Title: Until Friday Night (The Field Party #1)
Author: Abbi Glines
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.Two year ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father, son the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…
This is where I admit that I have never read a book by Abbi Glines. At least that was true until last week when I read Until Friday Night. And though there were parts of the book that weren’t my favourite, I still found myself really enjoying this story while reading it.
Everyone in Lawton, Alabama knows West Ashby as one of the stars of the high school football team. And that comes with certain expectations that West is more than happy to live up to. But at home, things are different. At home, West is trying to just keep it together while he slowly watches his father die of cancer. Just when he things he can’t hold it all in anymore, Maggie Carleton comes to town and West sees her as the perfect person to talk to. It’s not like the girl who doesn’t talk could tell his secrets to anyone. Maggie has been through her fare share of trauma and grief and she hasn’t spoken since she told the police everything that happened on the night her father killed her mother. But spending time with West, Maggie finds herself wanting to talk again, wanting to him because no one was there to help her at the time. And before either one of them knows what’s happening, a connection they both need and rely on forms between them.
If you want a foolproof way to get me to read a book, compare it to Friday Night Lights. Or say that it’s for fans of Friday Night Lights. Basically, just mention Friday Night Lights in some way, shape or form in relation to the book and it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll want to read it. So I’m sure you can all guess what happened when I heard Abbi Glines’s Until Friday Night being compared to Friday Night Lights. If you guessed that I suddenly desperately wanted to read it, you guessed right. I was excited about Until Friday Night, I couldn’t wait to read. But then I started seeing reviews and I got a little nervous. People seemed to either love the book or completely hate it. Based on that, I got a little worried I would fall on the hate side of things and then I would be disappointed because I had been so excited about the book. But as scared as I was, I started reading and quickly found myself enjoying the story. And that kept up throughout the whole book. Sure, there were some things that I wasn’t completely okay with, but that’s true for a lot of what I read. And some of those things along the way that I was really not okay with, and many of those were addressed which made me happy. Until Friday Night might not have become quite the favourite I had hoped it would be, but it was till a story I found myself really enjoying while reading and got me curious enough to see where Abbi Glines will take the series next.
Despite having some issues with him along the way, I liked West pretty much right from the start. Granted, I would sometimes get frustrated with the front he would put up around people, I really liked his more vulnerable side, the side of him that saw his father as his hero and would do anything for his mother. That side of West I was more than happy to get behind and it was the side I wanted him to show to everyone. At least he showed Maggie that side of him pretty quickly so threw as that. And that brings me to Maggie. I can only begin to imagine the horror of what she had gone through and the strength it took to come out of it on the other side. So I was hoping that West would treat her right. And he did. Until some of his behaviour really rubbed me the wrong way. And without revealing too much, the behaviour in question was addressed in no uncertain terms. And that made me happy. Because it needed to be addressed. And then there were the other female characters in the story. Without getting too into it, let’s just say that they weren’t exactly portrayed in the best light and it felt like at times that was done to make Maggie look better. I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with the way the girls behaved, but there were some troubling elements to their depiction. So there was that. But other than that, I liked the characters and I’m curious about a good number of them and I’m looking forward to finding out more about them in future books.
Though it wasn’t entirely what I had hoped it would be, I still really enjoyed reading Abbi Glines’s Until Friday Night. And I still very much look forward to seeing what Abbi Glines will do with the future books in the Field Party series.