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We Are the Wildcats

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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 fr 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.


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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 fr 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.

30 review for We Are the Wildcats

  1. 4 out of 5

    nova ryder ☼

    not gonna lie, i immediately thought of high school musical

  2. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    3.5 stars. Other people believing in you is important; believing in yourself is vital if you want to succeed. That's one message I got from Siobhan Vivian's latest book, We Are the Wildcats . “Team first, always.” That’s the mantra of the coach of the West Essex Girls’ Field Hockey team. Some say he’s too hard on the team, some say he’s manipulative, even abusive. But this mantra seems to be working—the team has won four of the last five state championships. Last year, however, things fell apart 3.5 stars. Other people believing in you is important; believing in yourself is vital if you want to succeed. That's one message I got from Siobhan Vivian's latest book, We Are the Wildcats . “Team first, always.” That’s the mantra of the coach of the West Essex Girls’ Field Hockey team. Some say he’s too hard on the team, some say he’s manipulative, even abusive. But this mantra seems to be working—the team has won four of the last five state championships. Last year, however, things fell apart and they lost in the championship game. No one was even sure if Coach would come back this year, since he deserved to be coaching on the college level. The girls are all determined that what happened last year won’t happen again, and all battle to make the team for another year. They say, and try to prove, that they’re stronger, faster, tougher, and a few new, younger recruits show promise. Coach doesn’t agree, though. He doesn’t believe this team is ready to go all the way. He doesn't even think they can win their first scrimmage. And over the course of one night—which is supposed to be the team’s traditional Psych-Up Party—Coach injects himself in ways that cause the girls doubt, yet they are even more motivated to prove, especially to him, just how much they want to win. At the same time, though, Coach’s subtle manipulations magnify the girls’ vulnerabilities, and it’s not long before secrets are revealed (and discovered), lies are identified, and crucial decisions need to be made. It may be more than Coach bargained for. I thought this was an interesting book but it was a little different than I expected. I was expecting more Mean Girls but it wasn’t cruel like that. The book was narrated by a number of team members so at times it was tough keeping everything straight. Vivian did a great job creating tension throughout the whole book, and I was definitely hooked. I kept worrying that the plot might veer into uncomfortable territory, and there was lots of potential for that. But she remained true to her story, and while there might not be a lot of surprises, this was a good read. Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html. Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Nuckles

    Wasn’t a huge fan overall. I liked the friendship between the girls and how dedicated they were to something they loved, but a majority of this book dragged on very slowly and certain parts made me a bit uncomfortable. The end was a bit better as realizations were made, but it still wasn’t super satisfying. Enjoyed certain moments but overall was only okay-ish. It is what it is!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Londer

    saying "fuck that fucking bitch" in response to a college student choosing a book about our corrupt criminal justice system written by a black author instead of your white friend's ya contemporary for their common reads program is a big yikes from me!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Wow. This one was a HUGE miss for me. I played softball year-round when I was in high school, so I was excited for a book about the bond between a girls' field hockey team. When I read this, though, there were quite a few issues for me. First, the pacing. This book takes place in one night and has six POVs. That means for the first 70 pages of this book, we got the intro chapters to each POV and only had exposition. FOR 70 PAGES. Not a good start. Then, in every chapter, we had the girls in the Wow. This one was a HUGE miss for me. I played softball year-round when I was in high school, so I was excited for a book about the bond between a girls' field hockey team. When I read this, though, there were quite a few issues for me. First, the pacing. This book takes place in one night and has six POVs. That means for the first 70 pages of this book, we got the intro chapters to each POV and only had exposition. FOR 70 PAGES. Not a good start. Then, in every chapter, we had the girls in the present time and they would ALWAYS have a flashback of some sort to last year and what went on in the team. I would get confused and not know if a scene was currently happening or if it was a flashback and it made the story seem to drag on. The main conflict of this book was the coach and I was not a fan. At all. The coach was manipulative and unprofessional and not at all okay. He had been the coach for four years and had done shady things, but none of the girls ever said anything to each other? Only ONE parent had said something in all of those years? That seemed unbelievable and I hated how his character was so malicious and overdramatic. I just wasn't a fan and I didn't like how the book ended with that situation. Overall, I had to force myself to finish this one. I didn't like the characters, the pacing, or the main conflict. I'd skip this one.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Regsly

    Edit: This can be read as a PSA, as much as it is a reminder to myself of what to read or not. Please don't go harass the author or spread hate. That's not what this is about. Two wrongs don't make a right. https://www.theguardian.com/books/201... https://www.vulture.com/2019/11/famou... Note to self on the attitudes I didn't like during the whole #SarahDessen drama. There's so many books to support, I'm leaving this here to remind myself of priorities in case someone suggests I buy one of Siobhan' Edit: This can be read as a PSA, as much as it is a reminder to myself of what to read or not. Please don't go harass the author or spread hate. That's not what this is about. Two wrongs don't make a right. https://www.theguardian.com/books/201... https://www.vulture.com/2019/11/famou... Note to self on the attitudes I didn't like during the whole #SarahDessen drama. There's so many books to support, I'm leaving this here to remind myself of priorities in case someone suggests I buy one of Siobhan's books. I'm not cancelling anyone, I didn't even know this person. I'm also sure this here won't make her sales drop. But since I'm a reader and I review books, I take into account that the victim could've been any one of us, just for having other reading priorities for a college curriculum or opinions the author doesn't like. Dessen left out the context on her original (now deleted) tweet about how a black student pushed forward a reading about real life stories on America's corrupt criminal justice system written by a black author, as opposed to a YA contemporary written by a white author for their Common Reads program. Taking the importance and relevance of the book's subject and all the context into account, I just have to tell Dessen to do better, and the other authors should not only do better but check the source before jumping into conclusions. I actually applaud this student for having succeeded in bringing Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption into the spotlight. Authors shouldn't go on a woe-is-me moment over social media and targetting readers, non-fans, etc.. Do it in the DMs. Pick better vocabulary. Don't be the basic woman who reverts into slurs, after the internalized misogyny "I'm not like other girls" discourse that ran all over that thread.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach

