Night Owls is definitely a little paint splotch of adorableness, calamity and fabulousness. It’s about art. ART, PEOPLES, HUZZAH. I’m a sucker for arty books, because a) I’m dreadfully un-arty myself, c) but I really want to be arty, and c) I love Evil Art* Books. I wish to embrace Night Owls in a painty embrace because it literally has SO MUCH AWESOME. Epic characters! Addictive writing style! Family relationships! Graffiti! DEAD BODIES!!!
* How dare you question my terms! I shall explain to the unknowledgeable ones. “Evil Art” is a phrase which means “I’m-arting-even-though-society-calls-it-a-crime” or “my-parents-don’t-believe-in-my-art-but-I’m-gonna-do-it-anyway“. Now you know a new term! EVIL ART.
Okay, okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me go about this calmly.
The story is about two contrasting artists. Bex (the narrator) is a medical artist and draws dead bodies. Jack is a graffitist. Obviously I found Bex’s 1000 x more intriguing because I’d never thought about medical artists before. SO COOL. When Bex and Jack meet, it’s this chance stumbling into each other on a bus and A SMALL DOLLOP OF ATTRACTION IS PAINTED.
I do need to talk about the “insta-love” factor, because it sounds insta-lovey, doesn’t it? IT IS NOT. Yes, Jack and Bex met each other on a bus and were attracted (dead bodies and paint do bring lovers together, do not doubt this). But it was attraction, not “OMG MARRY ME, MY LOVE”. This intrigued reaction drove them to find each other again. They didn’t “fall in love” in a flash. Their relationship started as friendship, too, and the build up was glorious. I just ship them so hard! And, by the way, I need mention this because it’s super irregular in books: but Jack ended up going to Bex’s for family-dinner-night to meet her mother BEFORE he even kissed her. Also family-dinner-nights are incredibly awesome and hilarious…although why is it always lasagna?? Not that I’m complaining, BUT JUST NOTICING.
That all saying, the romance is quite steamy. I’m not a heavy-romance-contemporary fan so this wasn’t exactly my idea of a stroll through Monet’s garden, but the two of them are still entirely shippable.
OH AND THE ART. Did I mention I adore arty books?! I DO. And I particularly like when I can see the art, and I think the writing did complete justice in the arty description. And Bex’s final piece for the competition? I’m DYING TO SEE IT.
OTHER STUFF I LIKED A LOT AND THEREFORE DESERVES A LIST:
- It talks about schizophrenia.
- There’s diversity. YAY.
- Bex’s hobby is drawing corpses, I mean, come on, that’s awesome.
- There’s tons of family interactions and sibling bonds and that’s just MY FAVOURITE.
- And when Bex’s mum gets super strict, it’s still in a respectful/logical way (even though it’s unfair).
- Much lasagna.
- Bex holds down an average job plus does wild things.
- Jack graffitis words all in gold because he’s fabulous.
- The humour and banter and writing are all GOLDEN. Haha, get it?! Because Jack always paints in gold? GET IT.
I definitely liked this book! The romance was a bit steamy for me and I have to admit nothing surprised me. It played out interestingly, but predictably. But when I adored the characters and found myself snickering quietly at the witty banter — I call this a book of win. Plus it’s short but still deals poignantly with a LOT of issues and I closed the book feeling like I just ate a painting. SO THAT’S GREAT.
NOTE: Apparently in the USA this book is called The Anatomical Shape of a Heart which is such a much more interesting title, but if you’re curious about the reason Charnell @ Reviews from a Bookworm interviewed the author (!!) and has answers there.
THANK YOU SIMON & SCHUSTER FOR THE ARC! Night Owls by Jenn Bennett was published August, 2015.
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.