Book Review – Kulti by Mariana Zapata

by Maryse on April 8, 2015 · 28 comments

in My Book Reviews

I LOVED IT. L-O-V-E-D IT!!!!!!! Swooned, I did. Chuckled like crazy, I did. Grinned and beamed and butterflied like a crushing teen… I did. That could be my entire review… just… that I LOVED it.

Recommended HIGHLY by a ton in my reading crew (some of my most trusted and picky readers) …and I agree.

Tracie: I think I just read my favorite book of 2015…Yes I know it’s only April. But I’m confident. Kulti by Mariana Zapata is the definition of a slow burn by not moving slow at all. Kick ass heroine, broody, world class athlete equals perfection. You will laugh your butt off and you will swoon!! I beg everyone to read this fantastic book!!

LOL Tracie!!! :P I’d recommend it to anyone that loves a goooooooood love story full of slow burn (meaning long term crushing and NOTHING but that… delicious “unrequited love”… sorta). And I KNOW… I know some of y’all DNF’d it in the first quarter…

Abby: I may have not waited it out long enough…sometimes I give up if I loose interest…I’ll try again ;)

Robyn: Told you to wait it out and you wouldn’t be sorry! I have a major Kulti crush! Hehe

Charity: Just finished and wait until about 40% in!! Oh man !! Loved it!!! Great book…

Jennifer: I’m at about 60%. Getting good. Love the Bratwurst!

Jaime: I literally just finished this seconds ago. I have to say it took me days to get in to this. I think 4 days in i was at 15%. I even considered moving on. Around 20% something clicked though and i really enjoyed it, especially the second half.

Fiona: Sorry gave up on this

Robyn: Don’t give up! Starts slow, but is so worth it to keep on reading!

Maryse’s Book Blog: I’m actually into it… maybe it was ’cause I was expecting slow but I’m at 15% and liked every bit of it. I’m glad we’re not “there” yet. Helps me build that anticipation and get angry with her…

Andrea: Exactly! The not there yet feeling is the best. It’s what I look for these days:) Jacked by Tina Reber has that too.

Tracie: I keep re reading the last 30%!! It’s just too good. People who gave up on it totally missed out

Lori: I don’t know how you could give up on it…I was in from the first chapter, nothing like a slow burn with an infuriating, unattainable ass that won’t even speak to you!

Lucia: Loved loved loved this book!!!!!! One of my all time top 5!!!!!

Kandace: It’s a slow build

Maryse’s Book Blog: It’s a slow build, but I’m loving everything that’s happening. I just got back from an Easter supper and I can’t WAIT to get back to my book!

And I admit… MOST were totally 5-star in love with this, but some were DNF’ing it? *gasp*!!! What does that mean? Did I even want to bother? After all it was an almost 500 page book and I can *squirrel* preeeeetttty easy if it’s not awesome soon, from the start. I was worried even though plenty were saying to stick with it and it was a slow build and would totally rock my world… I was hesitant.

BUT!!!! I can assure you (and maybe it’s ’cause I was warned of the extra-slow burn…) I loved it and was into it from the start. Fantastic writing, characters, and “mood”… OMG even though it wasn’t *that* right from the bat, it was so fun, real, and interesting… and the TENSION with Kulti was there right from the start that I. WAS. IN!!!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: ‘kay I’m readin’ it. “Kulti” (that’s his last name). So far so good. I’m right at the beginning… but I’m in. I love internal super-star fan-girlng in books. Like…

“Kulti was just a man.
I closed my eyes and thought of the first thing that could get me out of my holyshitit’sKultistandingrightthere.
He poops.
He poops.
Right. That was all I needed to snap out of it.”

Andrea: Yay! I hope you like this book maryse! The layering is slow but the buildup is what makes it so good!

Noriko: Oh!! Can you explain the “poop”?

Maryse’s Book Blog: Hehe Noriko. Everyone “poops”. Even famous stars… meaning we are all equal (and it was her way of calming herself down when she first saw him)…

Jennifer: Yay! So glad you are reading this! Has some of the sexiest non- sex scenes…especially staying at her parents when they are getting ready to go on a run! Hope you like it…

Sara: Awesome book!

