47 pages 1 hour read

Abbi Glines

Until Friday Night

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2015

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Summary and Study Guide


Abbi Glines’s Until Friday Night is a young adult romance novel that follows the relationship between the two protagonists, Maggie Carlton and West Ashby. Maggie’s and West’s alternating first-person narratives reveal their complex feelings for each other and their struggles to navigate falling in love. Their evolving dynamic is the basis for the novel’s themes of Coping with Grief and Trauma, The Development of Teenage Romantic Relationships, and The Role of Communication in Healing. This guide refers to the 2015 Simon Pulse paperback edition of the novel.

Content Warning: This guide describes and analyzes the source text’s depiction of grief and trauma, controlling behavior, domestic violence that results in death, mental illness, and death by suicide. The source text also includes ableist and offensive language to refer to non-verbal people, which this guide replicates in direct quotes only.

Plot Summary

Maggie Carlton moves to Lawton, Alabama, to live with her aunt Coralee, uncle Boone, and cousin Brady Higgens two years after she watched her father kill her mother. Maggie hasn’t spoken since the tragedy, and fears opening up to her family about what happened to her. She tries to express her gratitude by hugging her aunt and writing apologetic notes to her cousin.

Maggie tries to stay out of Brady’s way when she starts attending Lawton High School. Brady warns her that he doesn’t want her getting involved with his football friends, and Maggie tries to respect his wishes. However, everyone at school bullies and gossips about her. She frequently overhears her peers calling her names and spreading rumors about her past and her mental health.

Coralee insists that Brady invite Maggie to a field party with his football teammates. Maggie stands alone under a tree to give Brady space. Brady’s friends make jokes about Maggie’s appearance and silence. Meanwhile, Brady’s best friend, West Ashby, dismisses himself to take a call from his mom, Olivia Ashby. He’s worried about her because his dad, Jude Ashby, is dying of cancer. Off the phone, he bursts out in confused rage. He hasn’t told his friends about what’s going on at home. However, he decides to confide in Maggie because she doesn’t speak and will keep his secret. He’s surprised when Maggie starts talking to him.

West asks Brady if he and Maggie can be friends after Brady learns about Jude’s sickness. Brady agrees. Maggie and West start talking on the phone every night. Maggie listens to West and offers him comforting words. Over time, Maggie and West grow attached to one another. Maggie secretly realizes that she’s falling for West, but doubts that West feels the same way because he continues to date other girls. West relies upon Maggie but doesn’t think she has feelings for him because she’s different from the other girls he’s been close with.

West calls Maggie when his dad is hospitalized one night. She, Brady, Coralee, Boone, and West’s football team show up at the hospital to support West. West remembers everything Maggie has told him and speaks openly with Jude on his deathbed. He tells his father how much he loves him and will miss him. He promises that he’ll take care of Olivia and make him proud as he grows up.

West realizes that his father is really gone after the funeral. That night, he and Maggie go for a drive. They have sex in West’s car on the bluff West and Jude used to visit. Maggie knows that West is in pain but agrees to sleep with him anyway. Afterwards, West starts to cry.

West and Maggie start dating. Rumors spread about their relationship at school. Meanwhile, West becomes increasingly protective of Maggie. However, his aggression scares her. She decides to break up with West when West won’t let her speak to other people. She’s made the decision to break her silence, but West doesn’t like that she’s conversing with people who aren’t him. With Brady’s help, West eventually realizes that he has to give Maggie her space. He apologizes to her for trying to control her and expresses his love for her. Maggie takes West back, and they restart their relationship.

Two weeks later, Maggie visits her mother’s gravesite with Brady and West for the first time since her mother’s funeral. She talks to her mom and discovers that she feels close to her. When the friends return home, Maggie’s uncle informs her that her father died by suicide in prison last night. Maggie doesn’t feel sad or relieved. Instead, she cries for her own loss.

West and Maggie realize that they met years prior while looking through the Higgenses’ photo albums. Maggie wishes that she’d been more open at that time in her life, but West insists that she shouldn’t blame herself. Maggie thanks West for supporting her.