    Unfortunately, this book was disappointing. I've read a lot of Siobhan Vivian's books, and this one was definitely my least favorite. There were too many points of view (none which were that different) which made the teammates and the brief background on each hard to keep straight. This all took place over 1 day, and I feel like not much happened. I had high hopes for this one, but it fell flat for me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Riley (runtobooks)

    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 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: https://www.theguardian.com/books/201... all in all, this was very very Not Good.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katie Pierce

    How's this author supposed to write a feminist book when this is how she talks about young women? This is extremely gross behavior. How's this author supposed to write a feminist book when this is how she talks about young women? This is extremely gross behavior.

  10. 4 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Hannah French A book all about a girl hockey team? Yes please. I’ve never played a team sport, but after reading We are the Wildcats I wish I could join a powerful and fearless group of girls so we could kick some butt together. In the novel, 20 girls are chosen to be on the varsity hockey team, but they didn’t win last season and are all still recovering from the loss. The next 24 hours see them come together as a team. They spend the entire night Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Hannah French A book all about a girl hockey team? Yes please. I’ve never played a team sport, but after reading We are the Wildcats I wish I could join a powerful and fearless group of girls so we could kick some butt together. In the novel, 20 girls are chosen to be on the varsity hockey team, but they didn’t win last season and are all still recovering from the loss. The next 24 hours see them come together as a team. They spend the entire night together, they pull some pranks, have a sleepover, and make some dark realisations about their coach and his unconventional methods. I loved that this book was all about girls supporting girls. All of these girls have each others’ back and band up together. They are a team, no matter what. This book has a large amount of characters and it is written from the views of six different girls on the hockey team. They are all different and we get an insight into Ali who is Korean and how racism has impacted her life; we also see Grace struggle with not being conventionally “beautiful’; and Phoebe recovering from a severe injury. As there were so many characters, it was difficult to connect with all of them, but each reader will definitely connect with at least one of them. I really liked Grace and Ali as they were both strong in their own way and always stood up for each other and the rest of the team. I think Mel was a very interesting character, but her relationship with Coach was what made me dislike her as I think we needed more development of these two characters and their relationship. Mel and Phoebe’s friendship was really heartwarming and I thought it was great that they both had flaws and that they had made mistakes in their friendship. The book is set over 24 hours and the pacing was a bit difficult to read at times as we jumped back into the past quite a few times and it pulled me out of the story. I was also disappointed in the ending and it made me uncomfortable. The Coach of this team is seriously problematic and I wish these issues had been addressed more. I think sport coaches do tend to get away with more, especially if their team wins and I think the author explored this idea very well but we needed more closure on this issue. We need more books that draw attention to the fact that men never question the pedestal they are given just for being male and that girls should support each other and not tear each other down. I was so appreciative that these girls loved each other unconditionally and would never intentionally hurt one another.

  11. 5 out of 5

    lexi ✨

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 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 opportu 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. - arc provided by netgalley in exchange for an honest review

  12. 5 out of 5

    Karma♥Bites ^.~

    Fuck [this] fucking [book]

