Tonight the Streets Are Ours
by Leila Sales

published on September 15th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
young adult | contemporary | romance

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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.

[PLOT] typical | not quite there yet | cute | unique | kicks serious ass | what’s going on?!
[PACING] snail’s pace | slow | just right | fast | holy crap just stop
[DIVERSITY] none :sadface: | some (minor characters) | LGBTQ | mental health | racial | religion
[ROMANCE] insta-love | realistically paced | slow-burn | love triangle | love square | I am confused | none
[FEELS] swoons | tears | laughs | cries of frustration | eye rolls | pukes | snores
[WRITING] flowery prose | conversational | choppy or cluttered | telling, no showing | info dump-y
[ENDING] cliffhanger | open ending | satisfactory | was that an ending?
[RECOMMENDED?] heck no | to select people | mostly | YAS

Book Review

I received a print advanced reader’s copy of this book from MacMillan for review. This did not affect my review in any way. Quotes are taken from the uncorrected proof and might be changed in the final version.

I don’t think I’ve ever been as conflicted about a book as I am with Tonight the Streets Are Ours. Objectively, it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. On the other hand, subjectively, I just want to flush it down the toilet.

Now you’re probably thinking something along the lines of:

Let me explain, fellow booknerds. This book is realistic–but it brings out the negativity of the world we live in. So while I appreciated the idea of the book, I couldn’t really enjoy it. So I guess while I’m rating this based on my feelings, I’ll be talking about it both objectively and subjectively.

Let’s start with where everything began–the main character, Arden. Compared to the other characters, she’s actually quite alright. She’s played as the typical “good friend” who’s always there for everyone. She has her ups and downs. A bit lackluster, but pretty decent, if you ask me.

BUT LET’S TALK ABOUT HER BEST FRIEND, LINDSEY. Now this one right here’s a real freeloader–all take and no give. Every time she opened her mouth to say ANYTHING, I was cringing on the inside. What’s worse is that she doesn’t know how to say thank you and has to pick a fight to prove a senseless point. Despite that, she’s a really truthful character–I’d bet my right arm that there are many of us like her.

And then we have Peter. The only thing I have to say to him? Fuck you, asshole! Just… what an absolute prick. I can’t explain this further without spoiling the book, but I seriously need to rid my brain of any thoughts of him.

The actual story’s not-so-great, actually. It’s pretty unrealistic, at least for me. I can’t picture a girl my age randomly driving out for hours (WITHOUT PERMISSION) to a place she’s unfamiliar with to meet up with a blogger who she’s never met before. The writing made it even harder for me to get into, since it was sort of a third flowery, a third conversational, and a third simple, which just didn’t blend well with the story.

This book does feature some pretty legit life lessons, but they were explicitly stated most of the time and were just so in-your-face. I think I’ve mentioned before that I HATE inspirational stuff when they’re shoved into your line of sight. I prefer my life lessons served on a silver COVERED platter, thank you very much. I’m weird like that.


Skulls 2



About Aimee

Aimee loves being a little bookworm (okay–she doesn’t like being little). She also loves chocolates and sweets but is freaked out by the thought of possibly getting diabetes.

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19 thoughts on “Review: Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

  1. Life lessons on a COVERED platter – yes, to this! When it is shoved in your face, it just feels offensive, somehow. It kind of sucks that the story didn’t really give you anything because it was quite unrealistic. And I wonder why Peter was an asshole…Hmm.. curiouser, curiouser.


  2. Oh god Lindsey sounds like she needs a good bitch slap. But dammit if I don’t know a lot of people just like her xD Not sure how much I would love this book – I’d probably be just as conflicted as you, let’s be honest – but I just need this book in my life so hard. I love the cover <3 and it really does sound like a book I need to attempt at least once!


  3. I think I will give this a go. It sounds interesting, and even though you didn’t enjoy it I might find a precious gem inside it, right? Right. Great review, Aimee. I’m sorry you didn’t love this.


  4. You know, I loved this! But, I agree that the life lessons were not subtle. And Peter? WHAT A JERK. And, I have to say, there was some diversity in the book — Peter is Asian. Which Arden remarks on because she assumed he was White. Also, Lindsey is a lesbian so, that should be ticked as well.

    Sorry, I’m not trying to be picky on your review, but I was glad that Sales included these aspects in her story!


  5. I agree that I dislike books that preach its message directly AT you, like seriously – readers are not stupid, we prefer subtlety. The characters sounds like they would annoy the heck out of me so I think I’ll skip this one! Sorry it didn’t work out for you, better luck with your next read, hun!


  6. Awe, bummer you didn’t like this one more. I’ve been hearing some pretty negative things about it, which is sad because this had a really interesting sounding plot going on.


  7. Your review depresses me a little :( I loved the author’s This Song Will Save Your Life. I’m still deciding whether to purchase this one of not, soo many mixed reviews on it. I love your gif though LOL it made me laugh. It kind of sounds like how I felt with Colleen Hoover’s book Confess – fascinating concept and one of the best but the characters were just blah :/ Thanks for the honest review!


  8. I love what you did before you’re review started. Very clever. It’s something I wish lots of people did like how much romance there is and things like that. But wow, I was kind of excited of for this book but your review crushed it lol. I need to weed out some books from my TBR.


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