.

While Lauren's relationship with Bodie was important to the story, it wasn't the main focus of the book which was firmly centered on the investigation and the repercussions facing both Lauren if the story was made public. Personally, I would've like more hate-to-love banter moments, there just lacked a bit of tension in Laurel and Bodie's interactions. I also disliked the pacing and use of time jumps to drive the narrative forwards. it made the book drag in the end or in certain parts. Otherwise, the story was a solid read.

Tw: sexual abuse and harassment

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Heartwarming. Remarkable.

I had read parts of this story when it was on Wattpad before it was published, and I remember enjoying the story. So when I came across it on <b> Netgalley</b>, I knew I had to request it because I wanted to find out what would happen with Laurel next. I’m so happy I got approved; it was one of my favorite books. I couldn’t get enough of Laurel’s story; I was curious to see what else she would discover about the football coach. Part of me was worried about her, knowing that not everyone would be happy about what Laurel was doing. I believe they were in denial; the person they admired didn’t want to think he could be responsible for it. I love books dealing with journalism, and this was one of the best books I have read surrounding journalism. Laurel was born to be a journalist.

I loved the relationship between Bodie and Laurel, the connection. It wasn’t there at first, and I felt like Bodie didn’t want to like her because she was a journalist, but even for him, it was hard to deny their connection. I don’t think he would agree to help her otherwise. For most of the book, the two seem to go on a roller coaster ride with their emotions. I felt that Bodie’s character development was outstanding; it was as if he was a completely different person from the start of the book and by the end. I found myself rooting for the two of them throughout the book. Whistleblower was the type of book I didn’t want to end because I fell in love with the characters and didn’t want to say goodbye. To me, the characters were real.

Whistleblower was an inspirational book. The story focused on a hard subject but an important one that many people could relate to. This is the first full book I read by Kate Marchant, and now that I had a chance to read her book, I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next.

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a really wonderful read, i read it all in one go. It really was a great book, 100% recommend to everyone

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I was quite skeptical when I saw this was a Wattpad book, but the synopsis seemed compelling enough so I gave it a chance. In the end I realized I need to stop judging books by publishers because It exceeded all my expectations.
Although I had a hard time getting into it, around 25% in I was hooked and couldn't put it down. The story was gripping and the twists left me craving more.
I do think that this novel does a very good job at balancing an idealistic version of how situations like this will play out and a realistic one. Even though they "win" in the end, have they really?
I also really enjoyed how college central this story was. After reading the acknowledgments and knowing it was supposed to be reminiscing of college I think it was executed perfectly. As I college student I found myself relating to so many of the little things.
This book was able to put a smile on my face while dealing with a hard reality of life. It was a very good read.

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Oh my goodness! What an AMAZING book. My only complaint - I wished it was longer; I didn't want it to end!

I was cheering for Bodie from the very first moment. His character development was everything I wanted as a reader, but again, it just wasn't enough. I wanted more!! Or a second book?!

The one believability issue I had was how quickly Laurel felt she owed things to Bodie and how quickly Bodie connected with Laurel. It is definitely on par with both of their personalities, but it would be have been good to maybe see Bodie and Laurel work through the group project together before leading into the conflict. Then, when Laurel felt she owed so much and felt such a connection to Bodie and Bodie was willing to literally give it ALL up to help her, it would have been a bit more believable.

But seriously - maybe my favorite ARC I have read this year. I just want more!!

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Thank you to Netgalley & the publisher for this arc in exchange for an honest review!

For a Wattpad published book, this was completely different. Loved the book and the vibe.

This makes me sad for not finding the book way when it was published. Best of luck to the author.

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Whistleblower by Kate Marchant was such a relevant and empowering read!
.
Laurel is a college journalism student. She begins to investigate Garland University’s head football coach, Truman Vaughn, for some allegations made against him. Her investigation leads her to Bodie St. James, Garland’s star quarterback. When Bodie makes some comments about his coach’s locker room behavior and some bizarre transitions with his charity, it rips the investigation wide open.

I thought this book was great! It tackles very tough topics like sexism, racism, sexual assault and rape, and it calls out the toxic culture that we sometimes see in professional sports.
The romance was an added bonus, but it definitely wasn’t the star of this book.

The only thing I think this book needed was an epilogue. 😍

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NetGalley was kind enough to let me read this one, so thanks!

New Adult never really became the thing it as supposed to be which is kind of a shame because there is definitely space for books that go beyond YA, but aren't quite adult yet. This is one of those books and feels especially relevant in the current climate of #metoo and the war on women's rights.

Laurel is a college student studying journalism and working on her school paper. When she stumbles across a shocking and juicy story about the college's revered football coach, she knows she has to tell the story.

