REVIEW: Under the Lights by Abbi Glines

by - 12:00 PM

“Loving someone meant getting hurt. My mother and Carl had both shown me how vulnerable love could make you. I wouldn’t make that mistake again.”

Back of the book blurb:

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.

A message in a bottle:

Publication Date: August 23, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781481438896

Available for Purchase:

My rating:

            I'm actually not sure why I took so long to start the Field Party series. Abbi Glines is one of my all-time favorite authors, so you’d think it would make sense to party when she released a new series, right? Well, I’m stupid, I guess. I just read the first book, Until Friday Night, last week and fell in love. It was incredible! I have some mixed feelings about Under the Lights, though. Ultimately, I gave it a 4/5, because it is a solid book, but I’m hoping the rest of the series can be as good as the first book.

“Gunner was trouble. He had no regrets. I did. I just hoped he never had regrets like mine, ones that were nearly unbearable to live with. We weren’t invincible. I’d learned that a little too late.”

            Under the Lights starts off by introducing us to Willa. She just got kicked out of her mother’s house and is forced to live with her nonna back in Lawton. The reasons aren’t clear, yet, as to why Willa got kicked out, but we can assume they’re life-changing, considering the serious consequences.

            I liked Willa. Her voice is distant, troubled, and kind of self-deprecating, like most of Glines’s female characters, but there was something off about it. I normally love Glines’s insecure characters just because they end up growing into these amazing characters who eventually love themselves and have awesome voices, which is the best part about reading Abbi Glines’s novels. And it’s true that this same journey happened with Willa, but I just wasn’t as connected. Despite this, I loved seeing Willa’s character arc.

“But I wanted to taste this. To give the little girl who had thought she loved Brady Higgens a glimpse at what it was like to be touched by him. Then the little girl could move on from that and live her life. My fantasy complete.”

            In a love triangle, you have to pick which guy you’re rooting for. I mean, it’s human nature! And while I enjoy Brady’s voice, Gunner was my favorite. He’s also my favorite character in this book. I think he’s so sweet and he’s been dealt some shit and I love his and Willa’s chemistry. It’s real and tangible.

            I think the love triangle was a bad decision, though. At least, I think having Brady have his own chapters was a bad decision. It just seemed out of place and I would’ve liked it better if we only saw Brady through Willa’s and Gunner’s eyes. I get why Abbi Glines did this, because they were all best friends when they were younger and they both had feelings for her. And sorry I’m kind of spoiling the book here, but as soon as you start the book, it’ll be obvious who Willa will choose.

“No one wants the truth when it doesn’t suit. They prefer to weave lies and live in them. It’s the way of this place.”

            The drama… I mean, with Ms. Glines you sort of get some soap opera drama. And normally, it’s chewable. But with reveal after reveal after reveal, it just became ridiculous. So much kept going on and it was just overwhelming. Along with that, it overshadowed the romance, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, but with how much drama goes on, it’s not a very good thing. It made me disconnect. My suspension of disbelief was nowhere to be found.

            Also, I need Riley’s story… ASAP.

            To end this, I’m very sorry for this being such a negative review. It’s seriously not a terrible book; I just didn’t connect with it. I love Abbi Glines and adore her writing, and this book seriously was a 4/5 for me, but it wasn’t my favorite of hers!

Happy Reading!
The Wandereader

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