Review: Under the Lights by Abbi Glines

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I’ve been waiting for this book for a year now, ever since I fell in love with Until Friday Night. Boy, was I ever disappointed.

Abbi Glines is the queen of teenage angst. I don’t mean that she’s a teenager stuck in a grown woman’s body (she acknowledged her 3 kids at the end of this book, so I’m presuming she’s a grown adult). I just meant that she captures heavy teenage drama (e.g., Dawson’s Creek multiplied by 1,000) typically well in her books, several of which I have loved. I already said I loved the first book in “The Field Party” series, but I also loved her first few Rosemary Beach and Sea Breeze books. Then, that reader-author love went awry in the last year, after reading Until Friday Night. To me, it just seemed like Abbi Glines is NOT the same Abbi Glines as before. I suppose authors change their writing styles, but this was quite a drastic change for me, to the point that where I was an uber fan from before – now I’m just ambivalent.

There were so many “ellipsis points” at the end of this story:

  1. If you read the synopsis, both Brady and Gunner were painted as Willa’s admirers. In the end, she chose one whom she loved more. The one who got friend-zoned? He had his own POV in the book, but it was never resolved. What happened to the loser after Willa and her chosen-one made their choice? What happened to Gunner’s family after the whole dramatic showdown?
  2. How is this even a romance novel? Even YA books have a little bit of action going on. This one? Purely platonic, A.K.A. boring – in my estimation.
  3. Warning: Heavy drama inside. Lousy parents to teenaged people have appeared in 10 million books already. Next plot, please.
  4. Why did all the high school football guys automatically get attracted to Willa? I was remiss in mentioning this point in my GR review: another boy, Asa, was interested in Willa. Was it because her compelling beauty and indescribable wit were irresistible? Was it because she was fresh meat, in a sea of overused teenaged vaginas and clingy insecure little girls, as portrayed by the characters, Kimmie, Serena, and Ivy?

2 starsI liked Willa’s dramatic back story, though. It was different from other YA heroine’s stories I’ve read before. There were bad substances, tragic deaths, and hard lessons learned. Despite my kinda-sorta fondness for Willa’s back-story, I can’t connect/understand the 3 main characters. West and Maggie’s story in Until Friday Night was hitting all the major feels. This one? Meh.

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