Title: Until Friday Night
Author: Abbi Glines
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Narrator: Olivia Song, Sebastian York
Running Time: 6 hours, 42 minutes, 36 seconds
Source: OverDrive/Public Library
Goodreads Summary: To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.
Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.
As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.
West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…
So. This book…Ooooooooh, goodness. Let’s just say I really did not like this book. I found it so very problematic in so many ways. Just. Ugh. Yeah. Let’s get the ranting over with.
The story follows Maggie, who’s stopped speaking after a tragedy, and West, a boy who the author tries really hard to make into this broken boy who needs saving, but who is really just a self absorbed *sshat.
I couldn’t stand West and Maggie! West is aggressive, possessive, and a total user. And Maggie is docile and submissive and is always justifying how West treats her by saying that he’s hurting or lost. I don’t care if he’s hurting or lost, don’t ever let a boy/man treat you like that! Not to mention the fact that Maggie acts like West’s needs always come first, before everything! Everything is always “West needs this because he’s hurting” and “I should’ve been there for West because he’s hurting (nevermind that I practically spent the whole day with him).”
So let me say this about me: I’m not a big believer in girls “fixing” truly broken boys. I think it’s a dangerous game that a lot of young women get sucked into that usually ends in them (the young women) getting treated really crappily. And that’s exactly what happened.
The romance is just cringeworthy. Let’s start with the fact that West and Maggie’s first kiss was so rapey. And I do not use that term lightly. The kiss is unconsentual and forced upon Maggie. West’s intentions were to scare her, not romance her. Regardless of whether or not Maggie liked it in the end, West’s intentions were rapey. And then they actually get into this horrible, excessively, unhealthily dependent relationship where West is essentially using Maggie for his own needs! AND SHE’S OKAY WITH IT!
Then there’s the issue that every girl who’s not Maggie is characterized as a whore and a harpy, used as a comparison point to show how pure and innocent Maggie is. It’s not direct slut shaming, but just because something’s not direct doesn’t mean it’s not there.
There’s also the minor (*sarcasm*) issue that the book has no real plot. There’s no real source of overall conflict. Oh sure, there are one second dust ups, but they’re all resolved in the next sentence. I was surprised to get to the end of the book only to find that nothing had really happened.
Last thing that should be noted: The book definitely verges on new adult, mentioning many slightly sexually explicit things, including blow jobs, and dealing with really dark topics. I’d say not to read unless you’re at least 16.
Despite all of my complaints, there were a few aspects of Until Friday Night that I enjoyed. There is a really strong focus on family, with both Maggie and West having loving, though unconventional, families. The book also reads super fast and really easily, so I finished it quickly.
All in all, this was not the book for me. Would I recommend it? Despite being labeled “young adult,” I wouldn’t recommend it to young adults as I feel like the relationship is really toxic and sets a bad example. But that’s just me.
Now for audiobook notes. The audiobook has two narrators to match the dual perspective, Olivia Song for Maggie and Sebastian York for West, and I thought that was a good decision. The material translated to audio okay. It wasn’t anything particularly spectacular, but it wasn’t horrible. The one thing that really got o my nerves was that Song’s sounded congested when she did male voices. But other than that, the narration was okay.