Monday, October 24, 2016

Review: Under the Lights


In the follow-up to Abbi Glines’s #1 New York Times bestseller Until Friday Night—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.


Rating: 4 Stars

Book Title:Under the Lights (The Field Party #2)

Author: Abbi Glines

Release Date: August 23rd, 2016

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 320

 
            The Field Party Series by Abbi Glines brings back fond memories for me of my high school football game days: getting ready with my best friends beforehand, donning our letterman jackets, and gossiping about all the cute boys who would hopefully be there (and who they would be showing up with).  While watching football was certainly enjoyable, one of the best things about game nights was the excitement of everything else that happened at the games. Abbi Glines did a wonderful job of depicting these experiences in both books of the Field Party Series so far.  Although Until Friday Night (The Field Party #1) is still my favorite of the two, I loved getting the chance to jump back into this series with book #2, Under the Lights.
           
Favorite Bits:
o   Willa’s Grandma: Grandmas are supposed to spoil their grandkids and dote on them.  Then there’s Willa’s grandma. Although she certainly loves Willa to pieces, she’s not your average cookie-baking grandma (despite being really good at cooking and baking). She’s tough and doesn’t take crap from anyone.  Willa, who used to live with her grandma before her mother came to take her, moves back in with her at the start of this book after her mother sends her packing when she is released from a youth detention center.  Even though she knows Willa has been causing trouble, her grandma takes her in anyhow.  The thing I loved about her most though wasn’t even her unfailing love for Willa; it was how she treated Willa.  Her grandma is tough and doesn’t baby Willa, she makes her earn her keep from the start, whether that’s cleaning the house or helping her cook and bake for the Lawtons, the rich family that her grandma works for. She also makes it clear to Willa that boys are not part of the equation if she wants to continue living with her.  Initially I thought her grandma was just overly strict, but the more we got to see of her in the story the more I realized it was all for Willa’s benefit. Her grandma just didn’t want Willa ending up like her mother, pregnant and unable to take care of her daughter at such a young age.
o   The treehouse: I really liked how Glines tied the treehouse into the story and made it such an important place for all of them, especially Gunner and Willa.  As children they played in the treehouse and it held fond memories for them, and as they get older and meet again after all of these years, the treehouse they spent every day in still holds some tie to them.  They can’t help but be drawn to it and go back there whether it’s when one of them is upset or just needs time to themselves.  The treehouse in Under the Lights reminded me of Oz and Emily’s secret place in Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry (which I loved).
o   The big reveal at the end AND the ending: There was a lot that I didn’t see coming that completely threw me for a loop. I knew there was some secret the Lawtons were keeping from Gunner, but finding out what it was definitely shocked me. Not only that, but Abbi Glines did another excellent job of setting up the next book in the series by introducing us briefly to Riley in Under the Lights. I have a sneaking suspicion Riley’s story might end up being my favorite one yet.

7 comments:

  1. Awesome review, Emily! I am so excited to read this one and hope to get to it before the end of the year. I've heard some people moan about the love triangle aspect but I don't even care... there's just something about Abbi's story telling that I can't help but be pulled into every time. And now I can't wait to meet Willa's grandmother. :)

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    1. I feel like people are always going to complain about the love triangles in any book! Sometimes they are exhausting, but I thought it worked well with this story. Now that I'm thinking about it, I can't recall if there was a love story in the first book in the series. I'll have to look.
      And same! I love her writing and I love following her on instagram. She's like super mom!

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    2. Some people are anti love triangle no matter what but I think they can be done right. And yes there was a love story in the first one! Maggie who didn't talk and West who was dealing with his dad's illness. I'm hoping they make an appearance in the second book!

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  2. Gah I need to pick this up! I enjoyed Until Friday Night last year and was highly looking forward to this book. I hope I get it soon! Great review!
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

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    1. Thanks Genesis! The series is still one of my favorites I love it! I am secretly hoping Abbi Glines puts out another series soon that I can get hooked on.

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  3. Glines...man, I'm so behind with her! This is a series I keep meaning to jump into because I grew up in Texas where football is a "religion". ;) So I figure I'll love this series. I want to read this one in particular because I love a tough grandma in a story. My grandma is such an integral and important figure in my life that I just adore seeing grandmas playing that role in a novel. I'm also curious about the treehouse. (I had one of those at my grandparents' farm lol) Great review, Emily!

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    1. Glines is basically a superstar in my opinion because she has a huge family and was just like 8 months pregnant with her next child when Under the Lights came out and she still managed to do all of the press for it!
      And yes if you are really close with your own grandma then I think you will love hers in this series! she's such a stickler but in such a good way!

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