(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Series: The Field Party #1
Published by Simon and Schuster on August 25th 2015
Genres: Adolescence, Family, Football, General, Social Issues, Social Themes, Sports & Recreation, Young Adult
The first novel in a brand-new series—from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Abbi Glines—about a small Southern town filled with cute boys in pickup trucks, Friday night football games, and crazy parties that stir up some major drama.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 Carlton’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…
Say hello to my impulse buy of Spring Break. Who could resist a novel with this synopsis that’s also on the clearance rack? You might be stronger than I, and I even tried to exercise some self-control. No one will remember the girl sitting in the floor transfixed with this book…right?
I think love stories are my kryptonite. Books in general are my weakness, but give me a romance and I’m all there, the sensible part of my brain screaming at me to think this through. Abbi Glines was at ApollyCon, but I hadn’t read one of her books yet—a huge mistake. Needless to say, she has a fan base, and I get why, because I’m on board now. I’m a fan of Friday Night Lights, and this book screamed southern football and irresistible players. I swooned. I fell into the story and didn’t want to put the book down. Seriously, I had to tell my mother that we needed to go exercise or I would sit down and read the entire book in my running clothes, without going running. When I returned, the only thing that made me stop for a millisecond was that the temperature had dropped, I was sitting in my single-person hammock, and the feeling in my toes was close to none.
The cover is beautiful. It was almost a cover-buy, then I read the book jacket and was sold. Instantly, I wanted to know how to tell a story when the main character doesn’t talk—at all. Maggie Carlton had been through a lot in the past two years. After watching her father kill her mother, she had moved in with her godmother, who had been more than willing to ship her off to her aunt and uncle’s house when she realized that being silent might last longer than anyone thought. Just because she didn’t speak, didn’t mean she didn’t have a lot to say. Half of the book was told in her perspective, and I loved meeting the characters, such as her cousin, Brady Higginson, her aunt and uncle, and the other members of Lawton High’s football team, through her eyes. People literally said anything around her, as if she couldn’t hear, either. It created a unique atmosphere at the beginning of the book. Only, her silence was subjective. The scenes with West, the shock at her voice breaking through the pain she kept hidden inside, created a bond that went deeper than friendship but had more meaning than a causal fling. What West and Maggie had was anything but casual—it’s the stuff we all wish to find.
West Ashby—Sweet heavens, that boy was scrumptious. Yes, he had a reputation—did he have a reputation—but it didn’t take away from the development of the novel. In fact, it added to it. He didn’t know how to face the prospect of losing his dad. Football had always been something they shared, and the cancer had already taken away everything else. Maggie helped him through the pain, since she might have been one of the only people in Lawton that could understand exactly what he was going through, having to watch it happen, only in completely different settings. Seeing their relationship blossom and shape, becoming something deep and meaningful grabbed onto my heart and refused to let go.
My first Abbi Glines book was a massive success. I couldn’t get enough of Lawton and these characters. I’m already anticipating the next book in the series and jumped for joy when I saw the possibility of just how many more books there might be in the series. The book had depth and heart, romance and friendship. I wanted to crawl inside this book and live there—I can’t wait to return to Lawton!