Author: Abbi Glines
Genre: YA/NA Contemporary
Released: 1 September 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: The Field Party #1
To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god. But on the inside he's grief-stricken - his father is dying and he hasn't told anyone because he can't face the truth.
Now, as his pain grows unbearable, West finally decides he needs to talk to someone about his dad. So in the dark shadows of a party, he tells the one girl who doesn't speak everything he can't tell anyone else. West expected to feel relief, a flood of emotions - but what he didn't expect was for Maggie Carleton to reply. For her to reveal a pain even deeper than his own. And, for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn't ever let her go .
I received a copy of this book from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.
I don't know where to begin with this book. It had me feeling all sorts of feels and I didn't want the story to end. I laughed, I cried, and I wanted more.
The story follows West Ashby and Maggie Carleton through alternating chapters. West is the gorgeous popular guy who plays football and gets the girls. Despite his happy exterior, he is fighting inner demons as his father is dying of cancer, and he senses the end is coming soon. Having not told anyone about his father's condition, he starts to become burdened by his heartache and unloads his pain onto Maggie. Maggie is a new girl in town and doesn't speak. Having experienced horrors in her past, she has become mute in order to stop herself from falling apart. Knowing that Maggie won't be able to tell anyone, he confesses everything to her at an after-game field party, but is surprised when she replies, revealing her own past and secrets. Over the course of three weeks, Maggie and West form a connection over their experiences, and both help each other through the heartache.
Until Friday Night is such a beautifully written book that I just couldn't put down - I managed to finish it in less than 24 hours! I loved having the story told from both Maggie and West's perspectives because you got to see their pain, feelings and thoughts in relation to the world around them and each other. This aspect reminded me of Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, which I loved as well.
Abbi has managed to write a really beautiful story and characters, and she had me reaching for the tissues on more than one occasion. Now, to be fair, I do get pretty emotional when reading books, but the writing in this just had me feeling all sorts of feels, which wasn't a bad thing. I think it's the mark of a good story and author if they are able to tap into the mind of the reader and make them empathise with the characters and give an emotional reaction to the events that are unfolding. I was moving between happy tears and sad tears and having a few laughs - this book has it all.
Now, I've never experienced the heartache that the characters in this book have gone and do go through (unless you count losing your dog...), but I felt like it was really well written and captured the emotion that one feels. At one point, a thought flashed across my mind - 'what if this happened to me and my parents?' - and although I didn't dwell on this morbid thought for long, it definitely made me connect with these characters and want to give them a big hug.
Having been my first Abbi Glines book, I am keen to read more of her work, because if it's half as good as this book, then it will be well worth the read. As stated above, this is the first book in a series and I'm interested to see where the story goes from here. Everything seemed to conclude pretty nicely, but I'm still excited to for the next installment, whenever that may be.
If you love contemporary romances and don't mind shedding a few tears, then definitely check out this book. I was not expecting to love it as much as I did, and I'm really glad that I stumbled across it. Also, the cover is absolutely stunning, so if you don't want to read it, at least get it for the cover!
Please note, there are a good number of F-bombs dropped throughout this book. Also, I feel like there could be a slight trigger warning for domestic abuse and violence.