Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
Release Date - September 15, 2015
Publisher Website - Macmillan / Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 342 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for honest review from the publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
From the author of This Song Will Save Your Life comes a funny and relatable book about the hazards of falling for a person you haven't met yet.

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.
Love, and how you define it means different things to different people. There are different types of love as well, everything from a romantic love, the love between family, and love we should have for ourselves. Lelia Sales' Tonight The Streets Are Ours looks at all these different kinds of love and plays with the idea of loving recklessly. The idea of 'loving too much' is the heartbeat of this novel, and Leila Sales handles this unique story line beautifully.

Arden, through various experiences, has her eyes opened. She is someone who is loyal without a fault. She gives, and gives tremendously and willingly. Her ability to love and give of herself is admirable, but it's also easily taken advantage of. Knowing how much of ourselves to give, and to whom, is something we all struggle with so relating to Arden was easy. She grows and changes throughout the book in really strong and believable ways that made the story mesh together. Leila Sales' talent is most evident in her characterization and growth and seeing Arden's progression is a hightlight of the story.

Arden, Lindsey, Chris, Peter, Arden's parents are all messy, flawed characters. Nobody in this novel is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. They are sometimes hurtful, selfish, and at other times they do incredible things. Leila Sales celebrates the good and bad that exist in everyone. She acknowledges that sometimes people do things for selfish reasons, even if their intentions are good. You can do the wrong thing for what you feel are the right reasons. If this novel had a theme it would be one about self interest and how sometimes you're blind to how you impact others because of it.

This novel is a much more realistic, honest look at what would happen if you sought out someone you felt you knew from online interactions. It's incredibly easy to feel as if you know someone from brief snapshots into their life, but the reality is often much different. Romanticizing someone, and who they are, is effortless when done behind a computer screen. Peter, as the synopsis says, is an awakening for Arden. He is nothing like she imagines him to be. It's not some fairytale and that was the glaring part of the story for me. I thought I was getting one story, while Leila Sales delivered another. The one I got, however, was even better.

This novel promises you a love story within it's first few sentences and it delivers in the most unexpected, magical way. This love story may not be the one you wanted, but it's nonetheless important. Leila Sales has charmed me with her realistic, but still dreamy, look at a whirlwind adventure. It is a sharp look at the reality versus the expectation that comes along with loving someone you've never met and the importance of loving recklessly while still protecting yourself.

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