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.