September 10, 2015

Review: Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
Publication date: Sept 15, 2015
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received ARC from publisher (Thanks!)
Summary: 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. (greads.com)

The good
When I finished Tonight the Streets Are Ours, I didn’t know how to feel. As I worked out why out loud to Alexa, I realized it’s because it was so real. Too close to home. I could see so much of my high school self (and even part of my adult self) in Arden and that made it difficult to read at times. But by that same token, it’s a testament to Leila Sales’ writing that it had such an effect on me. Arden has taken it upon herself to take care of everyone in her life. To constantly concede and please those around her. It’s something she was taught and very much took to heart. But now she’s seventeen years-old and she’s starting to reach her limit. Between a best friend and a boyfriend who take her for granted and a mother who’s recently taken off, she’s feeling unloved and unappreciated. She can’t help but wonder why it seems like she’s always doing all the giving. (Ah it’s so hard not to project here! This is seriously me.)

It’s during a particularly low night that she finds a blog called “Tonight the Streets Are Ours” written by a guy named Peter. She quickly becomes attached to his stories about life in New York, his family and especially the girl he’s in love with. Again, this was something else I could relate to. It’s so easy to get lost in a person’s seemingly perfect life online and equally easy to feel like you know them. And that’s what happens with Arden. So much so that she decides to take a road trip to NYC to see him when he blogs about his girlfriend dumping him. It sounds crazy (which it is) but it also proves to be an eye-opening experience in more ways than one. I can’t tell you what happens but if you read between the lines of Sales’ words, there’s an important underlying message here that I think us bloggers will especially relate to. People aren’t always what they seem — online or even in real life — and Arden discovers both the hard way. But more importantly, she learns about herself and that maybe she doesn’t quite fit into the small box she thinks she belongs in.

(Super minor) reservations
The beginning is slow paced and not much actually happens during the first half of the book. It’s very introspective but in hindsight, I think the readers needed to understand Arden and this gave us the opportunity to do so. But be warned!

Do I recommend?
I do! I’m a huge fan of Leila Sales and this is another winner from her.

Collaborative feature with Alexa! 

Favorite personal blog
My favorite has been Love Taza | Rockstar Diaries for a while now. Aside from loving Naomi's personal style and candid posts, my favorite part is probably the glimpse she gives us into her beautiful family. How this woman (who I'm pretty sure is younger than I am!) happens to be married and a mother to three young children is beyond me. It's hard not to look at her blog and Instagram and not think to yourself, um #lifegoals. 

2 comments:

  1. I love Naomi too! Her blog is seriously adorable, and I just adore seeing her adventures with her family. And I 100% agree with your thoughts on TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS! I could totally relate to Arden (she was basically me in high school), and I liked how her adventure in NYC changed her perspective on a lot of things.

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  2. Great review! I seriously loved this book and am happy to see other people are too! I identified with Arden a lot but I didn't have quite as hard a time as you (I saved that for reading Dumplin'!). I liked a lot about this story but I think my favorite part was definitely getting to know Arden so well. This book is also one that I definitely think I enjoyed more because I'm a blogger--it added another fun dimension to the story.

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