We Ride Upon Sticks Review

Set in the coastal town of Danvers, Massachusetts (which in 1692 was Salem Village, site of the origins of the Salem Witch Trials), the story follows the Danvers High field hockey team as they discover that the dark impulses of their Salem forebears may be the key to a winning season.

The opening to this book was a little chaotic. I didn’t know what was happening at first and who was narrating. It wasn’t until after the camp and they go back to Danvers was I able to understand what was going on. We’re just kind of thrown into the story with all of these different characters and personalities it was a little hard to differentiate between them all at first.

The concept was something I found to be super intriguing, but the way the connection between them all is created was a touch on the ridiculous side. But it’s the fact that these girls believe wholeheartedly in this ‘witchcraft’ kind of made the story for me. Emilio being the overseer that these girls need to appease and power up to beat their opponents and get to state was just so over the top and kept me invested.

I really enjoyed the fact that even though the story is told as a collective ‘we’ because these girls have this bond we still get more of a background on all of them and we get to know each of them as an individual and their motivations behind signing the notebook. Even though they all have this overarching goal of being state champions they have their own issues they are working through.

I appreciated the amount of field hockey we got to see throughout the course of the book. It was a good balance of being on the field as well as in school and socially out in Danvers. Honestly I would of been happier if we got too see more of the games with more of an in depth commentary of their structure as a team but there was definitely enough.

The fact that le splotch and the Claw were active characters and had a major input in the dialogue between the team just tipped this book over the edge. It added just that layer of campiness that the 80’s was well known for and added some humour into the mix that made me think that Quan Barry didn’t want us to take the book too seriously and just enjoy this journey of self discovery and and adolescent hijinks!

⭐️3/5 stars I appreciated what this book did!