Night Owls is a sensitive portrayal of a young man and woman’s developing relationship set against the background of difficult family situations. Bex has an estranged father and financial restraints, and Jack’s family, though wealthy, has a secret, which I won’t reveal.
The character of Bex, from whose point of view the book is written, captured me immediately. Her voice is distinctive, endearing and very realistic. She’s a talented artist who likes to draw dissected people. Jack, a graffiti artist, is also a complex, fully fleshed out character who is easy to relate to. These teens are no cardboard cut outs – which is just as well because this is a character driven story.
The plot, though basically about how they get together and the challenges they face during that process, has some unpredictable moments, and each page has just enough tension of one kind or another to keep you reading. The pace moves steadily along, and a giant hiccup in their relationship near the end adds just the right amount of drama before the conclusion.
All in all, this is a well written, enjoyable book that skilfully captures the feelings of one’s first ‘true love’ without being mushy or melodramatic. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys new adult romance or simply a good contemporary story. It’s suitable for adults and older teens – though the matter of sex has a role in the story’s progression, there is nothing explicit.
My only disappointment with this book was the poor paragraph formatting. Sometimes the dialogue ran together, making it difficult to read, but I read an advanced reviewer’s copy, so I assume it won’t be like this in the actual product.
Publication date: Oct 1 2015