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…
West and Maggie are both hurting. West's father whom he loves exponentially and is the only reason he even plays football is dying of cancer and there is nothing he can do about it. He hasn't told any of his friends and the secret is killing him inside. When he meets Maggie he sees the way she looks at him - like she sees through him to the pain. She sees and he can't help but be drawn to her.
Maggie is dealing with her own pain. She hasn't talked since her father killed her mom two years ago. She's come to live with her aunt, uncle, and protective cousin Brady. The thing with Maggie is that she saw her mother murdered by her father and can't speak for fear that she will lose it all over again. And then she meets West, whose anger shows through. His false smiles are obvious to her. His pain is like her own. These two find comfort in each other when no one else could possibly understand what they are going through.
I enjoyed West and Maggie's stories so much. It's completely different than I imagined. Until Friday Night had me leaving feeling bittersweet. There was a rawness that came with this story. Although, the book also left me with mixed feelings. Their need for each other could be so intense. I understood why they clung to each other (mostly West did) but I became worried about the intensity. I am so glad it was addressed because that could have really hindered the story as a whole. It was resolved a little too easily but I didn't mind so much. I wish Maggie would make more friends because her life shouldn't revolve around West. But again that's something that feels like it will be resolved soon in the next story. Mostly Maggie needed West to be her gateway.
I do feel like West could have calmed down more. He was too intense. Again I understand that he was in pain in some ways and other ways I didn't like his demeanor. I can see how readers can find fault with him and although he bothered me only a little I can see others finding him a problem. With both Maggie and West together I felt their need for each other and pain above everything which is what made me love this story. Maggie and West separately were so interesting to get to know. They seriously worked their way into my heart. West, although could use people, could be soft and protective. He takes a while to blossom into someone who's not numb all the time. Maggie has so much kindness in her that I just want to give her a hug for being awesome. West and Maggie both really got to me and their stories will be hard to forget.
Enjoy the songs. They remind me of West and Maggie's story.