Under the Lights (Field Party Series #2)

Under the Lights (Field Party Series #2)

by Abbi Glines


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In the follow-up to Abbi Glines’s #1 New York Times bestseller Until Friday Night—which bestselling author Kami Garcia called “tender, honest, and achingly real”—three teens from a small southern town are caught in a dramatic love triangle.

Willa can’t erase the bad decisions of her past that led her down the path she’s on now. But she can fight for forgiveness from her family. And she can protect herself by refusing to let anyone else get close to her.

High school quarterback and town golden boy Brady used to be the best of friends with Willa—she even had a crush on him when they were kids. But that’s all changed now: her life choices have made her a different person from the girl he used to know.

Gunner used to be friends with Willa and Brady, too. He too is larger than life and a high school football star—not to mention that his family basically owns the town of Lawton. He loves his life, and doesn’t care about anyone except himself. But Willa is the exception—and he understands the girl she’s become in a way no one else can.

As secrets come to light and hearts are broken, these former childhood friends must face the truth about growing up and falling in love…even if it means losing each other forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781481438896
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 08/23/2016
Series: Field Party Series , #2
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 301,841
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: HL580L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Abbi Glines is the New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journalbestselling author of the Rosemary Beach, Field Party, Sea Breeze, Vincent Boys, and Existence series. A devoted book lover, Abbi lives with her family in Alabama. She maintains a Twitter addiction at @AbbiGlines and can also be found at Facebook.com/AbbiGlinesAuthor and AbbiGlines.com.

Read an Excerpt

Under the Lights


    “Hasn’t changed much since you left. Go ahead and unpack. Settle in. I got more work to do up at the house. We’ll go in the morning and get you registered for school,” Nonna said as the pinched frown on her face that had been there since she picked me up at the bus station an hour ago, only grew more intense. “Don’t go nowhere. You hear me? Stay put until I get back.”

    I managed a nod. I hadn’t been able to say more than “thanks” to her since I’d seen her. The last time I’d seen my nonna was two years ago when she’d saved up enough money to come visit us in Little Rock. She was a large part of my life. There had been times in my childhood that when I thought no one else loved me, I knew she did. Nonna never let me down.

    Seeing the obvious disappointment in her gaze now was hard to swallow. But I hadn’t expected anything different. It was a look I had gotten used to. I saw it in everyone’s eyes these days when they looked at me.

    No one believed me. Not my mother, certainly not my stepfather, or the police officer who’d arrested me. Not even my brother. No one. Which meant my nonna wasn’t going to believe me either. Sure she’d agreed to take me in when my mother packed my bags and left them for me on the front porch the day I was released from the correctional center I’d spent the last six months in. I had nowhere to go, and calling my mother’s mother was the only thing I knew to do. I’d lived with Nonna until the summer I turned eleven. Her home was the only real home I’d ever known.

    My mother had finally decided she could take care of me, the child she’d had at fifteen and left with her mother the day she graduated from high school three years later. When my brother, Chance, had been eight, his father had finally married my mother. She wanted to bring me into the family. Problem was, I never really fit. My younger brother was adored by his father, and I seemed to always be in the way. I kept to myself until I turned fifteen and everything started to change.

    “Answer me, Willa,” Nonna demanded, snapping me out of my thoughts.

    “Yes, ma’am,” I replied quickly. I didn’t want to upset her. She was all I had left.

    Nonna’s expression softened; then she nodded. “Good. I’ll be back soon as my work at the big house is done,” she added, then turned and walked away, leaving me in the bedroom that had been mine for the first eleven years of my life. I had been happy here. I had felt wanted here.

    But I’d messed that up, too. I was good at messing up. If there was a wrong decision to be made, I managed to make it. I intended to put that in the past. I wanted to get back the girl I had been once. The girl whose grandmother was proud of her. The girl who didn’t act out for attention. The attention I had gotten from my mother hadn’t been the kind of attention I wanted. In the end I’d lost her. She wanted nothing to do with me. I’d killed any love she had for me.

    Once the door closed behind Nonna, I sank down onto the twin bed that was covered in a quilt I knew my nonna had made herself. She loved quilting in her free time. Which wasn’t very often. She worked six days a week for the Lawtons. They let her off on Sunday so she could go to church and clean her own house. Which happened to be a cottage on the edge of their property. She’d been the Lawtons’ housecleaner and cook for as long as I could remember. My mother had grown up in this house. This room I was in had been hers once too.

