Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Book Review: Night Owls by Jenn Bennett

Night OwlsTitle: Night Owls
Author: Jenn Bennett
Series:  n/a
Pages:  272
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Date of Publication: 13th August, 2015
Source: Publisher for review*
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.


My Thoughts:
I didn't really know anything about Night Owls when it dropped through my letterbox, but after a few weeks when reviewers had started to read it, I began to see it everywhere. I'd seen comparisons to Graffiti Moon which I actually didn't enjoy that much so I was slightly apprehensive, but I'm happy to tell you guys that I really enjoyed Night Owls. It portrays being a teenager accurately and realistically; sensitively exploring everything from family issues, relationships, and mental health, as well as LGBT themes, all packed into just 300 pages.

Bex and Jack meet on a night train one night, and their connection is instant. Bex doesn't know anything about this mysterious boy sitting opposite her, until he accidentally drops a can of gold spray paint. She realises he's San Francisco's secret vandal, who's been painting huge words throughout the streets at night. Despite knowing he's a criminal wanted by the police, as Bex gets to know him, she can't help but fall for him, but he's got some secrets and baggage of his own...

Looking back through my review history, it's quite clear that YA romantic contemporaries are my thing, and so this was right up my alley. As I began to read, I quickly fell into the rhythm of Bex's narrative and became invested in her story. I particularly enjoyed reading about her unusual hobby - drawing scientifically accurate anatomical diagrams. Although at times it was pretty gruesome (and aww, Minnie!), it was really interesting and I have a kind of morbid curiosity that makes me really want to see her drawings, even though it is really not my kind of thing (things that are inside your body should remain inside your body, in my opinion. I don't need to see them!). Jack's graffiti was also really cool and although I do not condone vandalism of any kind, I enjoyed reading about his reasoning behind it and the scenes where he actually creates his pieces were some of my favourite in the novel.

However, Bex's relationship with Jack did seem kind of instalove-y, if I'm honest. She declares that she is in love with him pretty early on, and although he was rather swoon worthy I'll admit, I couldn't ignore the voice in the back of my mind screaming 'you hardly know him!'. Anyway. They don't actually get together until about half way through the book though so perhaps I'm being slightly unfair; it just bothered me for a lot of the book so I felt I had to mention it. Once they'd got to know each other properly though and spent more time with each other I found myself rooting for their relationship and believing in it a lot more so it did redeem itself - don't worry!

I can easily see Night Owls becoming one of the biggest releases of late 2015, and I definitely think that it is deserving of that. It's a really excellent read that pulls you in and keeps you hooked until the end, and I even found myself tearing up at the resolution (even though I was in a car full of my family, who would definitely have laughed at me, had they noticed). I recommend you get yourself to your local bookstore to get yourself a copy as soon as possible as you really won't be disappointed.


*Huge thanks to Simon and Schuster for providing me with a copy of this in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the novel.

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