But as she digs deeper into what becomes an increasingly complex and terrifying pattern of fraud and sexual abuse going back years, the repercussions of exposing such an heroic public figure become clear. Not just in her professional life, but in her personal life too.

Especially since one of her primary sources is the team's star quarterback, Bodie, and she just can't seem to stop running into him. During the course of the investigation, Laurel realises that it's not just her career on the line, but Bodie's too.

And with her feelings for Bodie changing and growing, Laurel needs to decide how far she's willing to go to uncover the truth.

I enjoyed this one. There was romance, but not as much as there tends to be in books professing to be New Adult. For a while there I decided NA was basically YA with more graphic sex. While Lauren's relationship with Bodie was important to the story, it wasn't the main focus of the book which was firmly centered on the investigation and the repercussions facing both Lauren and her editor if the story was made public.

I imagine there are stories like this everywhere, and the bravery it takes to expose someone as powerful and influential as a successful coach is immense. I liked that Laurel was a fairly chaotic person in most of her life, and that she had doubts and fears about what she was doing. Her relationship with Bodie grew naturally, and he genuinely seemed like a good guy, unlike so many sportsmen who get treated like gods because they have the ability to throw a ball or run fast or both.

So I'd recommend this one. It does deal with sexual abuse and harassment, so if you find these things triggering, maybe give it a miss...

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Low 4 star read.

The book started slow, but once it got to around 25-30 percent mark, it picked up. From there, I read it in a matter of hours.

This book was *so* well-written and I really liked the main character, Laurel, as well as her friends Andre and Hannah. Ellison and Mehri were great characters too. Ellison had major Paris Gellar vibes and I would actually love to see more of both of them, perhaps in their own books should the author ever decide to make this into a series.

The relationship development between Bodie and Laurel was really solid and I appreciated he wasn't an alpha-hole like his friends. I'm also so glad he did the right thing in the end.

Laurel was a great protagonist who was very easy to root for and her steadfast need to do the right thing was admirable. The characters were all pretty realistic for college kids, however they did read as 18 year olds as opposed to 20+. But overall, all really likeable and fun to read.

There were a few things that I wish were bigger themes in the book. The premise being based on Laurel writing an article to expose Vaughn was undermined because, outside of her interviews with Bodie, we barely glimpse her journalistic skills, and we didn't get to read so much as a snippet of the article either.

When she interviewed anyone, it was always interrupted or cut short. The real housewives interview was interrupted by Rebecka, Laurel's boss, and then it was told to me what they said, which I didn't like tbh. Josefina's interview was also cut short. Considering she had the major accusation against Vaughn, she was in *very little* of the book which diminished her storyline a little bit and affected the impact of her final scene.

There were a couple of inconsequential characters that took up space that could have been used to create more intensity around Vaughn. Olivia and her friend (I'm blanking on his name now) and Carla. They added nothing to the story and their arcs went nowhere. We didn't get to see the group project presentation, and therefore (as beautifully written and amazing as it was) Carla's interview ultimately served no purpose and took up a few pages for no payoff.
Honestly, I really wished they would say something that made Laurel pause and realize that they had information or knew something, just so they would have an effect on the outcome of the book. Olivia and her friend, too. I wanted everyone to know something, even if they didn't know they did. I wanted everyone to be another piece of the puzzle.

Same thing with the random drinking scenes. I understand they're college kids and college kids party, however I wanted every scene of Laurel's to be advancing the plot. This is also space I think could have been used to ramp up the intensity of Vaughn's takedown.

I craved more interaction between Ellison, Mehri and Laurel and wish we got to see them work together on-page and go full 'clues on the wall connected by red-string' but they didn't. We saw very little of their process.

A major thing that irked me was the focus on Vaughn's sobriety and charity rather than the more heinous accusation in the book. I needed more from that with more focus on the victim(s). I know this book is marketed YA and perhaps that's why the focus was far more on Laurel and Bodie than on the overall arc, but I think it would have benefited from a more mature pov, especially since the characters are all 20+.

Ultimately, the embezzlement and drinking accusations did not hold the same weight as Josie's ordeal with Vaughn and I so wished this had been at the very front of the book.

I also wasn't a fan of Bodie technically being the one to save the day in a way. It gave white-knight. I understand this is extremely realistic in the way that men are believed so much faster than women and that it often takes a man to validate accusations before they're taken seriously. Kudos to Kate Marchant because she nailed the frustration of the fact this is how things work IRL.

I just wanted more from it. For Laurel to go full-investigator and find more of Vaughn's victims and have them take him down with Carla and Olivia etc. as witnesses with pivotal and irrefutable information. Basically, I wanted everything to add up to something. so that the women working so hard mounted up to them getting somewhere, and finally taking this douche down. Instead, the article was killed in two-seconds flat and we got a man being the one who is believed on behalf of the women.

