Tonight the Streets Are Ours
Author: Leila Sales
Reading Level: Young Adult
Released: September 15th 2015
Review Source: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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 get 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.
1. What are 5 random facts about yourself?
1 – I type using only two fingers.
2 – My middle name is a boy’s name.
3 – I can recite the name of every student in my high school class in alphabetical order.
4 – I own more than 100 original My Little Ponies.
5 – For five years I received so many text messages from strangers that I started a blog about them: theleilatexts.blogspot.com
2. If you were hosting a literary dinner party, which six authors or characters would you invite?
I’d invite my closes author friends: Rebecca Serle, Lauren Oliver, Jocelyn Davies, Courtney Sheinmel, Lexa Hillyer, and Jess Rothenberg. Whenever we hang out together, we always have a blast and laugh so hard and inspire each other. What more could I want out of a dinner party?
3. What can you tell us about your new book, Tonight the Streets Are Ours and what do you hope readers take from it?
TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS is about a teen girl who becomes fascinated with a blogger from afar. Based on what he writes about his life, he seems perfect—he seems to get her in a way that nobody who knows her in real life does. So she sets out on a road trip with her best friend to track him down in person. Over the course of one epic night in New York City, she comes to realize that he’s not exactly who she expected him to be based on his online persona. There’s a lot that I’d like readers to take away from this book, but one of the main ideas is that everyone lies by omission online. The way people present themselves online is a curated version of themselves, and you should try to understand that whatever you’re seeing there is only one part of their whole life story.
Make sure to add the live stream on your calendar!
I wrote and illustrated approximately one million picture books when I was in elementary school, all of them about unicorns or cats or princesses, or princess unicorns who were best friends with princess cats. When I was seven, I wrote a longer story about quintuplets named Marissa, Larissa, Clarissa, Melissa, and Alyssa. The quintuplets were not princesses, but they did get invited to a royal ball.
During middle school and high school, I wrote five unpublished YA novels. I also acted in plays, competed in gymnastics meets and debate tournaments, babysat, and did an awful lot of schoolwork. My favorite school subject was math, and my worst subject was either science or Spanish.
I went to college at the University of Chicago, where I majored in psychology. I also performed in Off-Off Campus (an improvisational and sketch comedy troupe), competed in debate tournaments all over the world, helped judge the world’s largest scavenger hunt, and wrote a humor column for the school paper. And I wrote another unpublished YA novel, for which I was awarded the Olga and Paul Menn Foundation Prize for Fiction Writing.
After graduating, I got a job at a children’s book publishing company in New York City, where I remain to this day. My first novel was published in 2010, and since then, I’ve just kept working on more. During the daytime I read other people’s books, and during the nighttime I write my own. What more could I need?