Theme: A high school sports-romance with two main characters who know they are meant to be- but their families don’t believe they should be together.
Nature of Review: TheNextStepPr provided me with a hardcover in exchange for a review post as part of their blog tour!
Release Date: Making A Play (Field Party book #5) was released on August 20, 2019. It is available in ebook and physical copy at most major retailers!
Warnings: Racism, sexism, and bullying are themes in this story that the characters have to work through.
Synopsis (taken from Goodreads)
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
I absolutely love every one of the Field Party books so far, for their feel-good romance and realistic and relatable characters. Each story shows two young loves facing real-word problems that they have to overcome, and Abbi Glines writes them each so well, readers are given insight to how people have to deal with these issues. Previous themes have been: PTSD, death of a loved one, drug use, family drama, being a teen mom, and problems self image.
Continuing on with these mature themes, Making a Play addresses bigotry and racism, as well as a girl who struggles with being hearing impaired. Underneath these serious themes, though, is an adorable love story and a mutual love for football that binds this series together.
Ryker and Aurora, our couple in the story, are completely adorable and I loved their chemistry. Ryker is known for being a playboy, but Aurora’s entire being calls to him like no other. Aurora is sheltered and naive, but Ryker makes her want to break from her shell. Watching them help each other, to break their walls and learn about love was all I needed in this book for me to love it. It was perfect. Honesty, the only thing I could ask for is just more, since each book has a fairly quick ending that gets carried on into other novels in the series.
I can’t get enough of these sweet love stories!
I also want to mention that I think this book had some mirroring elements to book one (which was my favourite of the series- tells you how much I loved this one, too). Which is pretty adorable, since the series has moved on to a new generation of Lawton Football players since then. But still, the parallels are there: the idea of a playboy falling for a sweet girl, a troubled girl who trusts him and becomes his undoing, and having to work their relationship around their family drama and their protective QB.
These parallels made me love this book even more, not just because these are some of my favourite themes of the series, but because it feels like a full circle moment that the reader can’t help but smile as they compare Ryker/Aurora with West/Maggie.
I will never stop reading these novels, and I hope there are more Field Parties to come! This story gave me some characters to root for in future books, including Hunter, Asa and even Nova (I think she’d make an interesting love interest!). Please, Abbi, give us all the books 🤞🏻