Michigan Vs. The Boys by Carrie Allen
TW: Drugging, Harassment
Overview: Michigan is named after her home state. She's also an amazing hockey player. The only problem is that her team gets cut due to budgets. Instead of driving hours away or jumping ship to boarding school, Michigan decides to go out for her school's remaining team, the boy's team. Though she can skate circles around that, it won't stop the team of insecure losers from trying to literally beat her down at every turn. Luckily, her skin is thick, and she's ready to make her spot. Overall: 4
Characters: 4 Michigan is great. She's so strong, mentally and physically, almost to a fault. She has a difficult time admitting when she needs to ask for help, though I can't fault her because those around her aren't the most supportive. Her resilience is something to aspire to.
Then there's Jack who is a super cute, super talented swimmer who connects with Michigan when his swim team gets cut too. They're a sports power couple.
Then there's the hockey team that Michigan joins. They're horrible. Well, except for Avery, but most of them made me want to throw the book across the room. It's a good reminder about how sexism is extra alive and well in male dominated sports (and sports in general) and it's only being perpetuated by those in power positions like coaches.
Finally, there's Michigan's former teammates who we don't see a ton of, but they're a real ride or die group.
Plot: 4 No character is spared in this story. Everybody is tortured to their fullest potential, which, though painful at times, makes for an interesting book that will keep you wondering, "What will Michigan have to go through next?" The story goes places I honestly wasn't expecting, but it brings the story together in a way that makes you feel like there was a satisfying conclusions.
Writing: 4 Carrie has an amazing voice that brings Michigan into perfect focus. She also somehow answers all of the questions that pop into my head the second I think of them. Also, I have no sports knowledge when it comes to hockey. I think I've only seen a GIFs worth and that clip from Carpool Karaoke of James Corden and Shawn Mendes attempting to play hockey. That's to say, you don't have to know sports to feel firmly grounded in this whole new world. It's the first sports book I've fallen into that easily.
Links of Interest:
Into YA with Candace Granger: Here
Six Goodbyes We Never Said: Review Here
Into YA with Shana Youngdahl: Here
As Many Nows As I Can Get: Review Here