Author: Carrie S. Allen
To Be Published: October 1, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 8-12, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
When a determined girl is confronted with the culture of toxic masculinity, it’s time to even the score.
Michigan Manning lives for hockey, and this is her year to shine. That is, until she gets some crushing news: budget cuts will keep the girls’ hockey team off the ice this year.
If she wants colleges to notice her, Michigan has to find a way to play. Luckily, there’s still one team left in town …
The boys’ team isn’t exactly welcoming, but Michigan’s prepared to prove herself. She plays some of the best hockey of her life, in fact, all while putting up with changing in the broom closet, constant trash talk and “harmless” pranks that always seem to target her.
But once hazing crosses the line into assault, Michigan must weigh the consequences of speaking up – even if it means putting her future on the line.
Michigan vs The Boys is not a light – hearted read. It is a realistic portrayal of a teen girl joining a boys’ team and the consequences of that (positive, yet mainly negative). This is a novel about a girl and girl empowerment. You can’t help but root for Michigan to succeed despite the many setbacks that occur from her own ‘team mates’.
Michigan is a strong female character who goes through many emotions and experiences. I hated she kept silent throughout most of the abuse she endured. She is great at hockey and did everything to stay on the team, which included keeping quiet as long as she could. There is also a sweet romance that doesn’t take away from the story.
I did not like the coach. Yes, he put her on the team, but it was obviously not willingly. A coach should be someone you should be able to come to in times of trouble, but he was not that for Michigan. To me, he was just as bad as the boys were and most of the problem. He did not support Michigan. For example: making her change into her uniform in a broom closet!?!? Come on, there has to be a girl’s changing room somewhere in the school. After all, there are still girl’s teams in the school, just not a hockey team anymore. And extreme rules that only applied to her? It seemed that coach did everything he could to keep her out of the team.
You know an assault is coming while reading as it is mentioned in the book description, but for me an assault happened more than once. I was expecting something graphic, but it was not, yet still achieved what it meant to.
I would love to see another book with Michigan, to see what happens next in her life.
Allen worked in sports medicine and knows her sports lingo! I did not understand all of the vernacular, but she gets the point across.
I would recommend this for older teens (14+) due to the violence against Michigan along with some foul language and extensive mentions of teen drinking. This is an important book that should be read.
Many thanks to KCP Loft for my arc copy that I was sent.