Night Owls by Jenn Bennett
|Night Owls by Jenn Bennett
|Reviewer: Kerry King
|Summary: Night Owls is the sort teen read I wish had been around when I was a teen because the Young Adult Fiction category doesn't really do it justice. It's good. It's really good and in the kind of way that makes you think wistfully about your teen angst, rather than in a not for all the tea in China kind of way.
|Date: August 2015
|Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Books
|External links: Author's website
Beatrix is a serious girl; small and slight, considered and studious with a quiet determination to follow her dream of becoming a medical illustrator. Pretty and petite, too quirky for jocks and not quirky enough for hipsters, Beatrix knows that Jack is all the kinds of boys she should avoid. Loose-limbed and slim with a slash of unruly hair that works for him in all those adolescent bad boy ways; Jack is leanly muscled and has cheekbones you can hang from and when Beatrix meets Jack, purely by chance on San Francisco's Night Owl Bus Transit, her world is turned upside down.
Just for starters, the way Jack looks at Beatrix sets a fire blazing in her chest and when he asks her name, she knows she is already lost despite the fact that Jack may or may not be the City's most infamous (and talented) graffiti artist.
I have to put it out there right now… This is one of the best books I've read for a very long time. I never considered reading Young Adult Fiction because, well, I'm not a young adult. I didn't think I ever had been either… I figured I went straight from child to grown-up, but this fantastic story has changed my mind. I've definitely been that girl; you know - the one paralysed by her every waking moment because it's filled with a graphic screenplay about a boy?
Moreover, I really really liked these kids. Jack is funny, clever, earnest and multi-faceted and Beatrix (or Bex as Jack calls her) is sassy and confident and single-minded in a charming and endearing way. Watching the gentle, subtle and youthful sexual tension build between them had me turning page after page, long after I had said I was going to put the book down for the night! Jenn Bennett has given us a cleverly written story that is Jack's and Bex's but also yours and mine and everyone's. Hats off to her for capturing that and bottling it. I never thought I would want to be reminded of all that youthful angst but it was delightful to revisit it (with slightly rose coloured spectacles) when doing so in the reading of this book.
The characters aside, the story itself is different, captivating and involving and you totally find yourself rooting for these kids whilst understanding the perspective of their parents. I've seen some rave reviews for this book (after reading… never before) and I agree with all of them. This is a great novel and you will find it will stay with you a long time after you've read the last page.
In summary you must buy this book. Get it for your young adult, or recommend it to them at least, and when they are done, read it yourself. I'm giving it five stars and if I could give it more, I would.
Night Owls is more than worthy of your attention and if you think you might like to take a look, you probably ought to consider Meet Me At The Boathouse by Suzanne Bugler because it's the kind of book that shows you another side to the coin of young love. If a funny, urban love story is more your thing, perhaps The Dirty South by Alex Wheatle may appeal.
Finally our huge thanks to the fabulous ladies and gents at Simon and Schuster for sending us this copy for review.
You can read more book reviews or buy Night Owls by Jenn Bennett at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Night Owls by Jenn Bennett at Amazon.com.
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