After the Game by Abbi Glines
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I received this free eARC from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.
I was a bit leery going into this book of the series after finding out who the characters were. Mainly about Brady because I really didn't like him in the second novel. He was so naive and whinny and annoying. It was all about him and no one else's problems seemed to matter to him. And the way he used and strung Ivy around because it was convienant and he didn't want to hurt her feelings was a pile of crap and I just wanted to bash his head in.
Suffice to say, I really didn't like Brady after "Under the Lights".
But I did like Riley. When she picked up Willa and took her home with no questions, no pressure, no nothing except to make sure she got home safe, I admired her for that. She seemed like a no nonsense type of girl and I respect that a lot - especially for a teenage girl.
So I was absolutely excited to read it because of Riley, and I do have to say that the book was actually really decent by the time it finished. Riley was still a bad ass as she was for those brief pages, but now I know how much of an amazing mother she is to her sweet little girl Bryony. I admire Riley so much because what she went through was a nightmare come to life. But for her to not only live past that pain and torture and be able to look at her daughter with only love and not hatred for what she represented? That is the strongest person I know - fictional or otherwise.
And Brady actually redeemed himself a lot in this novel. He stepped up and realized a lot of his mistakes that he made when he made rash decisions about Riley. And he finally had a glitch in his perfect life to make him understand what his close friends had gone through in the past months. Not that I'm saying everyone needs to have a bad event happen, but Brady wasn't able to fully understand and help his friends because he had never experienced anything like what they were going through. Being able to go through a bad time and come out of it with optimism and still find the rainbow in the sky is something that everyone should go through - otherwise they take a lot of things for granted.
Bryony was the best part of this novel and I loved her so much. Grandmamma was, on the one hand, pretty hysterical with her funny statements, but it is so sad seeing a loved one with Alzheimer's and forgetting everything about their life.
Abbi Glines was able to talk about a lot of tough subjects in this novel with grace and complete understand of what each character would go through as if the event was really happening. Rape is a subject that I do not read about - ever - period. It's the one subject I don't touch on, but I thought I would give this novel a try. I'm so glad I did because Abbi was able to talk about it in a way that didn't make me fear going outside and living my life. She actually inspires people to keep living after a brutal event like that and how to go about doing it, just by writing a story where Riley kept going. In my book, that is the best writing someone could ever do.
I'm so glad that I received a copy of this and I will definitely be remembering it for years to come. Can't wait to see with other masterpiece she comes up with next!
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