Jodi: I loved this book

Lori: Yay it’s sooo good. I love how unavailable he is!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: That’s what I LOVE too Lori!!! Let me chase him for a bit…

Tracie: Omfg Maryse!! This is my favorite book of the year! Gah I’m so glad you’re reading this!

Stephanie: Oooohhhhh….. I loved this one Maryse!

Lisa: I loved this book!!!!

Jillian: This book was fan-frigging-tastic!! It totally got me out of that slump I was in!!

Kandace: So worth the slow burn! I loved every second of this book.

No mutual “insta-love”. Although done right, insta-love works for me too. In fact, as a college student, I remember a few occasions where I could have fallen in insta-love, ya know? That whole “love at first sight” thing? That exists, so I’ll never poo-poo insta-love if it’s written in a way that I can actually FEEL it.

But too often it’s glossed over so we can get to the steamy parts or to the breakup-misunderstanding-angsty stuff…. but for me, what often “makes the angst” is the fact that only one is feeling it… for a long time. And therefore I AM feeling it, too. YES PLEASE!!!! Even if they’re not together… just how they are together, and their closeness, and how little by little the trust and become closer… is SO fun. I don’t need the full on “right-off-the-bat” romance, to love the crush and the journey getting there. The anticipation .And this was THAT!!!!

After all, she’d been crushing on this famous god-like famous soccer player for YEARS!!!! Since she was a kid, in fact. He was her hero. Her inspiration. SHE and her brother eventually became professional soccer players, and they both looked up to this star. And then he got married to a famous starlet, and her teenage dreams of one day marrying him came to a screeching halt! Remember when that happened to us? rolleyes Oh… I DO. I won’t tell you who it was. *snort* neutral

But eventually she got over it. In fact, her brother competed against said soccer-god once they were adults, and was physically hurt in the process. She was SO OVER HIM!!!! That is… until he showed up to her soccer practice and was announced as her professional team’s newest assistant coach. Remember that record player screech? CUE IT. eek

And everything she ever heard of him in gossip mags, witnessed of him on the field on TV (his aggression, aloofness, and arrogance) was on full display right. in. her. FACE!!! UGH! WHAT AN ASSSSSSSS! *mini-squee*!!!!

I had tried to be playful with him and he’d been a bratwurst, so  whatever. Whatever.

So what’s it about?

She’s an up and coming professional soccer player. Kinda famous in the soccer world. Super awesome, super talented and super competitive but SUPER peaceful and sweet and easy going, and she felt JUST LIKE ME!!! I was SO her. AM so her. Other than I suck at sports. LOL!!!

And then she get’s a new coach. THE BAD BOY KING OF SOCCER HIMSELF. The one she loved desperately as a young’n, and the one she eventually disowned… even if deep down inside he still gave her butterflies.

And that’s it. THAT IS THE STORY! But OMG it is SOOOOOOOOO much more than that. Because it is all about her coming to terms with herself, her abilities, her dreams, the haters (OH THE HATERS!!!)… and HIM being in her life, in REAL LIFE, like she so desired it. Except… he’s NOTHING like she imagined.

AND it’s HIM coming to terms with himself… his fame, his fortune, his disgrace… and HER.


And that’s what I LOVED. There was NOTHING about this story that I didn’t believe. ALL of the characters (main and secondary) were real! From her VERY NORMAL and comforting upbringing (loving parents, especially her sweet and hilarious father that I FELL IN LOVE WITH in a father-daughter way),

Maryse’s Book Blog: Finishing up Kulti tonight. Her father is ADORBS! Do we still say adorbs? I’m such a nerd. :P

Kristen: I am almost done to I love her dad

Maryse’s Book Blog: “Tell him I said thank you.” <— LOL!!!!! OMG I DIED!!!!! That scene. PERFECTION!!!!

Kristen: or “ask him if he wants a hug now or later” (if you are there yet)

Maryse’s Book Blog: LOL!!!! Cracks me up!!!

Andrea: I can’t wait for your review!!

Nadia: Love her dad! Loved that book!!

Tee hee!! YES!!

“Who wants to give me my present first?” my dad asked once the waiter had walked away. Mom and I met each other’s eyes from across the table and we both barely shook our heads. Who asks that? My dad. My dad asks for his presents.

