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.
I heard about this book from my friends and it sounded like something I would enjoy! I love reading about female athletes, even if I don’t love watching sports. I guess reading about them makes it more interesting to me haha. Kids Can Press was awesome enough to send me an ARC in exchange for review (which is kind of nuts and I can’t really believe it), so thank you so much to them! This will not effect my review. Trigger warnings: physical abuse, sexism, toxic masculinity, homophobic slurs (one used in two instances), underage drinking, a girl being drugged
A few quick things about the trigger warnings. This book is handles some really heavy things and a lot of horrible things happen to Michigan. I tried to include everything I could, but please let me know if there are more. Also, feel free to contact me if you would like specific page numbers for anything!
I really enjoyed this book. I’m always intrigued by books with female athletes and hockey as always been something that I thought was interesting. So, I really wanted to give this book a shot. I know next to nothing about hockey, so I couldn’t tell you if anything about those aspects are accurate. Though, one character was a swimmer, and all the information on that was pretty spot on! It was honestly the most accurate out of the couple swimming books I’ve read!
Even though I couldn’t quite understand everything, the hockey aspect was really cool. I liked watching Michigan play hockey and I enjoyed the scenes were games or practice was going on. It was written in a way that I could get the general idea of what was going on, even if I didn’t understand all the lingo!
I loved Michigan. She was awesome. She was strong, she had grit, and she was passionate about what she was doing. She’s good at hockey. The plot didn’t revolve around her finding her strength; she already had it. She works hard for it. But there are people in her way and she’s trying to find away around that. It was different kind of story than I’m used to, but I really, really enjoyed it.
As Michigan is fighting against her team and fighting for her spot, there were also other plotlines woven in and it was done really well! I really liked the romance and how it was sweet and cute and it helped Michigan in her emotional development. There is a theme of team and family that could have been more developed. They sort of just popped in when it was necessary, but I still really enjoyed them. Michigan’s relationship with her brother was adorable. She also tries to be a good role model for the younger female hockey players and I liked how that tied into everything!
Going into this, I was expecting for assault to be an aspect of it since it is in the synopsis. I was expecting for it to be really graphic. But it wasn’t, and I appreciate that so much. It wasn’t used for shock value. Bad stuff happens, but it is not exploited for the plot and it’s not over the top.
The writing was really good. The style was easy to read and I was able to picture everything that it was describing easily. This book feels like what the inside of an ice rink does, in a good way!
I would like to note that there was the use of a homophobic slur (the d slur to be specific). It’s used twice and it is 100% fought back against. Still, the use of it made me a bit uncomfortable.
Overall, I really liked this book. I liked how it’s about perseverance, about finding out what you can do, and finding out what’s best for you and doing it. I loved reading it and I loved Michigan.
Thank you for reading!