I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
Also by this author: Past Perfect, Once Was a Time
Published by Macmillan on September 15th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Social Issues, New Experience, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Dating & Sex
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Recklessly loyal. That's how seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley has always thought of herself. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But lately she's grown resentful of everyone--including her needy best friend and her absent mom--taking her loyalty for granted.
Then Arden stumbles upon a website called Tonight the Streets Are Ours, the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter, who gives voice to feelings that Arden has never known how to express. He seems to get her in a way that no one else does, and he hasn't even met her.Until Arden sets out on a road trip to find him.
During one crazy night out in New York City filled with parties, dancing, and music--the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does--Arden discovers that Peter isn't exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn't exactly who she thought she was, either.
Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales was the best book at the best time for me. It’s one of those books that captures what it is like to be a disaffected youth and then, I guess, to set some boundaries and move beyond that feeling. I read this book when like 5 other books took me FOREVER AND A DAY to get through, and this one basically took me like five seconds. Okay, I exaggerate. It took me longer than five seconds to read Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales, but it FELT like five seconds and there was no dragging and I found myself consistently wanting to be reading this book, so essentially, that’s why I am full of flails and feelings and AHHH I LOVE THIS BOOK in this review.
Okay, so Leila Sales’s latest book is about this girl named Arden. Arden is recklessly loyal, as you will come to see. She has this best friend, Lindsey, who is a hot mess. Lindsey is this irresponsible, devil may care type. Arden, however, is a straight A student with a pretty decent life. She, however, is a total pushover. Anyways, so lately, Arden has been feeling disaffected and wondering why people do not love her as much as she loves them. Upon a google search, she stumbles on a blog by this guy named Peter. She instantly becomes addicted and falls down the rabbit hole of the blog called Tonight The Streets Are Ours. When everything falls to pieces one night, Arden decides to be reckless and drive from where she lives to New York City, to find Peter. This might sound kind of nuts, but Lindsey, her best friend, is down for the ride and the adventure.
The main character of Tonight The Streets Are Ours is someone I can relate to. I mean, okay, I am not recklessly loyal. I will not ever give up a free Disney World trip for a friend because I am a horrible person. However, like Arden, sometimes I could see boundaries and being taken advantage of by other people as an actual struggle. I loved reading about how Arden is sort of this impassive player in her life who is really only great at being nice, but then one day, she has this epiphany after a trip of course, and that is no longer her number one defining characteristic. There’s also this subplot involving her mother and I love that bit of the book too.
As for Peter, he gets this big huge build up — and well, I guess he is part of an important lesson that Arden learns in Tonight The Streets Are Ours. Here’s what I will say about Peter, he’s definitely not as awful as I was expecting. I thought that as a character who is framed as a writer, he’s not so bad. I thought that he does some obnoxiously selfish things and is perhaps a bit pompous. However, he really exemplifies that whole internet persona vs real life person dilemma. I loved how he also illustrates this whole unreliable narrator bit — because Arden, and his internet audience — are reading his story and just lapping it up, but he’s not being 100% honest. I really thought what Leila Sales did with the character of Peter was a great move for the book.
Of course, the true best part of Leila Sales’s Tonight The Streets Are Ours is the friendship, OBVIOUSLY. I mean, listen, Arden and Lindsey are an unlikely pair. They probably would not be friends if they weren’t neighbors, let’s get real with this. Yet, they work. Arden is a giver, Lindsey is a taker. Yet, it seems this way because Arden has not given Lindsey the chance to take the lead and to be the loyal one in the friendship. Let’s just say that Arden does seem to really enjoy the responsibility and all of this does come to a head in the book. This is the kind of book where friendships are shown to be complicated and each person has trouble communicating, but ultimately there’s good intentions and well, the kind of theme and ending that I dearly love to read.
I am absolutely a member of the Leila Sales fan club, despite still not reading Mostly Good Girls (I firmly believing in having books by your favorite authors in reserves for bad days and/or slumps). Tonight The Streets Are Ours is a fast moving book that will resonate for people that lead their lives on the internets. I completely recommend this book if you’ve ever felt taken advantage of in a friendship and if, maybe, you’re up for an adventure with some reckless abandon.
Other Reviews of Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales:
Star-Crossed Book Blog – “I was engrossed”
YA Bibliophile – “A solid contemporary read!”
Hello, Chelly – “this is another winner from her”
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