Tonight the Streets are Ours: A Book Review

“Love means sometimes sacrificing the things you want in order to make somebody else happy. It means being there for them, even when maybe you don’t feel like it, because they need you.”

Book: Tonight the Streets are Ours

Author: Leila Sales

Tonight the Streets Are Ours

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 toget 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.

My thoughts:

I am a huge, huge, HUGE fan of This Song Will Save Your Life. I laughed over it. I cried over it. I related to it.  And I recommended it to every single person I talked to. I even reread it-thirice. So this was the most anticipated 2015 contemporary book for me.

You know what they say: Over expect and under-deliver.
Oh! Wait, they don’t say that. But that’s totally what this book did for me.

If TSWSYL was fresh and bubbly, Tonight the Streets are Ours was flat. Like soda that’s been left overnight. But you wake up in the morning, desperate for sugar, you look past the lack of bubbles. Only to be disappointed.

A huge part of this was the characters. I could hardly relate to Arden. I think it’s sad that her biggest accomplishment was becoming a doll. I think it’s even sadder that she was known for her ‘reckless loyalty’. But what’s most sad is she felt trapped into being recklessly loyal.

“But that’s the thing: when you swear to take someone’s side no matter what, sometimes you have to go to war for them.

She was hopelessly naive. Hopelessly reckless. Hopelessly entitled and she kept on making stupid decisions.  How does she not know about the consequences of being found with drugs in her possession? How is she ‘selfless’enough to accept the blame in place of her friend? And most importantly (to me, at least) why does she keep enabling her friends bad choices?
I hurt for her, okay? I hurt for her because it’s so damn sad to think you have to be ‘nice’ all the time. It hurts to have to force yourself to be nice. Especially when you’re supposed to be a nice person.

Lindsay was completely different. Bolder, braver, less willing to hide her selfishness and self-absorption with a mask. Argumenative and self-conscious in the fact that she repeatedly asks- “Am I too ugly to get a girlfriend?” but I think I preferred her to Arden (which is something most reviewers will not). Though she’s reckless and selfish, at least she’s honest.

Peter was a character. I can understand the fact that he was excited to meet a fan, but honestly, the hunting down a blogger thing is creepy and scary. If someone found me on the web and told me they loved my reviews- I’d be a little flattered but mostly creeped out. Like, how did you find me?

He was meant to be the douche of the story. He misrepresented his life and had an alcohol abuse problem. But I pitied him. He was an artist on extreme. Complete with mood swings and addictions and lies.

Does this mean I think this book was a waste of paper?

No. I think it addressed a lot of important questions without being preachy. How far can you exaggerate your memoirs before it becomes fiction? Are our heroes always like we think they are? Do you have to conform to a label that is slapped onto you? How may truths are there?

The answers might seem obvious right now, but Leila Sales is amazing at exploring that gray space between correct and incorrect.

It was the characters that killed the book for me. But they might appeal to you.

Overall Rating: 2/5

Quotables:

“Hurting people, really, deeply hurting them – that isn’t something you do on purpose. It’s just a by-product of living.

These days, I think that love is not so dramatic as all that. Maybe loving somebody means simply they bring out the best in you, and you bring out the best in them – so that together, you are always the best possible versions of yourselves.

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