Tonight the Streets Are Ours


Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

Blurb:

Recklessly loyal.
That's how seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley has always thought of herself. Caring for 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.

Review:

Like all stories, the one you are about to read is a love story.
If it wasn't, what would be the point?

These are the opening words to Tonight the Streets Are Ours and they certainly don't lie. But, as one might expect from the way they are bluntly put in the beginning of the book, they don't cater to the expectation one has from a love story. This book is much less about romantic love than about love in general and what it means to love and be loved. If you're into that, you might be interested in this story, if you want something else from a love story, then prepare for disappointment (or just don't read it?).

Personally, I expected to fall in love with this story. But I didn't. Frankly, I didn't much care about it. It has some beautiful writing in it, but mostly the writing is pretty inconspicuous (I even disliked how Peter's writing was praised so much when I thought it was simply average/borderline pretentious). It has realistic characters and realistic character progression (although the progression moved along too fast near the end, for my taste), but not that much plot. Basically, I was mostly indifferent about this story.

There, I said it. I didn't care. I still don't care. After all Arden has been through, I ended up closing the book thinking "and now what?", not even an annoyed "why should I care?" or a happy "what could possibly come after this?" but simply, indifferently and now what. Frankly, the only thing I consistently liked about this book were the chapter names because they were kind of reminiscent of the doll story titles (or at least how they were described) giving the narration a sense of hyperreality by mixing realistic elements with a fairy tale flair. The rest? It was good, okay, but nothing more.

The thing is, I see how this could be a brillant story and I really wish I had the ability to see in this book potential come true instead of … well, this. All of this is disappointing, naturally, because there's nothing really I could blame my indifference on, plus, I don't really care enough about this book to even start digging for a greater explanation. Maybe I'll read this again in a couple of years and I'll suddenly fall in love with this story (just as it was supposed to happen) and I won't understand current-me for my attitude but right now? I just can't bother.

Rating:

Because I am so indifferent I'd give it 2.5 stars but factoring in that I actually think that there is a lot of potential and many, objectively, good elements I am rounding my rating up to 3 out of 5 stars.

Details:

Name: Tonight the Streets Are Ours
Author: Leila Sales
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Pages: 352
Where?: Amazon

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