In Tonight the Streets Are Ours, a devoted stay-at-home mom has left her family without warning or explanation to move to New York City from the Maryland suburbs. Her workaholic husband retreats to his office and into fantasy football, leaving the housekeeping to their seventeen-year-old daughter. Arden mothers her little brother, supports her egocentric boyfriend and takes the blame when her best friend stashes weed in her locker. "Recklessly loyal" Arden could have starred in an Ibsen play herself, but she prefers stage crew and life out of the spotlight.
As an escape from her problems, Arden becomes obsessed with a blog, Tonight the Streets Are Ours. The arts school blogger lives big in New York City; Peter shares her frustrations with loved ones and a hope for an ideal romance. The proverbial gun is placed center stage and the reader waits for Arden to pull the trigger. However, what happens when Arden drives off to New York City defies expectations.
The cast features diverse characters with realistic flaws who make mistakes. My only criticism would be that the pace was a bit slow in the first half, but it accelerates on the road trip with reckless glee. This edgy book explores the meaning of love with both humor and philosophical depth. Risky behavior has life altering consequences. Tonight the Streets Are Ours is delightfully whimsical, emotionally poignant and true to Millennial teens.
The sassy narrative voice was spot on:
"They both watched as Dillon Rammstein lit up a joint and Matt Washington shouted at him to 'Take that shit outside, man.' Dillon shoved past the girls' couch to go onto the patio. It was reassuring to know that Matt was such a conscientious host."
"Nobody seemed particularly interested in playing charades, or any game that didn't involve killing computer generated prostitutes."From Peter's blog:
"I do not understand Vitaminwater, by the way. Drink some water. Eat some vitamins. Are you so busy that you need those two tasks combined into one? I mean, I know New Yorkers have a lot going on, but chill the hell out."Bloggers will be interested in the gap between the real world and the life portrayed online. An unreliable blogger makes for good satire of social media and of the New York publishing world. The author is also an editor of young adult fiction. Sales clearly knows her Ibsen and the Brooklyn club scene. Could there be a better juxtaposition?
This Song Will Save Your Life, while browsing in Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine. After two brilliantly original books with awesome soundtracks, Leila Sales has joined my favorite author list. Her young adult novels would appeal to fans of Jennifer E. Smith's and of Stephanie Perkins's YA romances. However, Tonight the Streets Are Ours is more than a teen romance; it's also a cautionary tale for high achieving girls and their over-extended super moms.
Reviewer's Disclosure: I requested a free digital galley from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Tonight will be released in hardcover and in ebook on September 15th, 2015.
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