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kupersmith

    The first half of 2020 has been a disaster for field hockey enthusiasts, especially supporters of the USWNT. After a disappointing start with three straight losses in the FIH Pro League, the corona19 virus forced the cancellation of the series. We do not know at present when and how school and NCAA field hockey will be played this fall. But a small mercy—thus far it has been as great year of reading about our sport. So far I’ve read Fiona Campbell’s No Number Nine, Quan Barry’s We Ride Upon Stic The first half of 2020 has been a disaster for field hockey enthusiasts, especially supporters of the USWNT. After a disappointing start with three straight losses in the FIH Pro League, the corona19 virus forced the cancellation of the series. We do not know at present when and how school and NCAA field hockey will be played this fall. But a small mercy—thus far it has been as great year of reading about our sport. So far I’ve read Fiona Campbell’s No Number Nine, Quan Barry’s We Ride Upon Sticks, and now Siobhan Vivian’s We Are the Wildcats. Comparing these three novels brings out the splendid variousness of the sport. Campbell’s is international hockey, culminating at the Olympic Games. Both Barry and Vivian write about American high-school field hockey. Though their settings are similar, the two books belong to quite different genres. We Ride Upon Sticks is clearly intended for the audience for “literary” fiction, so while most of the characters are teenagers in the 1980s, the setting in Danvers, neighboring Salem, Massachusetts is heavily reliant on the mythology of the Salem witch trials of the 17th century. We Are the Wildcats is a YA featuring a common theme of the genre, the moral superiority of teenagers (especially girls) over corrupt and manipulative (especially male) adults. I had hoped for another story with the intensity of Megan Abbott’s Dare Me, and to some extent Vivian delivered. Both feature a triangle of two high-school BFFs and a demanding coach who wants a state championship and drives the team to their limits to excel. Abbott’s sport was competitive stunt cheerleading, Vivian’s field hockey. Her team is the West Essex Wildcats, and as with Abbott’s Sutton Grove Eagles, we never learn their precise location. The BFFs are Melanie Gingrich and Phoebe Holt, a forward and a midfielder who make a deadly goal scoring combination. Coach is a handsome twenty-something who is supposed to have played on the US men’s national team and imagines himself too good for high-school coaching. Last season the Wildcats were runners up for state championship when Mel failed to score, Phoebe was out with a torn ACL and Kerson, seconded from the JVs to replace her, flopped. Then Ali the goalkeeper allowed Oak Knolls to score the winning goal. Coach is determined that not happen again. The girls on the team believe his connections are vital to getting scholarships. As in many contemporary novels, much of the narration is conducted by text messaging. As the new season opens, Coach appoints Mel team captain, but she is also Coach’s favorite and throughout the book we share their secret messages. We also discover Coach is developing a new favorite, Luci, who’s just made varsity as a freshman. The Wildcats are commencing their new season with a scrimmage, a “friendly” match against their arch-rivals the Oak Knolls Bulldogs. By tradition the night before the opening game is given over to a “Psych-up” sleepover at the home of the Wildcat captain, who will give the newly chosen varsity team their uniform shirts. But this year Coach doesn’t deliver the shirts, and the girls embark on their own midnight rambling team-building effort, leading to a shocking revelation that Coach has been deceiving and betraying them. Like West Essex, the universities to which the Wildcats aspire are imaginary. Coach is supposed to be an alumnus of Truman University. Its location is undisclosed, but apparently far enough away to require a plane flight for a campus visit (Mel has already been offered a scholarship) and almost but not quite Ivy League: I’d imagine like Duke or Northwestern. “Their field hockey team produced nationally ranked players, many of whom, like Coach, went directly into the Olympic pipeline.” That “like Coach” rang with a large clunk. Although Coach is supposed to have played Division I field hockey in college, there are no American universities with intercollegiate men’s field hockey programs; unfortunately it is exclusively a women’s sport. There is a poorly supported professional USMNT; if possible its players train overseas.) As there is very little actual hockey playing in We Are the Wildcats, but I couldn’t help wondering what members of Vivian’s audience would make of Mel and Phoebe’s game strategy. “Okay! So you and I are going to make a run at the Oak Knolls goal with the kind of intensity we’d have if the clock were about to run out and it was our last chance to score. Except we’re going to do it immediately after the face-off.” “Assuming you win the face-off,” Phoebe teases. Mel swats her. “I always win the face-off! Anyway. Instead of passing the ball forward, I’m going to hook the ball sideways to you. Then you and I will sprint straight up the field, full throttle, crisscrossing passes as we go. I’m imagining three total, like boom boom boom, with your last one hitting me right at the top of the key. And then I’m going to fire off a shot, as hard as I can, with everything I’ve got.” Seeing “face-off” and “key,” a YA field hockey player might wonder if Mel and Phoebe think they’re playing ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, or basketball. Since the 1980s, face-offs, or bullies as they’re termed in field hockey, are rare, mostly replaced by a push-back for starting or restarting games. And the goal-scoring zone is a 15 yard semi-circle in front of the goal cage called the “scoring circle” or “the D”—not the “key.” One also wonders what the Oak Knolls defenders and goalkeeper would be doing while Mel and Phoebe were passing the ball back and forth, boom boom boom. Siobhan Vivian missed an opportunity to accomplish for field hockey what Megan Abbott did for cheer. If Coach had been a woman, like Coach French in Dare Me, her backstory as a Truman University alumna who went on the play for the USWNT would have been entirely plausible. She could actually have been on a division I field hockey team at an elite university like Truman is supposed to be. Surely, a woman coach could be equally prone to favouritism, self-centeredness, and manipulative behavior as any male. And from an artistic POV would be more plausible, realistic, and accurate with respect to American school sport. The ignorance of the game in We Are the Wildcats is especially unhappy because Vivian wastes an opportunity to display for YA readers who do not have the good fortune to play real hockey—either because they live in the wrong states or are boys—what an exciting international sport it is, very demanding physically, fast and constantly moving, and requiring the most selfless teamwork from the whole squad (quite unlike Mel and Phoebe’s game plan in this book). Some games really are morally and spiritually better than others, and I believe field hockey, whether played on the school, university, club or international level, is amongst the very best.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    POST-REVIEW NOTES: I just read up on the twitter drama involving siobhan vivian, sarah dessen, jodi picoult, and other authors. i have A LOT of thoughts regarding that, but will address those later. for now, all i can say is that i am absolutely APPALLED at vivian's comments and reactions, and that i find her extremely laughable. writing a "feminist book" after calling a university graduate who RIGHTFULLY expressed her opinion WITHOUT being demeaning or hurtful a "fucking bitch"? faux feminism a POST-REVIEW NOTES: I just read up on the twitter drama involving siobhan vivian, sarah dessen, jodi picoult, and other authors. i have A LOT of thoughts regarding that, but will address those later. for now, all i can say is that i am absolutely APPALLED at vivian's comments and reactions, and that i find her extremely laughable. writing a "feminist book" after calling a university graduate who RIGHTFULLY expressed her opinion WITHOUT being demeaning or hurtful a "fucking bitch"? faux feminism at its peak. i'm embarrassed to have ever spent money on this author. DNF on page 207 Man, this book was so boring, I don't even have words for it. I feel like I was completely set up with an amazing cover, cool premise, and promising characters that all turned out so flat, one-dimensional, and straight-up not entertaining at all. It feels like I have been reading this book forever, and yet, absolutely nothing happened. All I know is that Mel is a horrible fucking person and should get her "I'm not like other girls because I don't do silly feminine sports like yoga" attitude in check. It's not cute. (Also, Coach thinking that the Truman scouts could make her do "ballet dancing" as casual practice??? I laughed. Ballet is twelve million times as difficult as field hockey. Also, thanks for putting it down, like the only sport that matters is hockey! I hated it.) This book could have been important. Instead, though, it took itself way too seriously, relying on heavy prose and amateur hints at deep, complex issues. In reality, this book had nothing to say.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    The power of this book lies in two separate spheres. The first is in the girls themselves -- how in the oftentimes brutal arena of high school, they choose to lift each other up, to support one another, even (especially!) the younger girls who are new to the Wildcats team. Their kindness is instinctual, their loyalty is resolute. It made my heart swell, as this is all I want for teenage girls everywhere all of the time. The second is in the way Siobhan Vivian reveals the slow burn of manipulatio The power of this book lies in two separate spheres. The first is in the girls themselves -- how in the oftentimes brutal arena of high school, they choose to lift each other up, to support one another, even (especially!) the younger girls who are new to the Wildcats team. Their kindness is instinctual, their loyalty is resolute. It made my heart swell, as this is all I want for teenage girls everywhere all of the time. The second is in the way Siobhan Vivian reveals the slow burn of manipulation for what it is: an insidious reach for control over another person. This happened to me! As a 17 year old girl! And I can tell you from experience that the way it's portrayed here is so, so real. Let this book be a guiding force to teenage girls, leading them to find the strength that's inside themselves to reject toxic behavior from terrible dudes. I hope this book sells one billion copies. I'm ready for an underground legion of Wildcat girls to take over the planet.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lost in Book Land

