Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines
Series: The Field Party #1
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: ARC, 328 pages
How I got it: From the publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
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…
Until Friday Night was one of my most anticipated books of August. I was thrilled when I got a digital copy from Edelweiss, but even more excited to get a signed copy from Abbi at BEA. As much as I wanted to throw everything else aside and read it when I returned from New York, I put it on my shelf and waited until it was closer to release to pick it up. Several friends and other bloggers I follow on Goodreads, however, picked it up immediately. When I started to see the negative reviews roll in, I wanted to cry. There are few things worse in the book world than being utterly let down by a book you were anticipating highly. Because of all the negatives I was reading from people who have similar reading tastes to me, I put off reading this book. I almost made the decision not to read it at all. That would’ve been a huge mistake on my part. There were times when I had a love/hate relationship with it, but when it was all said and done, I was happy with it.
The characters were not the easiest to love at times. On the outside, West was a jerk. He was a player. His “relationship” with his on again/off again “girlfriend” was a mess. (Of course, said “girlfriend” was a shrew, so…) Football, partying and hooking up were his life… at least on the surface. There was a lot more going on underneath it all. He was going through some very real pain as his father’s illness consumed him. I wanted to give West the benefit of the doubt. There are a lot of things I don’t believe a teenager is equipped to deal with and watching a parent – their hero – die is one of them. He did not always make it easy for me to stick with him, if I’m being perfectly honest. He had a bit of a caveman attitude towards Maggie and that bothered me, especially as he wasn’t exactly trying to pursue a relationship with her while beating his chest and keeping others away from her. I think this book might’ve gone a lot differently if it hadn’t been for the time spent in West’s head. Reading along as he coped with everything endeared him to me. I felt like I knew where he was coming from. If I hadn’t had his POV, I honestly probably wouldn’t have continued on with the book.
I really liked Maggie at the beginning. As her backstory became clearer, my heart broke. The loss she dealt with and the things she witnessed were not things anyone should ever have to. I understood why she chose not to talk to anyone. I understood why she struggled. I liked watching her open up to West, to be there for him as he dealt with what was coming his way. She could relate to what he was dealing with and support him in a way no one else really could. I feared she would lose herself to him and that he wasn’t exactly the guy she needed to do that with. But, mostly, it felt right somehow. Sure, there were times when I wanted her to grow a backbone, but there were other times when I was impressed by her strength.
I think one of the things that made me more able to look past some of West’s (gross) behavior was that I was honestly never really rooting for a relationship between the two of them. I was more interested in the character growth and the other relationships and friendships, than seeing anything happen between them. Which, you know, is pretty rare for me as I am a total romance addict. I was just impressed with how meeting West both allowed Maggie to let go of her pain and help him through one of the toughest times of his life. I liked Maggie’s aunt and uncle. I loved her cousin and appreciated how he was able to call West on his bullshit in a way no one else really could. West’s teammates were interesting, too and I look forward to more from them in the future.
In the end, I really enjoyed this book. I didn’t love the entire thing. There were definitely parts that made me angry. These characters aren’t perfect, but they are high schoolers. I think some mistakes are to be expected. There’s no denying that I was completely and utterly addicted to this story from the very beginning… even when I was giving serious consideration to hurling my copy across the room. I’ve read a lot of Abbi Glines’ books, so I had a pretty good idea of the situations I would possibly find between the covers of Until Friday Night. Perhaps that left me better prepared than some of my friends who didn’t enjoy the book as much? I’m not sure. Whatever it was, though, I am glad I read this book. I enjoyed it even with its imperfections. It worked for me. I’m already looking forward to seeing what happens next in The Field Party series.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.