Title: Night owls
Author: Jenn Bennett
Pages: 272 pages
Release Date: August 13, 2015
My Rating: 4.5/5
Feeling alive is always worth the risk.
Meeting Jack on the Owl—San Francisco’s night bus—turns Beatrix’s world upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive…and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists.
But Jack is hiding a piece of himself. On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is.
I went into this book, expecting to love it. I’m a huge YA contemporary fan and Jenn Bennett’s other two YA contemporary books – Starry eyes and Alex, approximately – are some of my favourites, and Night Owls did not disappoint at all. This super cute novel about an aspiring medical illustrator had my attention and my heart from page one. Once I started, I did not stop. It was just too good to put down and 3 hours after picking it up, I had devoured every page.
Night Owls follows our main character, Beatrix (Bex) after she meets a handsome stranger dressed in black while waiting for the owl bus. The pair have an immediate attraction to one another and spend their time on the bus together flirting. As Jack goes to leave the bus, Bex is surprised when a spray paint can falls out of his bag. She learns that Jack is the artist responsible for the beautiful word graffiti that has been randomly showing up around the city and causing a bit of controversy.
I don’t think it’s a secret that I hate insta love, and while Bex and Jack have an immediate attraction to one another and, for lack of a better term, a “spark” between them, the pair don’t promptly drop to their knees and declare their love for one another. They were intrigued by each other and that inspires them to seek the other out. After they find each other again, their relationship is slow to build and its so bloody brilliant to watch the banter, the jokes, the awkward first kind of date. Their relationship was just so realistic and super cute and my heart is so full and *squeals* I JUST HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS OKAY?
One thing that I love about Jenn Bennett’s YA books is that she has such a positive and realistic approach to writing about sex. While I don’t want details on their adventures doing the no pants dance, teenagers have hormones and it’s stupid for YA books to ignore this. Jenn doesn’t shy away from this topic and she writes it in a super realistic way. The characters will have blush worthy thoughts and often get carried away with their hormones, and never are these topics shined on in a negative light, no one is slut shamed . . . and I just think it’s brilliant to have a YA book for young girls that tells you it’s okay to want to have sex, it’s okay to have sex, it’s okay to have your dirty thoughts . . . I mean it’s not something I want to read about on EVERY PAGE and I don’t want details, but media has a great way of making young females shy away from sex. We’re taught our virginity is a sacred thing and we’re told we’re sluts if we have sex if we’re not in love, so I will never hate a book that is talking about sex in a positive and none harmful way.
Aside from the swoon worthy romance, I loved, loved, LOVED, the representation of all the different relationships in the book. There’s the strained and tense relationship between Jack and his Dad. The difficult but loving relationship between Jack and his twin sister who is in a mental institution for her schizophrenia after having an episode and attempting suicide. The rocky and precarious relationship with Bex and her Dad who upped and left her family when he got a new wife. . . There were so many little things about this book that made it an interesting read. I loved how messy some of the characters connections with one another were, it felt super realistic.
AND LETS NOT FORGET THE ART! The art is obviously a big part of both the characters lives and it added such a fun touch to the story. The pair have such different styles, which was great to see how they ended up complimenting each other. Bex was spending the summer drawing a dead body – AN ACTUAL DEAD BODY Y’ALL – and Jack was going around town under the cover of night to spray paint gold words around the city. While you couldn’t see the art, the descriptions were in depth without being overdone, it was immersive and added another layer to this fantastic book.
There were just so many amazing aspects to this book and I could sit here for approximately 4 hours and 7 minutes just praising it, but instead, I’ll leave it at this: Night owls is a fun, well written, super cute YA romance full of depth and well developed characters.
(Basically what I’m saying is READ IT!)