I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
Published by Macmillan on September 15, 2015
Genres: Young Adult
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.
My immediate reaction to this book was this isn’t a romance, but it is definitely a love story. That is going to be challenging for some readers, I think, so know that really it isn’t a romance in the traditional sense. This book isn’t about Arden’s quest to find the love of her life, who may or may not be a blogger. Instead, it was about a whole lot of things that love can become or make you do, and I enjoyed that spin on an emotion that gets plenty of page time in novels. Arden loves her family, and when her mother leaves, she is left to run it all. ( At least in her mind.) It broke my heart a little to read her reactions to her mother’s absence in the family, but you also see her mother’s reasoning, which a part of me could really relate to. Arden gets to see what kids all eventually see, that parenthood is messy; joyous, but messy. On top of her family’s upheaval, she takes care of her best friend, Lindsay. I think you could argue that their relationship is somewhat codependent. In fact, their friendship is the central relationship in this story, which was a nice change of pace, to be honest. Lindsay was part total mess, part soothsayer, in that I think she tries to tell Arden the truth, but Arden wasn’t always up for hearing it.
Arden, for all of her sacrifice, does not come off as some sort of perfectly sacrificing angel. In fact, much of the story involves Arden finding out that maybe she needs people to need her in order to give her life some order. It’s what she does to keep the peace and to keep her world running the way she likes it. When she starts becoming obsessed with Tonight The Streets Are Ours, she is pulled all the way into Peter’s world, which is full of angst and heartbreak and things she doesn’t have to try to fix….except she eventually can’t stand it and has to meet him. Their adventures in NYC are fun and crazy, and I became fascinated by Peter’s story and interested in his life, both what was real and what was imagined. That time with Peter also shattered Arden’s tightly controlled world view, which didn’t seem that restrictive to her until she left it behind for a little while. That, to me, was the love story in this book. She was surrounded by people who loved her, but she didn’t need to take care of them to earn that love. Overall, I enjoyed the messy friendships, complicated families, and painful discoveries in this story. While perhaps a quieter book than This Song Will Save Your Life, Tonight The Streets Are Ours is a book worth reading.