    Even though I’d been the product of a mistake my mother had made, my childhood here had been a happy one. My nonna had given me the love and protection my teenage mother hadn’t known how to give. And then there were the boys. Gunner Lawton and Brady Higgens had been my two best friends. Gunner lived in the big house with his parents and older brother, Rhett. From the time he and Brady had caught me in his tree house playing with his army men when we were four, we had been inseparable. I had been watching the boys for weeks go up into that tree house from my front yard at the cottage. I’d wanted to know what was up there. My curiosity had given me my first real friends.

    When I had left with my mother, it was at the time things had started to change with all three of us. I wasn’t just one of the guys anymore. I was a girl, and things had begun to get awkward. Back then I had thought I was in love with Brady. He’d been popular and had a smile that once made my heart flutter wildly when directed at me. I thought then he’d be the only boy I’d ever love. I’d left soon after my feelings had started to grow. Now I could hardly remember what either boy looked like. There had been other boys in my life since them. Only one made a mark on me. Only one of them I had loved. Carl Daniels. I thought he’d be my forever. Until he decided that sleeping around with other girls was acceptable when I wouldn’t give him my virginity in the back of his car.

    He had proven to me that I really couldn’t trust anyone. Loving someone meant getting hurt. My mother and Carl had both shown me how vulnerable love could make you. I wouldn’t make that mistake again.

    It seemed like another lifetime now. Gunner and Brady were the safe-and-happy part of my past that I often dreamed about at night when I needed to escape my reality.

    My life here would be very different from the way it had once been. I had made a mistake that I would never truly pay for. The guilt and regret would be my companions throughout my life. And being rejected by your own mother wasn’t easy to accept. It was a wound that went so deep I doubted I’d ever get over it.

    I stood up and walked over to the mirror and studied myself. My mother’s dark blue eyes looked back at me. The straight blond hair that hit just below my shoulders was nothing like her red locks. I imagined I got my hair color from my father. A man I didn’t know. She would never even tell me his first name. She never even told my nonna. Once she had said it was because he couldn’t be a father to me. She was protecting me and him with her silence. I never understood that. I still didn’t.

    I reached up and ran my fingers over my bare earlobe. The piercings that once framed my ear were almost all gone now. I’d not been able to wear them in the correctional center. I had gotten used to not having to deal with them, and I didn’t desire to put them back. Even without them, I was so different from the girl who had left here six years ago.

