Tonight the Streets Are Ours

352p. ebook available. Farrar. Sept. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374376659.
Gr 7 Up—The author taps into the anxiety, insecurity, and hurt that people experience when they think that they are giving more love than they receive. Arden Huntley's naïve understanding of relationships partially comes from her mother, who taught her in word and by example that one person always takes care of the other as a gardener nurtures flowers. Arden fully believes this theory and has built an identity around it: she is "recklessly loyal." She reaches a breaking point when she starts to feel that her love and support are underappreciated, especially by her boyfriend and her best friend. Seeking solace online, Arden discovers "Tonight the Streets Are Ours," a blog written by a guy named Peter in New York City. The teen not only finds comfort in Peter's writing, but begins to feel invested in his life and happiness. Sales understands the intense bond that readers can have with bloggers and she uses this to propel Arden into a transformative road trip to find Peter. Some readers, particularly those touched by adoption, may find themselves taken out of the story when they are introduced to a character with an unusual backstory: a white boy who was adopted by Asian American parents. However, there's no acknowledgement of how unique and against expectations it is. It's unclear how this creative decision serves the plot or characters and given that it occurs during a pivotal moment in the book, it's worth noting.
VERDICT Teens who enjoy books about the balance of friendship with individual identity formation will find much to think about in this novel.—Joy Piedmont, LREI, New York City
, Aug 01, 2015

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