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 gether 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.
I enjoyed this book, but for whatever reason, it took me a long time to plod through.
This is a book about family, friends, and love. I like how each of the relationships reflected the same themes — they foiled each other well. Plus, there were two stories playing out at the same time, which is a bonus that I’m always a fan of.
Another thing I’m always a fan of: diversity! Asian people aren’t represented in media often, so I was glad we got to have a primary character who’s Asian, but also hot, rich, and talented (and not just a flaming nerd!).
Arden was going through a rough patch. I wanted to put my arms around her and help her understand that it’s sometimes better to be cautiously loyal rather than recklessly loyal. “Why doesn’t anybody love me as much as I love them?” is such a heartbreaking and relatable refrain. It’s decidedly teenager-y, but Leila Sales acknowledged that everyone feels that way at times. We all react to it differently (sometimes destructively), but that’s okay. Arden did a lot of growing up in this book, and I’m glad we got to see how she and the rest of her world ended up down the line.
As usual, Leila Sales is an incredible writer. This story was lyrical, poetic, and melancholy. The devil is in the details, and even things like the Just Like Me Dolls made the story lovely and plausible. Sometimes, crazy things do have an impact on who we become. It’s all a matter of perspective, and I feel like many of the characters in this book gained a healthy amount of that.
I’m only knocking down a star because this book didn’t completely captivate me or twist my insides out completely (although I did nearly tear up!). That being said, Tonight the Streets are Ours is still a very, very good book.
- Making Pretty – Corey Ann Haydu
- 99 Days – Katie Cotugno
- Between Us and the Moon – Rebecca Maizel
- This Song will Save Your Life – Leila Sales
- We Are Your Friends (2015)