    Hello Again! I am back today with an extra special post! I was invited to take part in the blog tour for We Are The Wildcats. I first saw this book a while back on Goodreads and I have had my eye on it ever since. I was pulled in by the cover and hooked by the summary (kind of a you had me at hello situation). I was beyond excited (I mean sequels) when I was offered a place on the blog tour and I could not be happier to be sharing my thoughts about this book with you all right now. Additionally, Hello Again! I am back today with an extra special post! I was invited to take part in the blog tour for We Are The Wildcats. I first saw this book a while back on Goodreads and I have had my eye on it ever since. I was pulled in by the cover and hooked by the summary (kind of a you had me at hello situation). I was beyond excited (I mean sequels) when I was offered a place on the blog tour and I could not be happier to be sharing my thoughts about this book with you all right now. Additionally, because I thought this book rocked I am including a reference to the show I watched while I was reading this book!    SPOILERS AHEAD The Wildcat varsity squad has been set! There are new members, returning members, and even a member who will be joining as a 9th grader. This is the night before the first game of the season and the squad is going to have their team sleepover. Like all sleepover's this is supposed to be about bonding the team, building trust, and getting to know all your teammates. However, the night of the team sleepover hinges on a midnight initiation ceremony, a big Wildcat tradition that helps to bond the team. But things change when the Coach (a former athlete) changes the teams plan and sends them on many new adventures in one night, and not always the best of adventures. There were multiple very different perspectives in this book which is something I really enjoyed. I liked seeing all the different points of view, there are so many different people on the team, all with their own lives outside of the team and this night. I think a full cast audiobook of this book could be something super awesome (I have not listened to the audiobook, so it may already be full cast)! I already mentioned the cover above but I absolutely adore this cover and love the colors they chose (this will definitely be a feature on my shelves this year). I really enjoyed my time with this book and I am giving this four and a half stars on Goodreads. Now as promised some show recommendations because we are in quartine and once we finish reading a book we all need something to occupy our time while we have the struggle of picking out what to read next (or waiting for our next great read to come out). While I was reading this book, I was also watching the Netflix show Cheer at night! I slept on this show way too long and it goes well with this book. Cheer focuses on a cheerleading team trying to win their championship. I highly recommend checking out both Cheer and We Are The Wildcats! ***Thank you so so much to the publisher for inviting me to join this blog tour!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    The varsity field hockey team of West Essex is legendary, despite their loss at state finals last year. To be a girl on the team is to become a true Wildcat. To become Someone. So the girls who make the final cut this year get together for their annual night-before-the-first-scrimmage bonding night, a lot is at stake, and little has to do with the game itself. Rather, six different girls reveal secrets they've kept close about the way their coach has been a toxic influence on them individually, The varsity field hockey team of West Essex is legendary, despite their loss at state finals last year. To be a girl on the team is to become a true Wildcat. To become Someone. So the girls who make the final cut this year get together for their annual night-before-the-first-scrimmage bonding night, a lot is at stake, and little has to do with the game itself. Rather, six different girls reveal secrets they've kept close about the way their coach has been a toxic influence on them individually, as well as a team. Told over less than 24 hours, the varied perspectives keep the pace of this book moving perfectly while giving a broad and encompassing idea of what it's like to be an elite female athlete on a team known for being The Best. There's a lot here about team bonds, about passion for the game, and about the ways that those very things can be manipulated by an outsider, particularly a "beloved" adult. The writing is lovely, and each of the voices is distinct. Readers looking for a story about girls who kick ass will do very well here -- as will readers who think they don't like sport stories, as the field hockey plays a role in the book, but it's not central to the book (which, for someone who loves a good sport book, knows that's how most sports books ARE -- the sport is the back drop, not the only story).

