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
Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux for Young Readers on September 15th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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From the author of This Song Will Save Your Life comes a funny and relatable book about the hazards of falling for a person you haven't met yet.
Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she's tired of being loyal to people who don't appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom.
Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called "Tonight the Streets Are Ours," the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.
During one crazy night out in NYC 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.
Why doesn’t anyone love me as much as I love them?
Interesting question. A little needy but interesting. I walked away from Tonight the Streets Are Ours with two questions of my own:
- Is “recklessly loyal” (the title given to our main character) code for “biggest doormat”?
- Why do I keep choosing terrible novels?
I think the answers are “people are terrible, adopt a cat,” “ABSOLUTELY,” and “because sometimes things sound better than they actually are.” But I might be wrong.
Arden Huntley is tired of being “recklessly loyal” so she finds comfort on the internet through a blog called “Tonight the Streets Are Ours,” run by a dude named Peter. He’s very annoying and boring but he obviously thinks otherwise because he has a journal-style blog. When Peter blogs about being dumped by his girlfriend, Arden decides that it makes perfect sense to track him down and show up unannounced. Oh, and he doesn’t even know she exists. Sounds like a brilliant plan.
My least favorite aspect of the novel (if that’s even possible since I pretty much hated everything with equal measure) is the main character. Everything about her annoyed me. Every. Little. Thing. In real life I would avoid this girl and then maybe run into her years later to discover that she grew out of everything that made her annoying. In this case, I had to stick around to experience Arden’s growth. 342 pages later, I found out that there’s absolutely no character development. I could argue that maybe the whole point is to show that people don’t change but I don’t think this is the case. She’s immature (to the point that her voice feels like it belongs to someone in her early teens) and her way of thinking is so self-destructive that I was shocked that her life wasn’t a complete mess. How did she even survive this long? How did she make it through school? Honestly. I don’t get it. Add another annoying character to the mix (Peter) and you have a book that I wouldn’t mind setting on fire.
I have to say that I did appreciate the way that different sides of romance were depicted throughout the novel. Arden’s mother leaves her family, Peter steals his friend’s girlfriend, and Arden’s relationship with her boyfriend is very interesting. You get so many sides of romance that it should at least produce a decent novel but I just didn’t like the way they were fleshed out. I didn’t care for the characters so I didn’t develop a connection to any of the relationships. Even if I had, everything that happens is so far from “Feels Central” that I would still be upset.
I wanted to love this book but maybe my expectations were a little too high. I tried to put up with it because I really thought something big was going to happen. There’s a little bit of a twist near the end but I saw it coming a mile away so it doesn’t count. I definitely didn’t expect a whole lot of nothing but that’s exactly what I got.