AFTER THE GAME, The Field Party series by author Abbi Glines.
The first novel I read by Abbi Glines was THE VINCENT BOYS. I fell in love and read the next in the series, THE VINCENT BROTHERS. Afterward, I read some of her Sea Breeze series and then the Rosemary Beach series. Some of her novels I liked better than the others, particularly ones I could relate to on more personal levels. Abbi has a talent for writing characters facing loss and/or serious struggles.
The Field Party series is a fun read that pulls you into the Alabama country life of high school teens. It reminds me of the FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS TV series but is better. Of course, I always think books are better. AFTER THE GAME tells Brady's story. It's an enemy turns lover plot line that, to me, paints the girl as the stronger character. Brady sees Riley as a role model. So many novels portray the male as the stronger character. It's nice to see the opposite. The novel touches on rape though it doesn't spotlight the event. Abbi focuses on the emotional strength and courage to see the good—her daughter—that came from the sexual assault. I love the respect Brady grows to have for Riley because of how she handles herself. I also like how Brady's perceived "perfect life" turns out to be anything but perfect.
Abbi never holds back when she writes her characters. They cuss, have hormonal urges, drink, and act the way many teens do. Too many times I see author intrusion (when an author puts his or her beliefs toward such behaviors into the novel, thereby robbing the characters of their true selves.) For example, the author has a character/s raised in the worst part of town but because the author doesn't swear or drink, the character/s don't either. Most teens cuss. Most adults do too. Unless the author is writing the character as a Christian or someone who refuses to behave like the people in the area he or she was raised, it is ridiculous not to give the character the words or reactions true to their upbringing and surroundings.
I get that older or parental authors want to set a certain example for their children and young adult readers. I’m a mother of two boys. However, if that is the case, I believe the author should write Christian novels or, at the very least, write characters that fit their same mindset. Readers are smart. They know when something feels off. They are aware of characters and/or a situation that seems unrealistic. Abbi keeps her characters real, and I love and admire her for it!!
As an Abbi Glines fan, I not only recommend this novel and series but all her books. This is from her young adult collection. If you're uneasy with steamier romance, her older series (Sea Breeze, and Rosemary beach) probably aren't for you.
Happy reading!!!!! It's never a bad time to pick up a book!