  18. 4 out of 5

    Leah Waters

    This book accomplished everything it set out to do. Ultimately, it was about a toxic coach and the girls learning that and taking back their lives. It was very frustrating, reading about such a manipulator, but I think it's also really important we read about it. I've had to deal with toxic people in my life, even a coach like this one, and it helped me identify abusive relationships. Too often, teenagers hurt themselves working too hard, trying to live up to unrealistic expectations projected by This book accomplished everything it set out to do. Ultimately, it was about a toxic coach and the girls learning that and taking back their lives. It was very frustrating, reading about such a manipulator, but I think it's also really important we read about it. I've had to deal with toxic people in my life, even a coach like this one, and it helped me identify abusive relationships. Too often, teenagers hurt themselves working too hard, trying to live up to unrealistic expectations projected by toxic authority figures, and it was empowering following the Wildcats as they learn to take care of themselves. Because what really matters? A field hockey game? Or your health and safety? So, while this isn't a fun book, it's an important one, and I'm so glad I read it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joshee Kun (조수아)

    Thank you, Simon & Schuster, for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. It's never been her place to question him. It's her job to trust him. And she did trust him. This is my very first Siobhan Vivian book. If you look at its Goodreads page or Google the author, you might notice a trend: references to the Twitter war last November. I don't want to be redundant, so all you have to know is that Siobhan's way of supporting Sarah Dessen wasn't exactly helpful. Nonetheless, si Thank you, Simon & Schuster, for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. It's never been her place to question him. It's her job to trust him. And she did trust him. This is my very first Siobhan Vivian book. If you look at its Goodreads page or Google the author, you might notice a trend: references to the Twitter war last November. I don't want to be redundant, so all you have to know is that Siobhan's way of supporting Sarah Dessen wasn't exactly helpful. Nonetheless, since book reviewers have to be objective, I won't let my opinion on the controversy affect my rating of this feminist novel. Those three stars are for the book, not the author. We Are the Wildcats doesn't have anything to do with High School Musical. It's about six girls (Mel, Phoebe, Luci, Ali, Grace, and Kearson) who a part of a 20-member field hockey team called the Wildcats. They have a major game coming, so they need to prepare themselves physically and mentally. Luci, the team captain, organizes a meaningful evening event to motivate everyone, but their beloved coach gets in the way and changes the game plan. However, because of Coach's interference, the girls eventually see his true, dark colors. The book was indeed suspenseful. Coach was a complex character, and I wanted to understand why the girls, especially Mel, adored him. Regardless of his cold and brusque temperament, they claimed that everything he did was to bring out the best players in them. Sometimes, the story made me uncomfortable because Mel's feelings for Coach weren't just respect and admiration. She treasured their conversations and felt special whenever he texted her. Their texts weren't romantic, but it was apparent that Coach was pulling Mel's strings. The other girls weren't infatuated with Coach, but they all wanted to please him through their athletic performance. It came to the point that I felt sorry for the Wildcats. Were they just too innocent or ignorant to realize his malicious power over them? For most of the book, Coach was an excellent manipulator. He often succeeded in making them feel indebted to him. So when things began to unravel, I was excited to see the girls kick his ass. The was supposed to cover only 24 hours. I expected a very fast-paced plot but found an intermittent one instead. There were too many perspectives to follow, and all of them had flashbacks to give their relationships with Coach some context. Unfortunately, I only cared about a few of them. Among the six POVs, I enjoyed Ali's the most. She was one of the two Asians on the team and had fascinating interactions with her Korean family. Grace (Wildcat #5) also had a cool big brother, and I loved their shared screentime. Finally, Phoebe (Wildcat #2) had one of the most significant struggles. Her ACL was torn, but she refused to let that get in the way of her dreams. The most notable aspect of this book was its depiction of female friendship. The protagonists rarely had petty arguments. Coach tried to break their faith in each other with manipulative tactics but failed as a result of their tenacity and loyalty. Still, several side characters behaved differently and were perfect examples of girl hate; they resented Grace and Kearson out of pathetic envy. Perhaps balance was achieved that way? Overall, We Are the Wildcats shows how girls can break free from the chains of toxic masculinity. It will make you curious, wary, and a little happy. I didn't thoroughly enjoy the book, but I would recommend it to anyone looking for something sporty and enlightening to read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    katherine

