Series: The Field Party #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 25th 2015
Links: Ebook • Hardcover • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
The first novel in a brand-new series—from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Abbi Glines—about a small Southern town filled with cute boys in pickup trucks, Friday night football games, and crazy parties that stir up some major drama.
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 years 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—so in 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…
I was really hoping Until Friday Night would have a The Vincent Boys series feel to it, since to-date it’s my favorite of Abbi Glines’, but I struggled with this book. The ridiculous amount sexism from both the boys and girls had me cringing so much. The mediocre writing and characters weren’t very impressive – I was annoyed with them more than anything. I wanted to like this book, but there were too many issues I couldn’t get over.
West Ashby is the popular football-playing jock at Lawton high, but with his father dying of cancer, he’s going through the worst time of his life. His way of grieving is with alcohol and girls, until he meets Maggie Carleton, who understands him in a way no one else can. Maggie has just moved to Lawton to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousin. The thing about Maggie is that she doesn’t speak, not since she witnessed her father murder her mother. So she keeps quiet, observing the world, but meeting West has her opening up more and connecting with someone who feels the grief she keeps inside her.
She had become my lifeline. I wanted to be hers. I wanted her to feel this way about me, too.
Right off the bat, I didn’t like West. Or his jock friends. Why? Because they are all unbelievably, disgustingly sexist. They treat girls like dirt, or like walking vaginas. Seriously, the boys think of themselves as gods, and it doesn’t help that the girls go along with that and treat them like they’re gods too. I’ve talked a lot with a friend who’s read Abbi Glines’ other recent books, and she told me that sexism in her books isn’t uncommon, which is just… sad. Until Friday Night is a young adult book, the first in a brand new series, and it would be awful if young girls read this book and think that the boys’ behavior in it is acceptable. Because it’s not.
Maggie and West start off as friends first – this is probably the one thing I actually liked this about their relationship. I liked that they supported one another, relied on each other, but then… sometimes it felt like West was only using Maggie to cope with his pain. She gave so much to him, and all he did was take, take, take. As bad as I felt for him and his father, he came across as a selfish brat sometimes. He thinks that no one else besides Maggie can imagine the pain of losing a loved one, so he doesn’t even tell his friends that his father is dying, believing that they’re shallow and don’t have any problems to deal with themselves… um? No.
Eventually, Maggie and West fall for each other. The whole book takes place over the course of a month, so they actually fall for each other pretty quickly. Everything in this book is pretty much trope after overused trope. Popular jock falls for the gorgeous new girl who’s so ‘different’ from other girls and so ‘special’. Sigh. It was tedious trying to get through this book, since it’s just so boring and predictable. The only thing I liked was Maggie’s character, but her storyline felt so… unfinished and unresolved. She doesn’t really even deal with her grief, only helps West, so in the end, she almost felt like a secondary character.
With all that said, with all the problems I had with Until Friday Night… I didn’t hate this book. I’ve read worse, and I’ve certainly read better, but long-time fans of the author, who are used to her stories, might enjoy this more than I did.
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.
Reading Order: The Field Party series
#1 ~ Until Friday Night: Ebook • Hardcover • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Under the Lights: Ebook • Hardcover • Goodreads (Aug. 23, 2016)
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