Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Series: The Field Party #5
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: My shelves
The fifth book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Field Party series—a southern soap opera with football, cute boys, and pick-up trucks—from USA TODAY bestselling author Abbi Glines.
Ryker Lee is finally enjoying his senior year—he has great friends, hangs out with hot girls, and is on track to get a football scholarship that will set him up for college. Despite this, a small part of him wonders if there’s more to life than parties and meaningless hookups—and if football even means as much to him as it does to his fellow teammates. And when he meets the new girl at school, his world totally changes…
Aurora McClay is new to Lawton. She’s grateful that her twin brother, Hunter, is star of the football team and can help her adjust to her new school, but she’s not grateful at how overprotective he is over every person she meets. Just because she is deaf does not mean people have to treat her differently. When she meets Ryker Lee, the two of them spark an instant and intense chemistry, one that proves to be controversial not only because of Ryker’s reputation as a player, but also because of Aurora and Hunter’s father’s bigoted views about who Aurora can and can’t date.
Aurora and Ryker know in their hearts that they are meant for each other. But can their relationship endure the turmoil of rumors and prejudice?
If you want to know my opinion about this book, I urge you to read the review in its entirety. Because it’s a tumultuous ride.
First, I absolutely adore this series. This is the fifth book in the Field Party series and I’ve enjoyed the ride all the way through. The series focuses on the quintessential high school experience, where football is God but the field parties after the game reign supreme. They’re very cliche books, but enjoyably so, and usually feature a very sweet romance that also manages to touch on some pretty deep issues along the way. Even if it reads like a dramatized TV show portraying high school.
I talked about the first book, Until Friday Night in my Contemporary Romance’s Top Fierce Females post, which is how dear to my heart this series was for me. Even knowing that it isn’t perfect and has flaws, I still think they’re damn good comfort reads. And I enjoyed this one so, so much. Until the last 10 pages when everything hit the fan. But we’ll get there.
This book is about Aurora and Ryker. We know Ryker from the previous books, and now he’s a senior, wide-receiver, and football God in this school in small-town Alabama. He’s also African-American, which comes into play later, as this book attempts to tackle that issue, too. So we know Ryker, but Ryker but Aurora is brand-new to us, and brand-new to the school, as she just moved in with her dad and twin brother (Hunter, who’s the high school Quarterback). In Ryker’s case, it’s almost insta-love (but the acceptable kind) when he first see’s Aurora, he’s captivated. But what he didn’t know is that Aurora is deaf.
“When I looked at her the first time, it was like . . .
everything made sense.”
I’m not going to lie… this book felt like a first draft. Oh, it was grammatically edited just fine, but it had none of the depth that it’s predecessors possessed and while I enjoyed the adorable ride of Ryker and Aurora getting to know each other and falling deeper in love, it wasn’t like in the past books. I’ve reread Until Friday Night because the characters have an amazing connection, where they become each other’s safe place, lean on each other, help each other, and it’s emotional and pretty great. But Making a Play had none of that for me. While I was certainly enjoying myself during the book, it was adorable and all, nothing was really happening and I was missing that depth. But even so, before the last 10 pages, it would have been a 3.5-star read.
* The rest of this review contains spoilers * I’m sorry, but it’s the only way I could explain.
Aurora’s family (even her Twin?? Like they kept saying that they had an amazing connection but Hunter treated her like a child and was petulant the rest of the time) was not cool to her. Her dad is a major control freak and when he found out she was dating a black boy? He literally stopped the car she was in with Ryker in the middle of the road, pulled her out of the car, took her phone while she was sleeping and packed her off to her grandma’s (without her phone, pretty rude thing to do to someone who can’t hear) so she couldn’t talk to Ryker. Then Hunter lied to her when she called home and told her that he saw Ryker with another girl.
Okay so that’s all wrong, but moving on. Next thing we know, it’s the second semester and Ryker is all sad about how Aurora never came back and he didn’t know why, when suddenly she shows up again, and can suddenly hear again because the only way her father would let her make her own choices (and there’s no way her control-freak father would agree to not be in control) was if she got the surgery to get cochlear implants (something she was adamantly against and terrified of). Now… what??
Her family treats her like garbage the whole book aside, which was never addressed btw, she was basically forced into surgery to get implants she was recommended against by specialists and decidedly did not want? After she spent the whole book being a badass individual that, granted, had limitations, but was working through them just fine. This was the last 10 pages and was rather disappointing, after spending the whole book enjoying myself. It seems rather ableist? And I want to be clear: I’m NOT saying that cochlear implants are ableist or that a hearing-impaired person can’t get them. Merely that they are not necessary for a happily ever after, and I’m upset at the fact that the heroine was so vehemently against them, and then literally poof, she shows up weeks and weeks later suddenly with them, because someone else required them of her. Damn. How do you rate a book that you enjoyed, right up until the end when it all blew up in your face?
Other posts you may enjoy…
Have you read a disappointing read lately? What about a book that was fine until one thing just completely ruined it? Let me know in the comments down below, I’d love to hear from you!