I’ve found that the things that rattle us the most are the ones worth making sacrifices for.
Published: August 22, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Length: About 6 hours, eAudiobook
Series: The Field Party Series #3
“But I did need someone… I think everyone needs a someone.” She paused and looked directly at me. “I hope you’re his.” I did too. “If I am, I won’t let him down.”
Two years ago, Riley Young fled from Lawton, Alabama. After accusing the oldest Lawton son, Rhett, of rape, everyone called her a liar and she had no option but to leave. Now she’s back, but she’s not at Lawton High finishing up her senior year. She’s at home raising the little girl that no one believed was Rhett’s.
Rhett is off at college living the life he was afraid he’d lose with Riley’s accusation, so Riley agrees to move back to Lawton so she and her parents could take care of her grandmother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. But the town still hasn’t forgotten their hate for her, and she hasn’t forgotten the way they turned on her when she needed them most.
When town golden boy Brady Higgens finds Riley and her daughter, Bryony, stranded on the side of the road in a storm, he pulls over and gives them a ride. Not because he cares about Riley, of course, but because of the kid.
But after the simple car ride, he begins to question everything he thought he knew. Could Brady believe Riley and risk losing everything?
Trigger Warning: Rape
I haven’t talked about this in a while, but if you ask me who my favorite authors are Abbi Glines will always make that list. She’s one of the Queens of romance and I’ve loved her books since I started reading them in like 2014. She was my first dip into the world of New Adult (NA), one of my favorite genres, and I’ve since absolutely devoured her entire collection of books. I think there’s only a handful of her books I haven’t read yet and I own nearly all of them on my Nook. She’s like an icon to me. I adore her. Abbi, if you read this, I love you!
Anyway, Abbi’s books are those I always reserve now for when I need something to read and love. In these trying times it’s been so hard for me to concentrate on books and this was the first book I finished in March, despite the fact that I’ve had the same two books on my current read list for the entirety of the month. After the Game may be one of Abbi’s YA books, but I still enjoyed it and missed her writing and the atmosphere she creates.
I haven’t read a YA romance in quite some time, but I think Abbi does them so well. She always takes those essential elements to YA and then sprinkles in some of the things that make her NA books so successful. In this installment of her YA series, Riley, a teen parent, reconnects with Brady, the town’s golden boy football star. Think that’s the gist of it? Not by a long shot. There’s a lot of drama that unfolds here, but I don’t think it was as fleshed out as it could have been. The rape issue is kind of brushed aside and while it is acknowledged, I don’t think it was really handled appropriately through the book. It was handled in an almost offhand way, like it was just thrown in there last minute at the end of the book. That’s one of the reasons this didn’t get a full five stars from me, as many of Abbi’s books usually do.
Another thing that I missed was the angst. Abbi is like the queen of angst and drama and all those addicting elements to her stories. This fell just flat of what I was expecting from her; it had little touches of that drama and angst I wanted, but it certainly wasn’t at the level her NA books are. What she did have, though, was great. I love that she addresses things like teen drinking and sex and even includes the F-word in her YA books because it’s certainly not as scandalous as it used to be. YA is evolving as a genre, in the same way that the readers are growing and evolving, and I think Abbi’s popularity with this series is a testament to that.
Two other things I want to mention about this book that really didn’t sit with me; what kind of name is Bryony (stupid) and the narrators for this weren’t the best. Both narrators here couldn’t do any other voice besides their own and it was a little hard to determine who was saying what because ALL the voices sounded the same. And why did Brady sound like a 40 year old country music star? Wack.
Overall this was a really great story with some pretty interesting twists and turns, a very subtle but still steamy romance, and an addictive atmosphere. There’s something so uniquely Abbi about an Alabama small football town and that setting/atmosphere is one of the things I love the most about her books. While I didn’t love this one as much as the previous books in the series, I still really liked it and will be recommending to people interested in YA romance! Now on to the rest of the series!
P.S. check out my review for another book in this series: Under the Lights!
The Field Party Series