Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
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.
Abbi Glines’ The Field Party series is back! I’ve been wanting to read Under the Lights ever since I met Brady in Until Friday Night (my review). I loved his character and couldn’t wait to get to know him better.
When I read the synopsis for Under the Lights, I was a little confused. I didn’t expect a love triangle for Brady. I was worried about how this romance would go down. Love triangles aren’t usually my favorite thing to read. They’re normally angsty and uncomfortable. Luckily, that wasn’t the case with Under the Lights. I could easily pick out who Willa should be with. I never felt uncomfortable with where the story was going, even when the characters thoughts were uncomfortable. Kudos to Glines for that! She did an amazing job writing these characters and their feelings.
Brady was exactly who I expected him to be after meeting him in Until Friday Night. He was the sweet, dependable guy everyone feels comfortable around. Brady always tried to do what was in everyone’s best interests, even when it went against what he truly wanted. He was a stand up guy. I do have to admit that reading his point of view annoyed me at times, though. I wanted to yell at him and tell him to stop making life easier for everyone else and be true to himself.
Gunner surprised me. There was more to this blunt football player than I originally thought. (Isn’t that always the case?) Gunner was your typical teen with atypical problems. He may have been a little crass, but he was still a decent person — especially when it came to Willa.
Willa was my favorite of the three characters. She had more inner strength than she gave herself credit for. Life hadn’t always been kind to her and she learned some tough lessons, but she still soldiered on trying to be her best. I liked the way she handled both Brady and Gunner admitting their feelings to her.
To be completely honest, I would have enjoyed this story even more without the love triangle. The odd man out’s point of view felt like added material I could have done without. Not that I didn’t enjoy the story. I did. The Brady-Willa-Gunner dynamic made sense based on their friendship and I liked the way they dealt with it. I just would have preferred more focus on Willa and her beau.
Overall, Under the Lights was a really fun addition to The Field Party series. I’m really looking forward to After the Game, the next book in the series. I wish I didn’t have to wait until sometime in 2017 for it!