When I looked at her the first time, it was like . . . everything made sense.
Published: August 20, 2019
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Length: About 7 hours (eAudio)
Series: The Field Party #5
Ryker Lee is finally enjoying his senior year—he has great friends, hangs out with hot girls, and is on track to get a football scholarship that will set him up for college. Despite this, a small part of him wonders if there’s more to life than parties and meaningless hookups—and if football even means as much to him as it does to his fellow teammates. And when he meets the new girl at school, his world totally changes…
Aurora McClay is new to Lawton. She’s grateful that her twin brother, Hunter, is star of the football team and can help her adjust to her new school, but she’s not grateful at how overprotective he is over every person she meets. Just because she is deaf does not mean people have to treat her differently. When she meets Ryker Lee, the two of them spark an instant and intense chemistry, one that proves to be controversial not only because of Ryker’s reputation as a player, but also because of Aurora and Hunter’s father’s bigoted views about who Aurora can and can’t date.
Aurora and Ryker know in their hearts that they are meant for each other. But can their relationship endure the turmoil of rumors and prejudice?
Wow, oh wow. So this is the most recent release in Abbi’s YA series The Field Party, which is set in a small Southern football town. This series has had some serious ups and downs for me, it’s like I love one and then the next is blah and then so on and so forth and what have you. This one was, unfortunately, a miss for me.
Now insta-love isn’t my jam, per say, but this entire book (up until the last chapter) takes place within the span of a week, if memory serves me. Too quick! It starts off when Aurora arrives to school for her first day, locks eyes with Ryker Lee and the rest is history. Like, it’s the most instantaneous insta-love plot line ever. Aurora has a boyfriend, whom she conveniently doesn’t talk to at all for the first half of the book and breaks up with him as soon as he texts her the first time. So there was a minor love triangle, but it wasn’t fleshed out in the least bit to be a real plot point.
Ryker Lee is, naturally, the school’s notorious bad boy and star football player. He’s got a reputation around school as having different girls every night but of course, the millisecond he sees Aurora he’s done with all that. Instantly. Again, insta-love is not my cup of tea, especially if it isn’t done right. There’s also like no plot to this book aside from the threat of Aurora’s racist dad. Ryker is black and Aurora is deaf (kudos for this diversity) and these are turned into the story’s major plot lines. Problem is they don’t work. The book seems to drag more because there’s like nothing going on besides the fact that Aurora is hearing impaired and Ryker is a person of color. That’s not a plot, my friends.
I think the whole star crossed lovers and prejudiced small town could have been a good story, but it just wasn’t handled well. Like Aurora’s dad being racist is like the only opposing thing happening in this book but all of a sudden at the end he’s fine with it. It was never worked out. Never discussed fully. Definitely not handled well or appropriately. It’s just resolved, magically, at the end. I could have lived with it had it not been the only plot line of the story, mainly. There’s literally nothing else going on.
This book was enjoyable, especially as an audiobook. I really liked the narrators for this and it was a quick, easy listen. I loved that there was some serious diversity in this book, especially for a small Southern town, which is mainly why it got two stars as opposed to one. I did enjoy myself, I just didn’t think it lived up to it’s potential. I think had it been handled differently, it would have been a wonderful story. Unfortunately, it was a good premise wrapped in a sub-par delivery. I’m really upset I didn’t adore this because I LOVED the previous book, Losing the Field. Oh well, hopefully anything else to come from this series is better than this one.
The Field Party Series