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Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

NO ONE’S PERFECT. BELIEVE IT.

Interests/Topics: relationships, friendship, drama, NYC, creative writing, social issues, romance

Curriculum Connections: English, Drama, Writer’s Craft

Gender: F/M

Age: 14+

Blurb: Let’s face it: Facebook makes everyone’s life look fantastic. And why shouldn’t it? We only publish the best part of ourselves: the most flattering pictures and the most exciting news. There really is no reason WHY we should look bad. The only problem is that everyone else posts the fantastic stuff about themselves, which sometimes makes our lives feel inadequate, at best.

Seventeen-year-old Arden is restless. Life has gotten boring. It’s not that she doesn’t enjoy hanging out with her best friend Lindsay or her cute boyfriend Chris, but they do the same stuff every weekend. Arden, concerned that she is putting more into her relationships than she is getting out of them, craves something new; something different.

So when Arden finds a blog on line, she’s convinced the author, Peter, is her soulmate. His stories are captivating, and his emotions mirror her own. No longer satisfied with her own life, Arden decides to find Peter: they’re perfect for each other, after all.

But the real Peter doesn’t match the persona he’s created on line, and now Arden knows the truth. Too bad she didn’t mention to anyone where she was going.

Flavour: “’Why do you even want to go, anyway? Since when are you friends with that group?’ Arden didn’t have a particularly good answer to that question. She was just curious, she guessed. Curious about what life was like outside of the bubble of her and Chris’s theater friends, who were all the sort of kids who participated in class and went home in time for their eleven o’clock curfews. There was a whole other high school world that was coexisting with her own, and it seemed like that world should be thrilling and vibrant—the exact opposite of her high school world in every way.” (32)

“The illogic and injustice of life killed Arden. You have to walk through this world knowing that at any moment, your brother might vanish, your mother might leave. No warning. How can you live staring that reality in the face? It didn’t seem right, that somebody else’s carelessness or selfishness could have such a huge impact on your life. Could destroy you. It didn’t seem fair that your happiness was constantly at the mercy of everybody else.” (104)

“Arden let the phone again fall from her hands…. Being Peter seemed like it must be so exciting. But it also seemed lonely. And maybe that was why he wrote Tonight the Streets Are Ours in the first place. Because the only people who wanted to hear his innermost thoughts were strangers on the Internet.

What Peter needed was someone like Arden.

No.

He didn’t need someone like Arden. He needed Arden.

She sat up. Peter needed her—and why shouldn’t he have her?” (126)

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