Publisher: Smart Pop
Review Source: From publisher
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Talk to any of the millions of devoted Friday Night Lights fans and they’ll tell you: it’s not just a show about high school football. Its rich, interesting characters and honestly portrayed relationships make the show’s portrait of West Texas life compelling and relatable in ways that have nothing—and everything—to do with touchdowns.
A Friday Night Lights Companion celebrates the show, its fearlessness, and what it’s meant to those who love it.
• Dave Campbell’s Texas Football managing editor Travis Stewart provides a moving tribute to the power of high school football, by way of unlikely hero Matt Saracen
• Jonna Rubin shares the lessons she’s learned from the best marriage on television: Eric and Tami Taylor’s (lesson number one: drink more wine)
• Television Without Pity writer Jacob Clifton offers a meditation on one of Friday Night Lights’ most fundamental values: being a part of something bigger than yourself
• The Washington Post’s Jen Chaney reminds us what we love most about all our favorite Dillon residents, from Tim Riggins to Buddy Garrity to Jess Merriweather
• And more writing and reflections on Friday Night Lights
A Friday Night Lights Companion takes you from series pilot to series finale, through all five masterfully crafted seasons’ worth of love, loss, family, and football.
This is quite obviously a book that differs from the books I normally review (is it fiction? no. is it YA? no), but I was thrilled at the chance to review it. You may (or may not) know that I am a massive Friday Night Lights fan, so when I first heard about this book I was psyched that it even existed. To be able to review it? Awesome! Because Friday Night Lights is a show that if you love it? You love it. You flail over it and fangirl/boy over it and promote it to everyone you know. “It’s not really about football...” you tell people. “Well it kind of is about football, but it’s about Dillon and Coach and Mrs. Coach and all these amazing people and the community...” Then you shove the DVDs at people and say “Just watch it. You’ll love it, I swear.”
So that’s Friday Night Lights. And if you like Friday Night Lights then this is a book you want to read. Because the people who have contributed to this book of essays? They’re your kind of people. They get your love for FNL and they express it in the most perfect of ways. They analyze the show and its characters and its meaning. Heck, they write about “the role of economics and money in the story of Friday Night Lights” [Class Not Dismissed - Kevin Smokler] and get me to read every single word.
The essays in this book analyze all the best parts of Friday Night Lights. They talk about themes and broader concepts, but they all get into the nitty gritty of why the show works so well and why it’s so amazing. I have to say that my favourite part of the book was Jen Chaney’s series of “Why We Love...” entries for various FNL characters. These entries remind readers of all these hilarious, heartbreaking, and awesome moments from the show and are a great lighter element that break up some heavier hitting essays.
Here are just a couple of snippets from the text:
“There is a hope inside every single character on Friday Night Lights that I can only wish every human in real life has, that I dream is still a part of even the most hardened, beaten-down individual. Everyone on Friday Night Lights is trying. They all still believe.” [Introduction; p. 3]
“Few of us watching have the same kind of love for high school football teams, and yet we care so deeply about the lives of the Taylor, Williams, Saracen, Garrity, Collette, Riggins, and Howard families, whether or not we care for the sport at the center of their lives at all.” [Class Not Dismissed; p. 38]
Bottom line, I think this is a must-read if you’re a fan of Friday Night Lights. It will remind you of why you love the show, and how much you love the show, and it will tide you over until you pull out your DVD collection for yet another viewing.
So perfect and pretty; it reminds me of the show's opening credits for sure.
Find A Friday Night Lights Companion: Love, Loss, and Football in Dillon, Texas, edited by Leah Wilson on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.
Thanks to the generous people at Smart Pop Books I have a copy of "A Friday Night Lights Companion" to give away.
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