We Own the Night is the second in Ashley Poston’s Radio Hearts books. The first, The Sound of Us, is one that I enjoyed – it has a rock star love interest, so I was game. I was less engaged by We Own the Night which is narrated by a character who frequently made me grind my teeth, which left me feeling a bit “meh” about it. Both can be read as stand-alone stories, but I think the best reading experience would be to read them in order because the band, Roman Holiday, is featured in the first book and plays a smaller role in the second. Both ebooks are under $5.
“Happy midnight, my fellow Niteowls…”
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.
After a weak start, this book finds its stride about halfway through, and readers who stick it out will be quite happy with the resolution. But every reader won’t stick this one out. Ingrid, the narrator, comes across as a whiner. She has problems that plenty of us can relate to, and I actually feel really bad about calling her out, but she is a drag. She cries or fights back tears a lot. And she doesn’t really seem inclined to do much to improve her own situation, choosing instead to just be angry at others who have succeeded where she feels she has failed. I understood her – she is at that place where you don’t feel like you can make a move because it will probably be the wrong one, but it isn’t very fun to read about it for very long. Once Ingrid does shut down the pity party, things really improved, and it is nice to see how she finally figures out who she wants to be. Teens will probably have more patience with Ingrid than adult readers of YA. Language and situations are appropriate for grades 10+.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.