*snort* :P

To her slightly opinionated “girls should be traditional” mother, and her typical pain-in-the-butt brother… from her teammates, both the supportive and competitive ones, to the absolutely believable smugness and disinterested new coach. Sheer perfection.

I know. I KNOWWWWWW some said this one was too slow and they gave up on it (because nothing was “happening”). But if you LOVED how long it took Travis and I (I mean us… I mean Abby lol) to get together, how long it took Christian to admit how much he loved us (I mean… Ana), and how long it took Edward to finally give in to making us HIS (even if he wanted to eat us… I mean Bella eek)…. THIS has that kind of slow burn feel!!!!

HE IS NOT INTERESTED. HE IS NO NONSENSE. WE ARE CUTE BUT… WE BUG HIM. *snort*!!!! Even if we tell him he bugs us back… ’cause he totally does, ’cause OMG he’s such a jerk!!!! Still… he DOES NOT CARE. ARGH!

He had the look of the old Kulti— the borderline psychotic competitor. Oh my gosh, he was going to wipe the floor with me.

YAY US!!!!!!!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: LOL!!!!! —-> OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK! ““Am I dying and I don’t know it?” I asked his chest.”

Kandace: I can’t wait for your review. Kulti is filet mignon.

Maryse’s Book Blog: Well right off the bat, I LOVED it!! Will be reviewing tonight… *sigh* SO FUN!

And yes…. my friends. It’s soccer and not all of us are HUGE soccer fans. I can even venture to guess that the majority of us aren;t soccer fans at all. Doesn’t matter. YES, “soccer” is big in this, as the backdrop, but front row and center? That arrogant ass and our slow burn that we SO coveted for the last year or so. It. IS. HERE!!!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: Tee hee!!!!! I’m loving the “softball game” in Kulti. What an awesome pair…

“They,” and he pointed at Kulti and me, who had surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, played like we’d been teammates for years, “can’t be on the same team together!”
So maybe it was a little unfair.
A little.
I mean, this was softball and we were soccer players.”

Maryse’s Book Blog: I am crushing SO HARD!!!!!! Gah we have to work for it so good in this one… just one of those rare smiles gives me mega-butterflies… *swooooon*  *giggle* OMG I LOVE THIS!!! I’m still cackling in glee with the softball game results…

Kandace Milostan Lovesbooks I love my German Chocolate Cake! I swear one word from Kulti equals a 1,000 words in our other books. I can’t even explain it.

Tracie: Favorite book of the year!! I’m still in a Kulti fog…I keep re reading my favorite parts which is essentially the whole thing

Ratula: This whole book is pure magic. It’s been over a week and I cant stop thinking of my German. A reread is the only remedy. I can’t remember the last time ive been so obsessed.

Tracie: Me either^^ its on another level

Kandace: I love her dad! I smile every time I think of him.

Tracie: Just being inside Sal’s head was a delight. She was just spectacular

Kandace:It’s because Sal is a total badass!

Maryse’s Book Blog: And yet.. a total sweetheart.

Ratula: Im going to reread this book asap. New releases be damned!

Kandace: When she kicked the ball to him. My heart skipped a beat.

Julie: Frankfurter lol gah I love her! Not as much as him but still

Ratula: When the dad slammed the door on their faces when they came to visit, i about died of laughter.

Kandace: I swear if Maryse doesn’t love this one we are disowning her. I wish Maryse would do a live newsfeed while she’s reading it. It would make stalking her easier.

Andrea: This book was my perfect book in every single way! Taco! Haha!… And that epilogue… Gah, I cried!

Julie: I like how she always called him The German

Kandace: This book just shows we don’t need smut if the story is done right. I had butterflies the entire time.

Nadia: Mariana Zapata is a genius. I love all her books 60% into Kulti and pure genius !!

Celine: Woohoo!! So glad this book & author are getting the attention they deserve!! I finished Lingus last night and really enjoyed that too :) ) Now we just need a Kulti POV to make our lives complete… Pretty please!

Amy: Reading this too, go away world! Must read! I’m way in, nothings happened per say but they are building a awesome foundation. I feel like I’ll have book hangover after this.

