Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Synopsis: 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.
On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is.
But Jack is hiding much more – and can she uncover the truth that leaves him so wounded?
A unique and profoundly moving novel, Night Owls will linger in your memory long after the final page.
Review: Night Owls is truly lovely. I don’t use that term lightly, but it is an amazingly a sweet and well written story filled with real emotion, fun, heartbreak, first love and turmoil. It will wrap you up in a nice snugly blanket, fill your heart with feels and take you on an adventure of love, art and San Francisco.
Night Owls, known as The Anatomical Shape of a Heart in the US market, follows the story of Beatrix, a young, determined, adorable artist with a twist. Not only is she sharp, witty and level-headed, but her art of choice is something a little different. It is not nice landscapes or portraits, not even modern contemporary, but it is anatomical art – she illustrates body parts in detail. All Beatrix wants is to be an anatomical artist, but to ensure her career in medical illustration she must win a scholarship. And it is this that brings her to the hospital, where she wants access to cadavers so that she can make sure her entry into a competition is authentic and perfect – she is determined to win this scholarship.
And after being stood up by the head of medical unit who can grant her access to the morgue, she heads home on the Owl bus, and it is here that she meets the mysterious, cocky, gorgeous, charming, confident, swoon-worthy Jack.
Along with being brain mushing swoon-worthy, Jack is also an artist. However his art of choice is graffiti. Gold spray paintings spread all over San Francisco. Why this charming and intriguing boy is spray painting gold motivational words all over the city is just one of his many mysteries. This is his secret. And all art represents something important. This is not a simple act of defacing property; this is heartfelt, this is real and this is something that shows you exactly who Jack is. Not the boy dressed all in black running around the city with a can of spray paint in his backpack – but the real Jack, a beautiful, thoughtful boy.
I ADORED the romance between Beatrix and Jack. I truly did! Sure, there are some clichés about them as a couple – one from the wrong side of the tracks while the other is privileged, the clash but perfectly aligned, artistic vision (think If I Stay), but the romance in Night Owls works – it really works!!!!
Both of these teens have their secrets, their mysteries and their goals, and it was a little bit of struggle for these two to come together. But as individual characters I adored them, and together, they made my heart swoon! Their chemistry is fantastic, with their banter and their desire (hello sexual tension). One of the things I loved about them, and their relationship, is that it felt real. The emotions and thoughts are realistic, and I especially loved the fact that Beatrix scolded herself over her swooning – in a moment of flirtation or fixation, she would have an internal thought of “What am I doing? Am I swooning? Why am I swooning?”. I loved her internal face-palming and the fact that she was incredulous with herself for her thoughts and actions. To me it felt relatable, realistic and it totally bought the realism that is needed in a YA romance.
There is so much to adore about Night Owls!! The writing is superb, the story is complex and includes diversity that is subtlety and beautifully weaved within the page. The story is naturally paced with secrets being revealed that have, or could, turn Jack and Beatrix’s lives upside down. The characters are complex, caring, determined and adorable. Their chemistry is electric right from the first moment, but instead of falling victim to the over-done insta-love, this relationship is built slowly from interest to intrigue, to uncertainty and desire, to the one of the sweetest and captivating relationships in contemporary YA.
Night Owls is refreshing, lovely, adorable, emotional, compelling, heart-warming and it will have you addicted from the first page. You will not regret reading this book. BEGIN, FLY, BELONG, JUMP, TRUST, BLOOM, CELEBRATE, ENDURE, RISE, and LOVE Night Owls!