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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.3 out of 5
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  • I enjoyed this book but the magic is missing.

    Compared to the first book in this series, this one felt like it was lacking something. I really loved the first book of this series and I was fairly shocked when I didn't love this one as much. I certainly enjoyed it, but it didn't wow me as much as the first book did. I think that the differences between Until Friday Night and Under the Lights lie in a few areas. The first thing that I noticed was most of the story seemed to take place outside of school or school functions. And for a book series centered around high school football, it seemed odd. I was in the mood for a high school story and I didn't feel like I got that. The majority of the story centers around the drama surrounding the two main characters' family and personal lives. The other part of the story was the romance, which was a love triangle between childhood friends. Another difference was the lack of a family support system. Granted, this was one of the issues that each of the main characters had, but I felt like the author could have included more support from friends. I know that the way the two main characters confided in each other was a way that they grew close and fell in love, but they could have still done that with the support of friends. It felt a little unrealistic that Gunner would not have confided in Brady about ANYTHING that was going on in his home life. And since he didn't, what does that say about their friendship? While the first thirty percent of the book felt way too slowly paced, once the drama started coming out things started to pick up. And I have to admit that the drama was shocking and definitely compelled me to read more. I was not expecting the way that all the drama unfolded, which I appreciated. I love when I can't see the twists coming in a story. I really liked the journey that the two main characters face. They both have their own demons to conquer and they find themselves doing so with help from the other. That being said, I didn't feel overly connected to the characters as I did in the first book. I felt like they could have used more development in terms of depth. They had great backstories, but that isn't all that makes a character relatable. Okay, that ending was pretty uneventful and disappointing. After everything that happens in the story, I was expecting something more. I did like seeing the scene at the end from when Gunner and Willa were children, but I needed more of them in the present. I needed an ending with more finality. There wasn't enough closure. Overall, I enjoyed this book but it did not live up to the first book for me. This book left me feeling like something was missing. That something special that makes a book stand out to you when you read it. It has a decent story and likable characters, but the magic was missing. I still recommend this series to those that enjoy small town YA stories. I'm definitely continuing the series with After the Game, and I am hoping that Brady's story wows me where this one did not.

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    5 person found this review helpful

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