Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Kulti by Mariana Zapata

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“Trust me, I’ve wanted to punch you in the face a time or five.”

When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to. 

It didn’t take a week for twenty-seven-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she’d seen in the international soccer icon—why she’d ever had his posters on her wall, or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies. 

Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man that hadn’t known she’d existed. So she isn’t prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team’s season: a quiet, reclusive, shadow of the explosive, passionate man he’d once been.

Nothing could have prepared her for the man she got to know. 
Or the murderous urges he brought out in her.

“Sal, please don’t make me visit you in jail. Orange isn’t your color.”This was going to be the longest season of her life.

Review after the jump!

Whilst this book caught my eye a while ago, I stayed away from it as I'm an actual fan of football and knew that any mistakes would probably irritate me. My mum will say I never say this but here it is: I made a mistake and I was wrong.

Kulti was such a delightful book and Zapata mostly sidestepped the incorrect information angle by making up all of the football details, although there was one minor incident where it was claimed that Sal had received two yellows but was still on the pitch - two yellows is a red and getting sent off but seeing as most of the world is subject to Zapata's rules this may not be an accident. 

From a football perspective, this was a great book and I felt like it accurately portrayed what it is to enjoy football and to be from a football family that all respect and love the same players. I like that even though Sal was a wonderful footballer in her own right, she still got starstruck when meeting her heroes because that's just such a real reaction and it's little things like that that I believe make characters feel more real to the readers.

Sal was such a delightful character - she's hard working, selfless and never complains even when she really should. As a result, as mentioned above, Sal felt like so much more than a character, she felt like a potential friend that just hadn't found her way out of her book prison yet. Despite being surrounded by tons of girls, Sal never fell into the "all girls that aren't me are bitchy and vain" trap that would have been so easy for Zapata to fall into. Instead Sal was given a goal and that was all she needed to bother with.

Kulti. Kulti is someone I maybe wouldn't be friends with. At least not until we've been introduced and he's 100% in a good mood. I'm just kidding, I thought having Kulti evolve over the course of the story was a great choice as sometimes, it lets know more about the character than we ever could have imagined. 

I thought having Sal have a huge crush on Kulti when she was younger was a fun touch that just added an extra element to the book. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this book, but I do have to say, it's very similar to her Wall of Winnipeg book so if she were to write a third sports centered romance novel, maybe make the male characters a bit more different.

Recommend to: sports fans, fans of NA, fans of the slow burn
Rating: 5 stars

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