September 10, 2015

Tonight The Streets Are Ours - Leila Sales

Tonight the Streets are Ours book cover
Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
Publisher: Farrar, Strous & Giroux (BYR)
Publication Date: September 15, 2015
Source/Format: Publisher || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.]

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.

After reading three novels from Leila Sales, it is now fact to declare that I really like her stories. She always tells them from the perspective of a teen girl with unique circumstances, whether it's working for a reenactment village or falling in love with being a DJ. Her latest novel, Tonight the Streets Are Ours, is about Arden, a girl with a lot of love and loyalty to give, a girl who is starting to understand that she's feeling under-appreciated by the people she loves. Her impulsive reaction to her life pushes her to go to New York in pursuit of the one person who she feels understands what she's going through, a blogger narrating his life story online. 

Arden is easily my favorite part of the story. Her narration is perfection to me on a personal level, because she is almost exactly the girl I was in high school. Even though I cringed at how she allowed herself to get stretched so thin emotionally, I understood her motivation in going above and beyond in her love and care for the people in her life. It felt so relatable to see her reach her breaking point, and react immediately as she did. (I definitely went through a period with a similar feeling and end result in my own life!) Sales really captures the truth of that journey with her prose, particularly when Arden is in New York City.

Tonight the Streets Are Ours starts off quietly, laying the foundation of Arden's life out for readers. But once Arden "breaks", it unfolds in a way that feels so authentic and raw. I was easily swept away by the electric, excited feeling Arden harbors as she finds her way to New York (and effectively, to Peter). There's an undercurrent of urgency and intensity that crackles with every page, and Sales effectively tames that for her story. Wild escapades, unexpected moments, quiet realization - Sales perfectly combines it all. I really liked Tonight the Streets Are Ours for my personal connection to Arden, and for the interesting way her story unfolds.

Who is your favorite personal blogger?

I'm completely in awe of Meg Fee, the authorial voice behind The Wild and Wily Ways of a Brunette "Bombshell". I've been reading her blog for years now, from her early days describing her battle with food and her struggles with her career, to her current love letters to New York and to becoming. Her writing has always been striking, but it's gotten even more honed through the years and I just love lingering over her turns of phrase and descriptions.


  1. Yay :D I'm glad you liked this book Alexa. <3 Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it :) I cannot wait to read it too, once if comes out. <3

  2. Great review. I am so excited every time I find someone else who has read and loved this book. I really liked how a lot of the story is not quite what you expect from the outset. I think I even forgot to mention this review but I also thought it was great how Arden decidedly dislikes New York City when so often we see stories where the protagonist ends up falling in love with the city.

  3. Glad to see you enjoyed this one! Lovely review!


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