Release Reviews: Under The Lights: Abbi Glines

Under the Lights  (The Field Party #2)
Abbi Glines
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Expected August 23, 2016

In the follow-up to Abbi Glines’s #1 New York Times bestseller Until Friday Night—which bestselling author Kami Garcia called “tender, honest, and achingly real”—three teens from a small southern town are stuck in a dramatic love triangle.

Willa can’t erase the bad decisions of her past that led her down the path she’s on now. But she can fight for forgiveness from her family. And she can protect herself by refusing to let anyone else get close to her.

High school quarterback and town golden boy Brady used to be the best of friends with Willa—she even had a crush on him when they were kids. But that’s all changed now: her life choices have made her a different person from the girl he used to know.

Gunner used to be friends with Willa and Brady, too. He too is larger than life and a high school football star—not to mention that his family basically owns the town of Lawton. He loves his life, and doesn’t care about anyone except himself. But Willa is the exception—and he understands the girl she’s become in a way no one else can.

As secrets come to light and hearts are broken, these former childhood friends must face the truth about growing up and falling in love…even if it means losing each other forever.

graphics from author's Facebook page
This is about three childhood/tween friends separated for six years. Feelings had began to blossom when younger, but now  they are reunited in their senior year and have all grown up, changed, and have some secrets.

Willa Ames has returned to live with her Nonna after making a big mistake and paying for it. She is hurt, untrusting, regretful, and determined to earn her Nonna's trust. She needs to avoid boys, temptation, and trouble. She is broken, guilt ridden, and feels unwanted.

Gunner Lawton is the son of Nonna's employer and from the outside it looks like he has the perfect life. He's cocky and spoiled, but has his own family issues and pain. He does not trust easily and does not believe in love since he's never really been shown love. He puts up walls of protection and is seen as a playboy. But he used to be Willa's protector, best friend, and the one she leaned on.

Brady Higgens is the driven, dependable, football quarterback. He is a good guy that hates to hurt people. He has been raised in a stable, loving home and his life has been relatively easy. He was the third part of their trio and close to both of them. Willa had a huge crush on him when younger. And both boys felt the same about her but kept it hidden.

They are three reunited friends with shared history, dealing with new dynamics, new feelings, new problems, jealousy, secrets, and fear. And all of these conflicts are just a portion of the drama swirling around them.

This is a YA book and is a love triangle among friends set in a small town high school. We get all three of their points of view that is important to keep tabs on all of their changing feelings and dynamics. They have grown up and also have some bonds from the past, but they are discovering new feelings that confuse and upset them at times. No one wants to ruin friendships, but they also have a hard time handling their changing emotions, jealousy, and needs. Both of the guys have their strengths and weaknesses and at times it was hard to determine a favorite.

They are also dealing with past demons, family issues, and pain. Trust is difficult  and had to be earned, but their secrets are gradually revealed. But being vulnerable is frightening and at times leads to avoidance or running. Sometimes there are differences between who they think they want and who they need.  The characters will have to face their pasts in order to move forward and fight for what they are afraid they do not deserve. This installment is about love, healing, truth, and hope. But they are young so it is also angsty, dramatic, and they make mistakes. There are some definite surprises and twists that added to the tension.

Their new lives bring challenges and more people involved in the drama. This one did have several stereotypes especially of the mean, clingy, and slutty girls who wanted a piece of all of the popular guys. It brings back other characters previously introduced in Until Friday Night: Maggie, West, Nash, Asa, Rhett, and Riley who were stand outs. I liked this one, but I would have liked to have maybe a bit more near the end with the resolution. But hopefully we will see more of the characters' growth in further installments of the series. I am looking forward to the next book and have a strong suspicion of who it will be about and it should be an interesting pairing. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Until Friday Night (The Field Party #2)
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Kim's 4.5 star review and Tammy's 5 star review

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…
Abbi Glines

Abbi Glines is the New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Rosemary Beach, Field Party, Sea Breeze, Vincent Boys, and Existence series. A devoted book lover, Abbi lives with her family in Alabama.

She maintains a Twitter addiction at @AbbiGlines and can also be found at Facebook.com/AbbiGlinesAuthor
and AbbiGlines.com.
 (Photograph by Keith Glines)


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