It was almost perfect for me. Almost, only in the fact that I didn’t spend days upon days dreaming of it like I did Edward, Christian and Travis… and that is the ONLY reason I’m not 5-starring this one. But it is SOOOOO close. SO CLOSE for me. Eh… maybe I should 5 star it. The humor alone had me DELIGHTED. And it was NOT a comedy romance… but OMG was she ME!!!!

I spotted Kulti speaking to two female teachers who would be working the registration table. He was gesturing at something on the sheet and they were nodding enthusiastically, which didn’t say much because he probably could have been telling them that he pooped golden nuggets and they would have been excited, based on the way they’d been looking at him.


All right, that wasn’t very nice.

*snort*!!!! ME!!!

No matter what, it was FANTASTIC!!!! Slow, but NOT. “Slow” in steam but the anticipation of it all was just as exciting! More so, even. Maybe slow in getting there, but it was so perfect in it’s journey and process. I never felt like I was missing out. I was just anxious and excited and butterfly-y over the whole thing.

4.5 stars… 5 stars. I dunno Lemme think about it. ;)

P.S. My ONLY complaint? “I could care less.”<— lots of that. And I agree… except… I couldn’t care less. And that’s all. :D

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

bev April 8, 2015 at 8:09 PM

Slow burn & likable heroine? I so have to start this tonight.

Maryse April 8, 2015 at 8:37 PM


Right from the very start… NOTHING to “get into” or “used to” in this one. It’s just plain awesome.

Amy April 8, 2015 at 8:43 PM

Awwww, sounds so good! No insta-love and we…I mean SHE has to work for it? Perfect!!! :D

“Hookers.” <—— *snort* That's been my favorite term lately for people who irritate me. :P

Carol April 8, 2015 at 9:00 PM

I loved it from the beginning, also. I am tired of the “insta-love” plots…probably because I am in my 40′s. This couple sort of reminded me of Rose And Dimitri from Vampire Academy.

Kandace April 9, 2015 at 7:12 AM

Your review rocked! I’m so glad we don’t have to disown you.

Maryse April 9, 2015 at 7:33 AM

LOL Kandace!!

*phew* Meeeee toooooooo.

P.S. I just noticed that last night as I was adding the chat in and I cackled!!! :P

Hayzell April 9, 2015 at 7:56 AM

I can’t wait to start reading. From the review it sounds GREAAAAAAAAAAAT!

Maryse April 9, 2015 at 8:55 AM

Amy… *snort* YES!! I giggled with glee reading that one… ;)

Carol they DID have that feel! YES!!

Hayzell let me know what you think once you’re done. :D

Danette April 9, 2015 at 11:20 AM

I anxiously awaited this release as I fell in love with this author’s writing in “Under Locke.” Inst-love is okay sometimes, I just think there’s too much of it out there. But this slooooooooooowwwww burn had me sizzling from the start. It reminds me of the quote from “A Fault In Our Stars”: I fell in love like you fall asleep — slowly and then all at once. That’s the way the book worked for me. I loved it. Zapata doesn’t turn out lots of work on a regular basis like some of our favorite authors, but her stuff is worth waiting for.

Amy April 9, 2015 at 11:39 AM

Ohhhhhh Danette…Maryse still has to read Fault in Our Stars so maybe you could give her a nudge. ;) I actually ended up seeing the movie (book was spoiled for me) and still bawled. Come on, Maryse…read it!! I’ll even read it even though I’ve seen the movie. *snort* As if me promising to read it should be a selling point, right? :P

“Okay, Hazel Grace?” <——– GAAAAHHHHH!!! *sob*

Carmela April 9, 2015 at 3:11 PM

“There can only be one.”

This book is that “ONE!” I never laughed so hard, I actually woke up my husband… I couldn’t put it down, I was hooked right from the start. Kulti was such a lovable jackass at times, but you could tell he cared for his little snail.

When I finished this book five days ago I was on a Kulti high… Now I’m in a book funk, no book compares! FIVE days!!!! I have never gone this long without reading an entire book :/ I loved Under Locke and this book was beyond my expectations, great writing!

Nithya April 9, 2015 at 10:52 PM

Hi Maryse, I loved Kulti and I seriously think this is the book for 2015 as far as I am concerned. Glad to see so many people enjoying it as well and I was so surprised that i liked it, given that this is an extreme slow burn and the amount of smut that I have been reading of late. Who knows, maybe the novelty factor was one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much.