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    Under the Lights 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I want to start out by saying I have read all if her books. I have fallen in love with all of them. I have noticed the last two to come out (the other being up in flames) have felt the most rushed out of all of them. I hated how the summary suggests that certain characters will be the main ones (Willa & Brady) and you later find out they are not (Willa & Gunnar). I don't like how I begin to read and invest my time thinking that two people may eventually end up together because the summary suggests Willa and Brady are going to be the main characters, just to then find out half way that isn't the case. It is confusing and makes the real relationship feel under developed and unfinished. I feel like the real relationship in this book was not focused on nearly as much as the other books by her. For example, the characters finally say they love one another within the last few pages, after not nearly enough development in their relationship to make it believeable. It is OK that a book is not only about the relationship and I actually prefer when you get some decent back story, but it felt rushed and unrealistic. There were also a lot of loose ends, with several characters, who seemed full of conviction to win the girl, not getting mentioned at all near the end of the book and some giving up for what seemed like no reason other than she needed to finish the book. I will continue to read the series in the hope that it gets better, but two books in a row where there could have been more detail or less useless character development. I would have liked to have focused more on the actual main characters than waste time on others so that it didn't feel as unfinished or rushed.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love Abbi, but this might be the last book I buy from her. Over $10 for an eBook? Sorry, but she is hurting some loyal fans.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I loved this book! Can't wait to read more. Please write fast!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    QueenAlchemy More than 1 year ago
    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.
    lenorewastaken More than 1 year ago
    3 stars — Well shoot. I can honestly say that I didn’t have as much success with this book. While there were things that I enjoyed, there were just too many other things that bugged me for it to be an enjoyable overall read. I’ll try not to get too ranty, but I do want to express the things that weren’t to this reader’s personal liking. I kind of noticed this in the first book, but it appears that Ms. Glines likes to ride the line for me…maybe for many. And depending on where that line is for you personally, she might go over it or she might not. In the first book she definitely rode my line, but I gave her a pass on a few things hoping that they weren’t going to be trends, as well as the fact that there was so much ELSE that I loved about the book…make sense? Anyways, in this book Ms. Glines fell right over my personal line, on a few issues. OK, first things first, I don’t think I really paid attention to the blurb, I just got it when it was on sale because it was in the series and I crossed my fingers I was going to like the series. But if I had paid closer attention to the blurb, I might have been more leery. I’m not usually a fan of love triangles. It takes a VERY SPECIAL author to make that OK for me. Now, honestly? This wasn’t actually a bad love triangle. At least in terms of leading people on, potentially cheating, or falling in love with both choices and one getting hurt. So all the normal things that make a love triangle icky for me actually weren’t there. But I also didn’t see the point. I felt like the story would have actually been STRONGER without it taking up so much space in the narrative. I already knew which boy she would end up with, b/c I had seen who book 3 was going to be about. And so having a good number of chapters from (spoilers?) Brady’s POV actually just made me dislike Brady…which is a bummer. He was a dick to Ivy, hearing him call himself a good guy while he’s being an a-hole did not endear himself to me. And I wasn’t impressed with his feelings for Willa. I will admit, that he at least had a mini growth spurt at the end of the book in how he supported Gunner, but now I’m not sure how he’s going to redeem himself in general. Course, I’m still curious. As for the two characters that *should* have had most of the focus, let’s start with Gunner. He had a pretty crap situation, but the more I learned, the more over the top the whole thing became, and the more detached I became from him. There were many opportunities for me to feel for him and what he was going through, and I just…didn’t really. Or least not enough. I didn’t see as much growth as I would have liked from him…I didn’t see his caring, I didn’t see these redeeming qualities that Willa and Nonna saw. He was a terrible friend really, he treated women horribly, and he had zero coping mechanisms. I get that how he grew up shaped him, but I needed to see something more to fall in love with him. And I just didn’t. I didn’t hate him, but I didn’t feel for him nearly as much as I think I was supposed to. I will admit that he made me laugh sometimes though. Then there’s Willa. I felt glimmers of attachment to her too, but then they kind of went nowhere as well. Maybe because the story was split between 3 characters, I didn’t get as much time in her head? I did feel for what her mother did to her, and I did feel for the tragedy she went through, but I had a major personal beef with that whole storyline that I think it prev
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love this series. Probably one of my favorite series. I hope that more books will be written about each of the boys and their lives. I enjoy reading these book and I’m extremely eager to read what’s next.
    Lisa_Loves_Literature More than 1 year ago
    Okay, I was listening to this right before I had a day I was home cleaning all day, and that day I listened to the audiobook as I cleaned. Let me tell you, there were parts at the end that made me cry, actual tears streaming down my face. While in the first book, Until Friday Night, we really had some pretty good parents, or guardians/aunt and uncle, in this one, we have crappy parents of our two main characters. Now, actually we have three main characters, but one of them, Brady, we know from book 1 and he has great parents. But Willa and Gunner both have horrible parents. Fortunately Willa has come home to stay with her grandmother, who does love her. And her grandmother has always had a special place in her heart for Gunner, as she works for his family. In a way it is a love triangle, but two of them are meant to be together. And it was clear to me at the start really, although maybe some of them thought the other one would be better for Willa, that didn't mean it was the best plan, or who she would fall in love with. All the secrets that come out with Gunner's family as well as the horrible things that poor Willa deals with in trying to prove she isn't the girl that her mother thought she was to her grandmother, overall a very emotional book. I also was very happy to get back to all the characters we'd met in the first book and I look forward to reading the next book to see who will get together next. I may be more of a fan of this author than I thought I would be when I tried one of her other series.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Not only am I a big fan of Abbi Glines's books, I'm also a huge fan of football! And now she had combined both into a series! I love it!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I loved this book! ? It was really good like the first one and it was really descriptive of everything that it said. I would say this is one of my favorite books that I have ever read