    I loved this book! It's a book purely about friendship and camaraderie between girls and getting back up after failing and it was absolutely amazing. It was focused on six girls, so obviously not the whole team, but that's fine. Apparently field hockey teams have 11 players, and there are probably more if you include alternates and stuff (I'm not actually entire sure how sports work), so it's hard to write a book from at least 11 perspectives. It was written in third person close and it would in I loved this book! It's a book purely about friendship and camaraderie between girls and getting back up after failing and it was absolutely amazing. It was focused on six girls, so obviously not the whole team, but that's fine. Apparently field hockey teams have 11 players, and there are probably more if you include alternates and stuff (I'm not actually entire sure how sports work), so it's hard to write a book from at least 11 perspectives. It was written in third person close and it would in no way have worked if written in third person omniscient. Every character was incredible. I want to say flawless, but of course, they all had many, many flaws. Which is great because it makes them so realistic and human and I felt like I could imagine going to high school with them. There were some parts I cringed at, but who doesn't do that when looking at real life? I loved every part of this book, and the ending especially. I'm really sad how it ended, but at the same time, I'm so happy and proud of these girls. Their friendship and the love they had for each other as a team and as individuals was so beautiful and so well written. This is like, actual friendship goals. (view spoiler)[I do have to say that I am the proudest of Mel, I think. Her relationship with Coach was weird and just gross because like, ok I get it, she's crushing on an older guy she idolizes, but it really went a lot further than that, on both sides (I think, I'm a little unsure how it was from Coach's side because he really did seem quick to just replace her with Luci). I'm really glad they were careful and that Mel realized what a prick he was. Gordy seemed great and I really liked him. Much better choice than Coach. Yeah, so Coach gave me some weird vibes the second we found out in Mel's POV that they had a close relationship. Like, he would call her? Super late at night? And text her a lot? And that was a huge part of how her crush on him developed a lot further. Also, although I'm not entirely sure if he really did like her or if he was just leading her on, it was pretty obvious how manipulative he was being (hide spoiler)] . Every girl was absolutely amazing. The way they grew over the course of a single night was incredible. I mean, obviously it's not as much as, say, a character who lives throughout 10 books in one series, but still. The amount of confidence they had in themselves and each other was inspiring. Overall, I absolutely loved this book. Everything about it was beautiful, and there wasn't really any part I disliked. Disagreed with, yes. Disliked, no. It was just so well-written and I really do like character-focused books. None of the girls annoyed me, and I feel like I could physically see them bond as a team. I highly recommend this to anyone who's looking for a book about friendship, girls, sports, or just a good book in general

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I’m torn between a 3 and a 4. I loved the ending and the relationships between the girls, but I can’t buy into the central conceit of the sport mattering so much or losing a game being so awful.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tala

    i liked this better than STAY SWEET, which is why it’s coming in as a 1.5 star-er. RTC

  23. 4 out of 5

    I'm All Booked Up YA

    Blog Tour: March 30th *We received this book in exchange for an honest review* Everyone at West Essex High School wants to be a varsity field hockey player. The football and basketball players never win championships. But this coach is tough and only 20 girls make the team every year. Six girls get their dream of playing…but there is a lot of pressure. The team lost in the state championships last year and the coach will do anything to prevent another embarrassment. The night of the team roster goin Blog Tour: March 30th *We received this book in exchange for an honest review* Everyone at West Essex High School wants to be a varsity field hockey player. The football and basketball players never win championships. But this coach is tough and only 20 girls make the team every year. Six girls get their dream of playing…but there is a lot of pressure. The team lost in the state championships last year and the coach will do anything to prevent another embarrassment. The night of the team roster going up, the girls have a sleepover. Instead of a cute initiation ritual and a good night sleep, coach is calling all the shots in hopes of bringing the team together. Except, he’s more manipulative than any of them thought possible. He might unite them after all…against him. First things first, this book felt unique because of the six POVs. Meet Phoebe, Grace, Ali, Kearson, Mel and Luci. Ali and Kearson choked during the big game and are trying to prove themselves. Mel got into her dream college for field hockey, but still lets coach run her life. Phoebe’s injury kept her sidelined for the end of last season and now she’s planning a come back. Grace and Luci are new to varsity and just want to be accepted by their older peers. A big portion of this book focused on female friendships. Mel and Phoebe were at the center of this because they had been best friends forever. However, Phoebe’s injury hurt their relationship. Despite the hurdles they faced, it was great to see their friendship grow stronger. Each woman faced a challenge that they overcame over the course of the book. As the team grew to trust one another, their bond grew. It was refreshing to see a book portray such strong female friendships. Instead of tearing each other down, these women lifted one another up…bringing down their manipulative coach along the way. The reader felt compelled to watch them succeed and come together as a team! Speaking of their coach, he was the worst. We found it interesting that Vivian never told us his name, only referring to him as “Coach” throughout the book. By not giving him a name, it made the reader realize that this type of man can take on many forms and is more common than one would think. Not just a coach, but perhaps a boyfriend or a classmate. We loved that this book tackled the important theme of strong women banding together to break the chain of manipulation and abuse. There wasn’t a ton of romance in this book— but that almost felt okay. If you’re regular readers of our blog, then you know we love romance. Too much romance would’ve detracted from the story and the book’s overall message. It was more important that the women form strong bonds with each other than with men. However, we were glad that Mel realized her treatment of Gordy was rude and wrong. We’re glad they managed to make it work in the end! Overall, this was an entertaining book. We were eagerly trying to piece together each character’s story. To see it all come together in the end was satisfying. Blog | Twitter | Instagram

