Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
Published by Macmillan
Publication Date: September 15th 2015
Genres: Young Adult
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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.
Leila Sales has written some pretty fantastic books that have entertained the socks off of me. I completely adored both Past Perfect and Mostly Good Girls so I went into this book with high hopes. Unfortunately, the book fell short for me.
The story itself wasn’t bad, I’m sure there will be plenty of people that enjoy Arden’s journey but I just couldn’t connect with her. She’s a shy girl by nature so she has a tendency to stalk boys that she likes and while I’ve done my fair share of stalking my crush back in high school, Arden takes it a bit further by stalking a guy she doesn’t even know all the way to New York (she lives in Maryland).
This book starts off with a note that says:
Like all stories, the one you are about to read is a love story. If it wasn’t, what would be the point?
Yes, this was a love story but not the kind I was expecting. This was about all kinds of love. The love of different parents (the one that left but loved with all she was and the one that is there physically but mentally, etc…), the love of kids for their parents, the love of friends and the love between two people. It’s all in here but for me, the reading was slow going for most of the book.
Arden was the protagonist and I wanted to like her but when I finally put the book down, my feelings for Arden were lukewarm. I didn’t necessarily hate her but she wasn’t my favorite either. She was just okay. It kind of surprised me that I didn’t like her as much as I thought I would considering she’s a pleaser. She is nice. She’s there for people when they need her but I don’t know, I just could not connect with her.
I thought it was weird that she stalked Peter (the blogger whose blog she became addicted to) all the way to New York just so that she could be there for him since her boyfriend Chris ditched her on their anniversary. She made these grand plans for their one year and Chris had the nerve to not show up so Arden packs up her car, picks up her best friend and off they go to New York City. The city where her Mom now lives.
Once she gets there and meets Peter, she starts to realize that Peter isn’t the guy she pictured in her head. She built him up to be so much more than he actually was and over the course of one night, she starts realizing little things about everyone in her life.
Other things that I didn’t understand or connect with were Arden’s Mom. She up and left her family behind because what??? She was mad at Arden’s Dad? She wants Arden to understand that things haven’t been good between her and her Dad so she had to leave Arden and Roman (Arden’s brother) behind? Yeah, I wasn’t a fan of that.
I also wasn’t a fan of the way Arden’s Dad was too. It made me stop and think about how involved I am in my blogs and social media and what not. I don’t want to be Arden’s Dad so I need to start paying attention to my kid. Paying more attention to her.
Peter was something else but I ended up liking Bianca and Lindsey? She was great.
Overall, this book fell flat but there were things that I enjoyed. I enjoyed watching the friendship between Arden and Lindsey. I enjoyed Peter’s blog and I enjoyed seeing Arden come to terms with everything in her life but that was it.
Grade: 2.25 out of 5