Review: Kulti by Mariana Zapata



“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.


Kulti was such a refreshing read! Finally we have a girl who’s obsessed with soccer, and it’s good at it. She’s career driven, and she’s ready to give up on most things to reach her goal.

‘I can and I will’ had been the motto I held closest to my heart at all times. I didn’t like people telling me I couldn’t do something, even if I didn’t want to do it.

This book defies all standards; we have women working their ass off on the field, they’re hot tempered, their bodies have a completely different shape than those socially accepted, but they’re beautiful nonetheless. Sal’s been obsessed with soccer since when she was seven, and saw Kulti’s first game. From then she’d also been obsessed with him, and developed a crush on him. But unfortunately he’d always been out of her league, until he wasn’t. Kulti’s now Sal’s team’s assistan coach, but he’s not the man he once was. He’s retired, he’s angry and rude, he doesn’t seem to care about much, and has a ego bigger than a house.

They say not to make eye contact with dangerous animals so that they don’t perceive you as a threat, but I said screw it; I was no one’s bitch, especially not Kulti’s.

Sal’s skin is thick though, and she doesn’t let his attitude bring her down. She’s also a pretty good person, so she can’t help but try and being nice to people, at least at first. That’s how Kulti and Sal start becoming friends. It was a really slow built relationship. At first they’re mostly rude at each other, but with time it becomes their own way of showing attachment. Don’t expect a lot of romance, though. There are a lot of cute scenes, but there’s nothing romantic till pretty late in the book; I think a few scenes could have made the transition from friendship to romance less sudden.

He didn’t smile back. Instead, he let go of my wrist and put his hand on my forehead before shoving me gently away. It wasn’t exactly a hug or a pat on the back, but I’d take it. Sure enough when I turned around, at least eight sets of eyes were on us.

Of course, when their friendships becomes public knowledge, the team isn’t really happy about the way it looks. Sal decides not to care since she’s done nothing wrong, and she’ll never let anything come between her and soccer. I especially loved Sal’s relationship with her dad, they’re best friends, and he’s adorable, and with two of her teammates, Jenny and Harlow; they’re so playful with each other, and it was completely different from the usual “girly” friendship.

“You’re one of the best I’ve ever seen, period, man or woman. What kills me is that you are a complete fucking pushover who’s hung up on worthless words in front of a person that doesn’t matter.” His cheeks were flushed. “Grow some balls, Casillas. Fight me for this. Fight anyone that tries to take this away from you.”

Overall, this was a great funny and different read. I like soccer, and I loved seeing women slaying at it. I loved the cute relationships, and the burning romance.

manuela calloway sisters

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