As a candy store employee by day, and mysterious deejay “Niteowl” by night, eighteen-year-old Ingrid North is stuck between rock ‘n roll and a hard place. She can’t wait to get out of her tiny hometown of Steadfast, Nebraska (population three hundred and forty-seven) to chase her dreams, but small-town troubles keep getting in the way. She can’t abandon her grandmother with Alzheimer’s, or her best friend Micah–who she may or may not be in love with.
But for one hour each Saturday, she escapes all of that. On air, she isn’t timid, ugly-sweater-wearing Ingrid North. She’s the funny and daring Niteowl. Every boy’s manic pixie dream girl. Fearless. And there is one caller in particular– Dark and Brooding–whose raspy laugh and snarky humor is just sexy enough to take her mind off Micah. Not that she’s in love with Micah or anything. Cause she’s not.
As her grandmother slips further away and Micah begins dating a Mean-Girls-worthy nightmare, Ingrid runs to the mysterious Dark and Brooding as a disembodied voice to lean on, only to fall down a rabbit hole of punk rockstars, tabloid headlines, and kisses that taste like bubble tea. But the man behind the voice could be surprising in all the right, and wrong, ways.
And she just might find that her real life begins when Niteowl goes off the air.
Thoughts: *I received a free ebook copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.*
As of this late, contemporary, post-high school, pre-college books are officially my thing. Saying goodbye to the past, embracing the future, and experiencing new things are all part of my near future as I prepare to graduate from high school (I’m graduating today, actually!) and leave to college next year, as they are part of Ingrid North’s life in this novel. While our lives are very different (I attended a large school with a graduating class of about 700 versus her class of 30-ish students, and I run a book blog, as opposed to her saturday night radio show) I think that the experience of making big life decisions and letting go of the people you’ve always known is one shared by many people in the 17-19 age range.
In addition to making big life decisions, there’s also the concepts of unrequited love, unaware love, and family love. I won’t say how or in who, but the relationships that Ingrid forms with those around her are very realistic. There are fights and moments of irrationality and dark emotions, which is so much better than in some novels in which the friends never fight. There are real life issues as well, such as grief, bullying and health issues. This novel isn’t just about Ingrid’s radio show; it’s about her experiences just after high school graduation, which just so happens to include her radio show and potential internship.
Speaking of the that, author Ashley Poston expertly balanced the different aspects of Ingrid’s life, making sure that her family, friends, and radio show all got their time. Additionally, the band Roman Holiday, which I just found out is from the companion novel to this book, called The Sound of Us, is interwoven throughout the book, be it through suggested hints during the radio show, or actually mentioned by the characters. We Own the Night is actually the “sequel” to The Sound of Us, but rest assured that you don’t need to read them in any particular order! You’re not missing out on anything. I am excited to actually read the Sound of us, though. It’s next on my TBR list!
All-in-all, this book is great for those in the transition period after high school, or for high school seniors ready to leave the nest. Fans of Cori McCarthy’s You Were Here will love this contemporary young adult novel.
Be sure to pick up your copy when this novel comes out next month on June 28th! For now, add it to your Goodreads TBR list!