Hi, and thanks for stopping by.
Today's book review is going to be of one of the best books I've read in a really long time. I got super lucky with the January book choices I made, because I've discovered some serious, permanent favourites. And Jenn Bennet's Night Owls is definitely one of them. I cannot recommend this book enough, and although it's just under 300 pages, I felt so connected and involved with the characters and their lives throughout.
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.
"A love sprayed in gold."
(How gorgeous is that cover!!!)
So I have to admit, I wasn't really sure about this book, what with the graffiti element and the 'night bus', I just didn't get what sort of vibe it was going for from the blurb. HOWEVER, I read it anyway and THANK GOODNESS I did. I thought a lot of action would take plus on the Owl night bus but essentially about 5% does. As for the graffiti, it sounds like it would look absolutely beautiful. I was SO unbelievably touched by the reasons behind Jack doing it - so thankful it wasn't all for Beatrix because that wouldn't have had anywhere near the impact as the reality does.
"I don't want to hide your scars. I want to show you as a whole person. Just like anyone else."
And that reality is (please look away now if you don't want any spoilers) Jack's sister, Jillian. Jenn Bennett doesn't let us know exactly what is going on with Jack's family for a while, and I think that works really well, because we get caught up in Beatrix's guessing, too. When Jack finally reveals the truth, I was amazed, actually. Jillian is his sister, who has been hospitalised due to her dangerous and complex mental health condition. She chooses the words for Jack, and he spray paints them on one of her favourite spots in their home city, then brings her photographs, as she can't get outside to see them. I really wasn't expecting mental health to feature in this book, so it was wonderful and sad to find. Familial relationships in regards to mental health were explored really well, too. When this revelation is happening, you just fall in love with Jack even more, as Beatrix does, too. I also loved the (description of) the painting Beatrix does of Jillian, and her father wanting it was just perfect.
"Hand on my heart, Bex Adams, I will fix it."
Beatrix herself was a funny, vibrant, loveable female protagonist. I loved that she was confident and sassy and more experienced than Jack - she completely came alive on the page. I think I read in somebody's review that they thought she fit the "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" stereotype and I could not agree more. I liked that she wasn't a conformist, I loved that the book wasn't set in school but in the summer instead, I loved her relationships with her brother and mother, I loved the plot addition of her father coming back. There is so much to love, literally nothing to hate. Apart from maybe that it's far too short - I wanted to read about these characters forever. Jack himself, and I know I say it all the bloody time but I really mean it with him, is one of the best male characters I've read. He's very funny, very cheeky, and sounds SO GORGEOUS. I mean, really. They have intense and brilliant chemistry. Also, the portrayal of sex in this book is so much better than a lot of YA; there's no candles and wonder, it's very honest and open and real.
As you can probably tell, I'm working on making my books reviews a little shorter, so I can get more written and posted in the same amount of time. That is not to take away from the AWESOMENESS of this book, though. I can't even put into words all the great things about it, because there are just too many!!! It's one of the best YA romances I've ever read, so, in short, YOU. MUST. READ. IT.
"Feeling alive is always worth the risk."
Till next week
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