I love the Girls of Summer series
I finally took the time to read the sixth book in the Girls of Summer series. I don’t know why I waited so long. I love book series in general and when it’s a series with female athletes, even more so. The Girls of Summer series follows Jamie and Emma as the main characters, but we also get to know some of their teammates. What I love about the series is that we get to follow the MCs over a long period of time and see them develop as individuals and see their relationships grow.
Under the Lights takes place after the 2015 World Championship in Canada, when Jamie, Emma, and their teammates are back in their clubs and finishing the US championship without having had a break. They also have various friendlies to play with the national team during the Victory Tour. On the one hand, it is still an honor for all of them to be part of the team but, on the other hand, their bodies are at the edge of exhaustion due to such a demanding and long season. Additionally, there’s the fight for equal pay for female athletes with the US soccer national team playing a big role (incidentally, equal pay has just finally come to fruition in real life a few days ago, yay).
The soccer game as such and the training sessions are not the focus this time. Jamie and Emma are trying to make the best of their long-distance relationship. They have to find out if they are both willing to invest more in the relationship and what possibilities there are for them to see each other more often. I can understand them, I also had a long-distance relationship for two years, and even though it was only an hour and a half away from each other, I was stressed out during handball season trying to balance the practice of my sport and my relationship.
I loved spending more time with Emma and Jamie next to the soccer field and accompanying them with their families during the holidays and also when they have to stand by their best friend during an incredibly difficult time. I don’t want to give anything away here, but it broke my heart. Despite the very difficult and demanding situation, it’s always nice to see when in times of need friends stand by someone unconditionally. As I have been following Emma and Jamie for years now, I really like what great women they have become. Ambitious but fair, helpful but also willing to fight and stand up for each other and their common goals. It wasn’t and isn’t always easy, they had some obstacles to surmount, injuries to deal with, insecurities to overcome, and trust to build.
It was cool to spend some hours with Emma, Jamie, and their teammates again and I hope their journey will go on. I don’t know exactly how much of the stories are fiction and how much is reality, but it’s definitely entertaining, and not just for sports fans.
My rating is 4.5 stars