“Southern boys, pickup trucks, football, and high school field parties.” When I saw how Abbi Glines summed up her latest release, I knew I had to read it. Despite my past with her and her books, I wanted to give her work a second shot. See, the first book I ever read was Fallen too Far, part of her Rosemary Beach series. I. Hated. It. I’m not sure exactly what it was…maybe the horrible writing, maybe the absolute asshole main love interest, or maybe the completely boring cookie cutter damsel-in-distress heroine. Either way, I somehow managed to make it through the whole book, and then promptly swore I would never touch an Abbi Glines book ever again. However, when I broke that solemn promise to myself, I was actually pleasantly surprised.
Growing up in Texas, you growing up knowing what the three most important things in life are: Family, Faith, and Football. Friday night lights was my reality (okay with a lot less drama). Football season was the best time of the year; summer heat would slowly fade away to be replaced with crisp fall air. And every Friday night, while huddling in the stands, we would cheer on the boys of fall. I guess it was nostalgia that caused me to pick up her latest book. It’s been awhile since those days, and I miss it. What better way to re-live it than through a book?
The summary of Until Friday Night reads:
“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…”
So it’s your typical romance set-up: broken guy meets broken girl and they “fix” each other. In hindsight, I’m not sure why I loved this book so much. I literally could not put it down; I read the whole thing in one sitting. There are several reasons I managed not to throw it against the wall like I did with Fallen Too Far though. For starters, her writing has improved drastically. Instead of feeling like I was reading a romance for 10 year old, written by a 12 year old, it read like an actual Young Adult novel. That definitely helped. Another thing was that while West was a little prick at times, he wasn’t as horrible as Rush. He was going through an extremely painful time in his life, and pain all too often is translated into anger. Lord knows I’ve done that before. Maggie also wasn’t the weak, empty, damsel-in-distress that Blaire was. Maggie had gone through an extremely traumatic experience, and while she shut down in a way, she didn’t become a weak girl looking for a boy to save her. Granted, her way of coping isn’t exactly advised, but it’s totally understandable.
This book had plenty of teen angst, and humorous moments combined with tear-jerking scenes. Perhaps it was the nostalgia that made me overlook the little flaws in the storyline and characters, but nonetheless, I really enjoyed it. I’m almost definitely going to read the rest of the books in the series, though they probably won’t be making any “highly anticipated” lists of mine. But every now and then, you need a fun, light, easy read, and that’s what this book provided for me. If you’re looking for a YA romance with a little bit of humour and whole lotta angst, grab a copy of Until Friday Night, now at your favorite local bookstore! I’d give it a 3.5/5 star rating.