In the end, Vaughn's takedown was less than satisfactory because I didn't get to see it. The reader is told that Vaughn is arrested and then they're back in class and things move on which felt a little rushed to me. I wanted to see that man BURN. I wanted him to be arrested in the middle of a football game, live on TV, in front of all the adoring fans he has. I know that's less realistic, however this is a work of fiction, and I do think 300+ pages deserves a better pay-off than one line like, 'Vaughn was arrested at his home..." It just left me frustrated that we didn't get to see him go down after everything.

I did enjoy the protests and the final walkout though. But I wish it had happened at the stadium as a show of solidarity against Vaughn with only *those* few left on the field.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and found it hard to put down. I would totally recommend it. The author's writing style is impeccable and I loved the protagonist. I just think everything I didn't enjoy about it wouldn't have been an issue if the book was marketed NA/Adult and allowed the author to delve deeper with the storyline.

TL;DR

Things I liked:
- Laurel was a great protagonist.
- The overall arc and the side characters.
- The pacing was great.
- Bodie and Laurel had some cute moments.
- It was very realistic from all angles:
x Kylie's reactions to Vaughn vs. Bodies.
x Laurel's boss firing her on Vaughn's command.
x The harassment Laurel faced for being brave enough to write the article.
x The realistic depiction of the power men like Vaughn hold in collegiate settings, as well as their influence on their players.
x The university choosing to protect Vaughn and shutting down the paper to do so.
x Bodie's back-and-forth between trusting his gut/Laurel, and the idealised version of Vaughn he had in his mind.

Things I didn't like:
- Unsatisfying payoff.
- A couple of pointless characters.
- The worst accusation against Vaughn took a backseat to lesser accusations such as drinking and embezzlement.
- Laurel and Bodie's will-they-won't-they overshadowed Laurel's main goal and the Vaughn storyline.
- Vaughn's victims weren't featured so the end result wasn't as impacting as it could have been.
- abrupt scene cuts
- Bodie's word carrying more weight than the victims. (as realistic as this is, it really frustrated me.)

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Laurel Cates, a junior writer for Garland University's paper - the Daily - stumbles upon some incriminating gossip at the country club she works at. When the real housewives of Garland tell her about a resort where they bumped into the university's head coach, who was "wasted" and inviting women onto his yacht, Laurel can't help but look into it.

Her investigation leads her to Bodie St. James, the football team's first Quarterback, who accidentally let's it slip that his coach is sexiest and could be hiding things - like stealing funds from his own charity organisation. But what Truman Vaughn is really hiding is so much worse than what anyone could have expected.

With the university going as far as deleting the Daily's website to bury any incriminating evidence against their star coach, the entire school seems to turn on Laurel. No one believes her. Her credibility as a journalist is on the line when Bodie decides to put his faith in her. To trust her.

And together, they fight to take down the man, who not only brings in the most money to Garland University, but also, has everybody on his side.

I loved this book so much. It was new and fun and fresh. The story was interesting and the message was so powerful. I love how the author incorporated, not just sexism and abuse of power in institutions, but she also adds a little on gender equality and the preconceived notions of the LGBTQ community. And of course, they're college kids! They was a little romance! 😉

It was an inspiring read and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading Young Adult.

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This book was absolutely perfect. As a college athlete in journalism at a big college, this book hit every main point. It felt so realistic in so many parts. The way Laurel struggled to be taken seriously and the way men were so quick to defend a coach instead of a girl when sexual assault was brought up was very relatable to my interactions with journalism.

What an amazing story for college girls in journalism to know that the path to justice is not easy but it is important. Even when you are fighting for the truth there will always be people blocking the way. Laurel chose women every single time, even when it put her in a weird position between her and her relationship.

The writing itself was very real. It was funny without being cringey, and although it was long it never felt like the story was dragging on. Incredible work.

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A book for our times focusing on a situation that could be recognisable in every day news. A stunningly powerful read.

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I enjoyed the plot, but hated the time jumps. And I have to admit I enjoyed a lot the campus drama and all of the stuff !!
Also Hannah was my fav even tho she's not the main character.
Bodie is the definition of golden retriever boy.'
Favorite Moment: When Bodie uses Google Translate to understand Laurel

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I have never read anything like this. I mean, wow. Kate Marchant did something really, really amazing with her writing. And the fact that it started has a Wattpad story/book, and now it is being published and, hopefully, more people will find this and read it, it makes my heart burst with joy.