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shayla Kopp

    This was not great, not the worst book I read but not the worst either. I wouldn't say I enjoyed this book, but I did love the dynamics between the girls and getting to watch them interact was great. But the pacing was terrible, this was probably the slowest read I've ever had, even though it takes place over 1 night it felt like it took 1 million years to get to the end, and that nothing really happened. I think the main problem is there are too many perspectives and it took 100 pages easily to This was not great, not the worst book I read but not the worst either. I wouldn't say I enjoyed this book, but I did love the dynamics between the girls and getting to watch them interact was great. But the pacing was terrible, this was probably the slowest read I've ever had, even though it takes place over 1 night it felt like it took 1 million years to get to the end, and that nothing really happened. I think the main problem is there are too many perspectives and it took 100 pages easily to get the back story for all the girls which was slow going and boring. And then it never really picked up. Theres really no character development either, I found everyone to stay super static and again I think this has to do with how many perspectives there are. There was no time for any of the characters to grow or evolve. As well Siobhan Vivian brings up some huge topics and doesn't capitalize on them, racism, women in sports, inappropriate conduct from a person in power, passion for a sport. Books about young women in sport are SO important but this book does not deliver on that for me, there was not enough devoted to the girls and their passion and hard work, just drama with coach. I will say I HATED coach, he was the character with the best writing in my opinion. Siobhan Vivian did a great job of creating someone truly terrible.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anja

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really liked this book. I wasn't completely sure what to expect, because I didn't really know what the synopsis was, so my expectations were really low. But I ended up going on a ride with these resilient characters with a backdrop that is very real, and I really enjoyed it. At first, I thought that the six perspectives were going to be jarring since the story takes place over 24 hours and that is a very short amount of time, but the perspectives kept me on my toes, and I really liked the diff I really liked this book. I wasn't completely sure what to expect, because I didn't really know what the synopsis was, so my expectations were really low. But I ended up going on a ride with these resilient characters with a backdrop that is very real, and I really enjoyed it. At first, I thought that the six perspectives were going to be jarring since the story takes place over 24 hours and that is a very short amount of time, but the perspectives kept me on my toes, and I really liked the different perspectives. Each character's perspective brought something different to the table, so each character was necessary. My favourite element to this story was the amount of detail. Siabhon did a great job bringing the story to life with her meticulous amount of detail. It is clear that she is knowledgable about what she's talking about, especially about Coach and his coaching. I liked how she executed that element, because at first, it didn't seem like a big deal, but towards the end, it definitely was in how the coaching affected the girls. I really liked how the author never named Coach so that the readers were never personally attached to him. The way that the author brought this to life makes me really realise that, even though these characters are fictional, this story is very realistic. I'm so glad that I enjoyed this story, and I hope that others will as well.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jaye Berry

    I deadass spent like 3 weeks trying to read this and for what? We Are the Wildcats is about a girl's field hockey team on the night before their first game. At their sleepover, bonds are to be formed of trust and friendship to better help the team. Everything hinges on their midnight celebration until their Coach sours the whole evening. Over the night, they get out of their comfort zone on new adventures. This book takes place in under 24 hours from a bunch of different POVs and I was already los I deadass spent like 3 weeks trying to read this and for what? We Are the Wildcats is about a girl's field hockey team on the night before their first game. At their sleepover, bonds are to be formed of trust and friendship to better help the team. Everything hinges on their midnight celebration until their Coach sours the whole evening. Over the night, they get out of their comfort zone on new adventures. This book takes place in under 24 hours from a bunch of different POVs and I was already lost right there. I've never been a fan of 24 hour books and I'm still on my bullshit. I don't know why I tried to read this book so hard but I guess I didn't want to let it or my reading slump defeat me?? I've never had a book that is so short or that takes place is such a short time make me spend that long but here we are. There are parts that I thought were okay- the girls bonding and doing wacky things in the middle of their sleepover but other things I just wasn't interested in, like all the talk of sports things. And all the talk of a girl's knee injury like no I can't I hate that. But this book just felt... unfinished? There is a lot in here that could lead to a more interesting story, like a toxic coach who is abusing his power over teenager girls but the book just shows it but never actually goes very far into it. Near the ending of the book it felt like things were finally starting but then it just ended without an actual conclusion and I'm just mad I spent so long for nothing. There are so many POVs and I wasn't a fan. They all really sounded the same and I could never tell them apart?? But hey, at least I managed to finish this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    ARC from The Nerd Daily

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tiff at Mostly YA Lit

    3.5 stars. Review to come.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany Heitz

    3.75 stars. ARC from the TTBF. Easy read. 6 POVs of girls on a field hockey team. I enjoyed the team part of. The drama that unfolded helped too.