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Can't wait for third book
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Book had real potential. The love triangle was weak. Ending seemed like it was lacking in detail. Left me with wanting more....
    WhatsBeyondForks More than 1 year ago
    Under the Lights is the second book in The Field Party series by Abbi Glines. This time, we get the perspective of three different characters, Brady, Gunner, and Willa. Willa has come back to town with a tragic past, and she's drawn to her two best friends from when she lived here before, but now, they're all grown up, and so is she. Hormones have taken over. *wink* I think Willa was pretty smart about things though. She has so much to work through and, Brady and Gunner are definitely seeing her as more than friend potential. One of the guys has some issues of his own to work through as well. So, it might not be the right time for a romance... or maybe it is. This was a fast paced story with some pretty emotional moments. Like all of Abbi Glines' books, it's easy to sink into her stories and disappear from the world for a while. I think that's why I enjoy them so much, or at least it's a big reason. Plus, the stories are pretty stinkin' good too.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love abbi glines and have read every one of her amazing books. This was the only one to fall flat for me. There was barely any chemistry between the main characters and some of the plot line was questionable. Sending a girl to catholic school just for speaking to a boy? I don't know. I will say that I will always read anything Abbi publishes because I know how great a writer she is which she proves with every other book. Hoping this was just a one off
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Great book as always when written by Abbi Glines. The series is excellent so far with great writting and an awesome way of making the reader get attached to the book. I truly enjoyed it and recommend it to every one who has an interest in this kind of young adult romance books.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Absolutely loved it. Abbi had me hooked right from the start. I can't wait for the next one.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I loved this book. It was amazing. Everytime I read an Abbi Glines book I just love her more and more! Keep them coming.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Can't wait for the next one!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    fatimaaaxo More than 1 year ago
    Okay, so, I do admit to kinda being nervous that Under the Lights wouldn’t live up to my expectations after Until Friday Night or that it would just be too similar to the first book. I was wrong about the latter; it had a completely different feel to it than the first book. Under the Lights could probably be read as a standalone, though it’s set in the same town as Until Friday Night with the same cast of characters making cameo appearances. Reading the first book definitely isn’t a necessity, but I personally like the feeling of recognizing old characters and already being acquainted with the world and all. Under the Lights is told in multiple points of view — three, to be exact. Brady, Willa, and Gunner used to be childhood best friends until Willa had to move away. Now she’s back, but she’s not the same. All of them aren’t. They have haunted pasts and dark secrets (you know, the package deal). I know what you’re probably thinking… love triangle? Yikes. I was a bit disheartened by that, too, but it actually wasn’t that bad. For starters, it was pretty obvious who Willa would end up with from the beginning. For me, it didn’t even take away from the book. Their relationship development still made my heart beat all the same. There wasn’t much drama about the love triangle itself as expected. Instead, the “drama” was mostly focused on each character’s individual struggles. Needless to say, there was jealousy here and there, but it didn’t stir that many problems. The story itself was an incredibly enjoyable fast read that’ll have you wondering where the pages flew. My overall level of enjoyment of this book alone is enough to warrant it 4 stars; however, there are a few issues that did bother me enough to make me take away a whole star. Firstly, the way every single girl character except for our MC, Willa, and the previous book’s MC (Maggie) was written irked me so.much. They were all so stereotypical and mean, and it was obvious they were written for the sole purpose of being props to the guy characters. In addition, older women like Willa’s and Gunner’s mother were such awful, conceited people and I just- arghh. What pissed me off the most was the fact that two women in this book *no spoilers* said that they’d been raped, and guess what? They were ridiculed & disbelieved by almost everyone, including some of our very own MCs. Second, unlike the first book, the character development in this was almost nonexistent. Maggie’s character development was honestly phenomenal, but Willa? Not so much. What this book did have in abundance, though, was inner dialogue. There was lots of it. Like, it would span the length of 1-2 pages! At first, I didn’t really care or notice that much, but there were times that this inner dialogue started to get repetitive and, dare I say it, boring. On one hand, this was a very quick, cute, and enjoyable read – no doubt about that. The romance was able to pull me in and the love triangle (thankfully) wasn’t that obnoxious. The writing was pretty great and articulate, too. The characters made me fall in love with them, and the book made me feel so many wonderful things. I just really, really, really enjoyed this book! On the other hand, when I start analyzing the book and delving deeper into all the technicalities, I start to find underlying issues. The way the female characters were written and how they tried to bring each other down, the lack of character development, & sexism.
    JoannaDursi More than 1 year ago
    (4.5 STARS) This quickly became one of my favorite books by Abbi Glines. Willa returns to Lawton after a six year absence. Her two childhood best friends, Gunner and Brady, barely recognize her. Willa once thought her heart belonged to Brady but her and Gunner both have a darkness in them that bonds then. My only "complaints" would be 1) that I need more of Willa and ..... I felt they ended up together and a few sentences later it was over and that 2) I thought the 6yr ago flashback was put in an odd spot. I would've much more preferred an epilogue.