This book addresses rape and sexual assault and misogyny in a very heartfelt and strong way. And it also shows the struggle and the fight to tell the truth in a world where men have a stronger word than women. I was so inspired by this book and these characters to also do something, anything to help.

Now, onto a more detailed review: I loved the variety of characters that was presented to us, from the generic white straight man with a heart of gold who plays football; to an amazing drag artist who definitely needed more screen time. I mean, the MC is a young woman whose family roots come from Mexico, allowing us amazing moments of Spanish dialogue between a couple characters that made my heart flutter every time (I'm not Spanish, but I do speak it and have lived around the language my whole life, so it is near and dear to me). There was also some very faint but sweet presence of LGBTQIA+ characters, which was also very comforting and important. Honestly, in terms of inclusivity, this book had a bit of everything for everyone.

The writing is so amazing and it felt so easy to read and I loved flowing through the pages. The ending was so so good as well. I craved more, but it left the story in such a good moment. It left the story in a moment of power and inspiration. What more could I want from a book like this one?

Another thing that I loved was that, even though there was a romantic plot, it was sort-of faint and, in a way, pulled aside for what really mattered in the story. The love relationship came when it was right, and it wasn't rushed like some books nowadays. It happened exactly when it was supposed to happen, giving the main plot the spotlight that it deserved. And that was so important to me as a reader because I really didn't want a love plot line to get in the way of what the book was truly about.

This was truly an amazing reading experience. Kate Marchant did such an incredible job with the message she spread with her characters and her writing and her story. I hope it inspires people to do something about the main message in this book: spreading the truth about sexual assaults, bringing down the guilty from those actions and the ones who support them regardless, and, above all, helping the victims who need the support to stand up and speak up.

I hope I got the message right. Part of me thinks I did. The other part believes something is still there for me to uncover. I don't know yet.

Signing off,
B.

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This is a really solid read which pleasantly surprised me! Initially, I was afraid that the romance would overshadow the overarching themes in this book, such as the #metoo movement, student journalism, and amplifying the voices of victims of sexual assault (since Wattpad works are known to be rather romance-heavy). But my fears were unfounded—I thought that the book struck a good balance between the romance and discussion of the main issues, and weaved in very nicely the internal conflicts faced by Laurel and Bodie which are complicated by their feelings for each other. It didn’t feel like either aspect was swept under the rug for the other, which is a testament to the writer’s skilful handling of the sensitive subject matter of this book. Altogether, I really enjoyed this—thank you to NetGalley and Wattpad Books for the ARC!

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Very well written, eye opening story. Slow at times, but overall I enjoyed the book
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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1 Sentence Summary: Laurel Cates is used to being silent and overlooked, but when she uncovers some buried secrets about the beloved football coach while writing an article for the school paper, she knows she has to speak up, even if it means risking her job, reputation, and even safety.

My Thoughts: Wow! Amazing! I stayed up until 2am to finish this (maybe not my best decision making moment seeing as I almost fell asleep during class…oops).

This was really well written and the characters were so well developed! And the relationships! There was some cute romance but it wasn’t the main focus of the story, and the friendships were so amazing. (I love when a boy and a girl can be really good friends w/out one of them being gay or one of them being in love with the other. Normalize more boy-girl friendships!)

It explored a lot of important topics including sexism, racism, and sexual assault & rape really well. And it doesn’t feel preachy at all. The story really pulls you in, and the best part is that it leaves you feeling so EMPOWERED! I literally got chills during one of the ending scenes.

Also, the journalism and the college vibes! Yes!! And the Mexico City references made me happy (I used to live there).

You can technically read this for free on Wattpad, but it’s being published early 2023 and I read an ARC of that version! I’m definitely going to get my hands on a physical copy when it comes out!!

Recommend to: People interested in feminism, college stories, journalism, & standing up for what’s right.

(Warnings: swearing; alcohol; harassment; mentions of sexual assault & rape)

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Thus novel explores the term whistleblower is 'if you see certain types of wrongdoing this, will usually be something you've seen at work thought not always.... the wrongdoing you disclose must be in the public's interest. This means it must affect others' gov.uk

Laurel Cotes is a wannabe journalist you works for a student university newspaper. It's the first week of term at Garlan university and vLaurel believes she was 'unforgettable, it was something I think of as a party trick rather than a flaw', but someone does notice her this year Brodie St James a quarterback on the team at Garlan university.

Trying to write an artical about the so far hidden truth about the unreported abuse that goes on with the American footballs team coach Vaugnn.
It's the quarterback Brodi that is the sour of this whistle blowing this how everyone know knows who Laural is and she does not like the first reation to it.

I did not really enjoy this book as it seem to drag over the same storyline and there was no depth to the charters

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publishe as I recieved a complimentary copy of this book. Opinionsi are completely my own.

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