  30. 4 out of 5

    haley

    First off - I haven't seen a review with any tws yet so let me be the first to say: tws for gaslighting, grooming, non-physical adult/minor relationship (it's not a "relationship" but it's definitely something and creepy as hell), toxic coaching techniques (not sure what to tag that as but he yells, is explosive, pushes them past their breaking point and uses them as pawns to further his accomplishments) - there might be others but those are the big ones I remember This book is gonna be hard to r First off - I haven't seen a review with any tws yet so let me be the first to say: tws for gaslighting, grooming, non-physical adult/minor relationship (it's not a "relationship" but it's definitely something and creepy as hell), toxic coaching techniques (not sure what to tag that as but he yells, is explosive, pushes them past their breaking point and uses them as pawns to further his accomplishments) - there might be others but those are the big ones I remember This book is gonna be hard to review because I understand where the author was trying to go and I even appreciate the premise but the execution was not done very well at all. The idea of a group of girls banding together to get back at their toxic coach who has obviously been taking advantage of their success and treating them very poorly is right up my alley. When you add in the fact that this group of girls is founded on friendship and loyalty to each other and the sport they're playing the premise gets even better. I am a sucker for strong friendship groups and I love to see a large group of girls who truly love and care about each other. And, because of the description and what it's been tagged as, I expected this to be more along the lines of a revenge plot which would have been GREAT to see especially now that I've read it but that's not at all what this is about. I so badly wanted to love this, I was even desperate to read it and read it very quickly once I obtained it, which makes the fact that this is very clearly a 2 star to me all the more disappointing. The only thing I truly loved about this was the friendship between the girls. There is no pettiness, no bitterness, no hostility between any of the girls on the team. They just really care about each other and I think that's awesome to see depicted in a YA book about high school girls because we so rarely get to see that. I also enjoyed the fact that Grace had such a healthy relationship with her older brother. There was no animosity between the two of them which was nice to see as it differs from what I'm used to seeing in YA novels. But that's about where the things I liked about this book ends because everything else? Kind of a miss for me. The writing was fine, nothing horrible but also nothing fantastic. The characters were fine, they weren't horrible characters but I also didn't love any of them (I did find Mel incredibly annoying but I 100% understand it's not her fault so she gets a pass). The fact that there were six perspectives despite the book being short and a lot of their chapters being dedicated to flashbacks made it hard to get a real sense of the characters because we spent so little time with them. Also, there are twenty girls on that team and we didn't get a single girl's name besides the six main characters which was a little weird. But that's about where the "fine" aspects of this end because I didn't like anything else. The pacing was weird, it takes place over the course of 24 hours which is a fine format but I just didn't enjoy it very much in this context. There were so many characters and they were all telling different aspects of the story that it got hard to distinguish between them. They kind of all blurred together and in every chapter we'd get some kind of flashback to the year before and the incidents that caused the split between them and their coach which, while important, was very disconnecting. Not to mention, seeing "anyways" used several times throughout the novel to segway between flashbacks and the present was really weird and I just hated it. It made it seem more childish than it actually was. And then there's the plot. It was just... so basic and not that entertaining. I mean, I did read this in just a few hours and it caught my attention but that was mainly because I wanted to be done with this story so I could move on to other books. It wasn't bad it just wasn't good either. I don't have the words to articulate exactly why I didn't like it, I just didn't vibe with it and that's okay. I also found it incredibly annoying how naive everyone was when it came to the coach. I understand the girls' perspective honestly, they're teenagers and they think they owe him their success because they've basically been broken down and told they'd be nothing if it weren't for him. But the parents??? And literally any other adult who has ever witnessed how the coach is with them??? Where was their concern??? The only people who were concerned with the coach's actions where Gordy and Kearson's mom but considering she still let her daughter play for him she wasn't THAT concerned. I'm sure this all probably stems more from sports dynamics that I don't understand because I never played sports in high school but still, I feel like SOMEONE should have noticed and said something long ago about how toxic his coaching methods are. And now that I've finally mentioned the coach let's go into a little more detail about how much I despise that asshole. He's a complete puke. He's narcissistic, he's toxic and deserves to never have another coaching position again. (view spoiler)[What he did to Phoebe was despicable, how he talked about Grace was uncalled for, his rage that ended up hurting Kearson is unforgivable, his casual dismissal of the racism Ali faced was disgusting, the fact that he's ALREADY starting to groom Luci the same way he groomed Mel is enraging and the whole situation with Mel makes my blood boil. Seriously. Just because what Mel and the coach had wasn't physical doesn't mean there wasn't something creepy going on and the fact that it had been going on since she was 14 years old is so much worse. (hide spoiler)] I was filled with so much rage and annoyance reading about him and it was only fueled by the fact that it had gone unchecked for way too long because nobody did anything about it. I understand that the parents didn't understand a lot of what was going on because the girls felt a sense of loyalty to him and their team and didn't want to ruin things for the Wildcats, but surely they should have payed a little more attention to what was happening. Mel's parents went to every single game and had a close relationship with the coach but the didn't find his coaching problematic? And the satisfaction of seeing him "taken down" doesn't even alleviate most of that rage because (view spoiler)[it doesn't happen until the last like 20 pages and is literally the girls just going "you're fired" before the book ends. (hide spoiler)] The conclusion was completely underwhelming and the fact that most of this book consists of the girls talking about how they need to get their coach to believe in the team again despite everything he's done to them is infuriating. I understand that that was because a major theme of this book is loyalty and the girls choosing each other over everything but damn was that not executed well. If this had consisted of them realizing the coach sucks early on in the book and then the rest of it was them coming to terms with that and figuring out how to "outplay" him like the summary says it would have been much more enjoyable. Instead, the girls break their backs to try and do something that will make him proud of them and believe in them again (despite most of them knowing he sucks) only for them to realize at the very last second that he sucks and they need to do something about him. The whole thing was just very infuriating and overall completely underwhelming. Also, not as annoying but still worth mentioning: this is not a mystery nor is it a thriller and it's barely even suspenseful, the marketing on that is way off. tldr; the friendship theme is nice but don't waste your time

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