Author: Leila Sales
Date Published: September, 15 2015
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Rating: 5 Stars
Summary: 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.
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.
Tonight the Streets Are Ours was a book I went in to thinking I knew what was going to happen and then being totally surprised with where it went. I thought it was a love story, I mean it starts like this…
“Like all stories, the one you are about to read is a love story. If it wasn’t, what would be the pont.”
Not really out of the question that I thought there was going to be some love in it and here’s the thing there is, but maybe not in the way you think. This story follows a young girl Arden, who for her whole life has defined herself as recklessly loyal. To her family and her friends, there is nothing Arden won’t do for them. Which is how she finds herself taking the blame for one of Lindsey’s many mistakes. Then getting ditched by her boyfriend on their anniversary. Which is where this story starts to pick up. I have to applaud Leila for writing such an interesting, well done book. I may not have agreed with the characters 100%, maybe I thought Lindsey was a little selfish, and Arden was a little clueless, but to be honest that was all part of their charm. Because who doesn’t love characters who drives us a little bit insane.
I really want to talk about the characters in this book because that’s what stuck out the most to me to be honest. We don’t really see a lot of New York, which is okay with me because plenty of movies, and books take place there. Although I do like seeing new sides of a city I’ve never been to. But this is about the characters right now. Let’s start with Arden, the MC of this book. One thing we are reminded of constantly in this story is that Arden is loyal, recklessly so. And while I thought that made her a good character, I also thought it made her a bit stupid. I mean yes, it’s great to want to help people who need help, but most of these people she was helping took it for granted or never even asked for help in the first place. She just did it. Which would be great but Arden kinda never lets the reader forget that she did this really really great thing.
Which brings us to Lindsey, who tends to take advantage of Arden’s selflessness. I mean yes she doesn’t ask for Arden’s help, but she also doesn’t really say no or deny her help and take responsibility for her own mistakes. I mean what kind of person let’s her best friend take the blame for something that she knows will get her in huge trouble? I mean I’ve had friends do nice things for me and I’ve done nice things for my friends, but I would never expect or let them just get blamed for something I did. It’s wrong, but I guess it has to be this way or there would be no story. And trust me when I say that while yes Lindsey was in the wrong on this one, I didn’t hate her character. I actually really liked the way that Leila wrote Lindsey. Yeah she took advantage of Arden but she’s definitely not the worst character I’ve ever read.
The two character’s that really pissed me off was Chris and Peter. Both were just so self-centered. Every time Chris is in a scene, he was the center of attention. They had to focus on his things, or what his dreams were. It was clear from the very beginning that Chris and Arden didn’t belong together. And that he didn’t really care for her as much as she did him. And I am actually glad that this story ended the way it did. Also sorry but if you are fantasizing about breaking up with someone, maybe that’s a sign that the relationship is over.. Just saying. And anyway it wasn’t as bad as Peter. First of all who doesn’t freak out over someone finding out where you worked, and showing up to tell you they came all this way to see you because they read every word on your blog. Not to mention Arden and her weird idea that what Peter really needed was Arden herself. Which is what prompts Arden to drive 311 miles to find him. Again WEIRD! I mean I can’t tell you the number of times my parents have told me people on the internet lie! And yet Arden wants so badly to find someone who understands that she ignores all Peter’s problems (like falling for a girl in like 2.5 seconds, and thinking it’s the end of the world when she breaks up with him a couple months later). But I guess in this day and age it’s easy to believe that someone would travel far to meet someone they admire, but Peter wasn’t that admirable. Alright I’m gonna stop before I go on for like days about Peter.
Now Arden’s parents… MAN did they drive me crazy! Arden’s mom just decides that she wasted so much time on parenting that she never followed through with her dreams and now she’s bailing because that’s what she wants to do. I’m sorry don’t have kids if you want to do other things. I’m not saying you can’t have a career if you have kids. That is not true at all! What I am saying is don’t have kids only to bail on them because you’re tired of only being a parent and you want to do some other things. It’s not your kids fault that you never finished school or got your degree. So don’t bail on them because you’re not teaching them anything valuable. You’re just teaching them that when they don’t like a situation they can bail. I’m sorry Arden’s mom just really bothered me. There are a lot of things my parents gave up to be parents, but they would never bail on me.
Alright now that I have ranted over all these characters and maybe made you not want to read the book, I really hop that’s not the case, because I actually really enjoyed this book. It was funny and insightful. Arden, while being a bit naive on how people work, again thanks to her mom, was a really interesting character. I found myself relating to her on so many levels. And let’s just say that Arden and Lindsey work it out. Arden also learns that not everyone needs her or her help and that she can chill a bit and focus more on herself. This book has a lot of really good messages in it. Ones that you don’t even realize are being sent until they smack you in the face! Overall I really enjoyed the way that Leila took this story and that it wasn’t your typically love story! Although it was a love story! I definitely think you guys should give this one a read. As for me I am going to definitely be reading Lelia’s first book This Song Will Save Your Life, which I own, and it’s signed.