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…
About two weeks ago, I received an email from a co-worker at the library letting me know that "Until Friday Night" by Abbi Glines was available for an ARC request. After screaming like a fan girl for 5 minutes and waving my hands around, I requested the ARC. I was lucky enough to be granted a viewing of this wonderful book.
"Until Friday Night" is set in high school and listed under YA. Glines creates a whole new setting with all new characters centered around their families and football. As always, I'm a huge fan of football books. What I like most about this was reading about the relationships and not a play-by-play of the games. Sure, we heard about people scoring touchdowns and being at the games but it was the right amount of football to the book.
What I loved was the two main characters. I felt like I was really, truly, reading about high schooler's. I loved the thought process of both characters. I loved that Glines didn't shy away from how West thought about girls. Knowing he was using them to escape and his honestly to himself about that. I also LOVED his relationship with his parents.
Most times you don't get that kind of honestly about a guy in a book, even in the YA universe. You always read about Mr. Prefect who makes every guy pale in comparison and then messes up beyond belief. At least, that's what I've been reading lately and maybe this is where my book slump and lack of posting came from. Glines gives us a real character with meat to him that shows many facets of good and bad. Someone who is struggling with their present situation while trying to balance everything else.
With the ending, I had to go out and see if more books are coming. Yes they are but focused on different characters. We're left with a question or two but I think that will carry over into other stories with the other boys helping each other out.
Glines is a popular author at our library and we hardly keep her books on our shelves. When someone is in a book slump I always suggest one of her books because they always seem to have the perfect mixture of character development, drama, and setting. I can easily say this book is one of her best yet.
My only concern is the YA rating. Yes, it's high school and less steamy compared to her NA novels but her frank characterization of sex, relationships, and teenage activity (drinking) might turn some off. Do we get details or descriptions on the smexy times? No. But it is discussed frankly and openly in the characters minds. I appreciated that it was honest with its characters throughout the book. However, I could see some libraries placing this in Fiction to be safe. I would place it in YA knowing it's for an older YA. But that's just me ;)
"Until Friday Night" is due out August 25, 2015. Just in time for football season!