I read it in one sitting and was not tempted to give up at all. My favorite character was her Dad. What an awesome guy! who else loved him?

My review on goodreads:

Bella April 10, 2015 at 5:41 AM

I loved it too. Went ahead and read her other books- Under Locke and Lingus. The author is a genious!!!!! Love all her books, 5 star rating

Carla April 11, 2015 at 12:53 AM

Oh my! You already got me when you said “Let me chase him for a bit…” “unrequited love”, “what an ass” and “soccer”. Wow! I could’t ask for more! lol
1º I’m brazilian! So I LOVE soccer! I’m actually surprised that this author is talking about it, cause this is a sport that are more played in South America and Europe, anyway… I love it! It’s fun!
2º Who doesnt love an unrequited love story?! What you said about the slow build and the journey to get there… that’s what I like!
I also read “under locke” and I loved that book, and I get the feeling that I’m going to love this one too.
This is what have been looking for! Thanks for the recomendation! ;)

Kandace April 11, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Bratwurst + Taco (4EVER)

Sofia April 11, 2015 at 6:09 PM

Thanks Maryse for the rec, I downloaded this book at 6.30pm and stayed up until 7am reading it♡♡♥♥ I loved it so much!!!!

I love the absulute crap out of Kulti, especially in the beginning when its all too much trouble for him being an assistant couch who can’t be arsed to ‘assist’ anyon…Sal and her inner dialogue was a hoot, they were a match made in football heaven.

I now need to persuade all my friends into reading this book

Rif April 11, 2015 at 7:05 PM

Sorry I’m late to the party but I must say this was a superb read! Thanks so much for the rec Maryse :)

Maryse April 11, 2015 at 7:07 PM

My pleasure guys!!! :D I just KNEW this one was for us… perfect pacing, perfect detail, perfect emotion, perfect humor… just perfect!

MichelleS April 12, 2015 at 2:20 PM

“Bratwurst + Taco (4EVER)” – LOL!!! Exactly!!! That was the best part for me – her inner dialogue and rambling. So funny. It just goes to show that you don’t have to have steamy sex instantly, or kidnappings and location changes – that you can be on a soccer field 99% of the time and still have an amazing book – if the chemistry is right. LOVED IT

M April 12, 2015 at 4:56 PM

I was definitely trying to power read through this, as many had such high praises for this book. Alas, it was a huge build up that landed in major disappointment. Wasted my time!

T. Rhodes April 13, 2015 at 7:41 PM

Ok so I started Kulti a couple of weeks ago, got maybe 10-12% and stopped. Then saw only the first two sentences of your review (I didn’t want to know anything else other than you loved it) and immediately started it again. Oh boy am I glad I did because the one word that comes to mind when describing this book is “butterflies” and I don’t get those often at all! I just finished it and I am in a love fog!!

Maryse April 13, 2015 at 7:48 PM

YAY T!!!!!

I’m so glad you picked it back up… I’m STILL thinking about those two.

Betty April 23, 2015 at 5:40 PM

Really loved the book! I love you maryse because I also have the same complaint but I also almost couldn’t care less!!

Maryse April 24, 2015 at 11:58 AM

LOL Betty!!! ;) Just a *mini* complaint. :P

jen June 5, 2015 at 2:06 PM

what took me so long to read this??? I am swooing big time for The German. Sigh…I ca’t stop thinking about this book. a slow burn for sure,but so worth it.

Geanina December 28, 2015 at 10:54 AM

Best of 2015. Simply because it stays with you. And maybe because it’s difficult finding something equally exciting to read after Kulti.

Bo Han April 27, 2016 at 8:11 PM

I absolutely adored everything about this book! I adored Sal’s dad. He cracked me up so hard. I loved when they went to visit her family. That was one off my fave parts. Everyone poops! Lol!!! Kulti and the lawnmower, and at the shoe store. He was so sweet, and then so abrupt on the phone. Only the bratwurst!

Purva mehta June 3, 2018 at 2:47 AM

I have a Kulti hangover! The superrrr Reiner Kulti as well as the book Kulti. Re reading it for the third time already!
Seriously can we have a Kulti POV??
That would be the ultimate dream

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