Night Owls by Jenn Bennett
Published: August 13th 2015 by Simon and Schuster UK
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult.
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | Waterstones
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.
This is a wonderful book to start off the New Year. Also known as The Anatomical Shape of the Heart, Night Owls is a story of art and love. It follows two artists, Bex and Jack, who both have a different method of expressing their creativity. Bex is an aspiring anatomical illustrator and Jack is a graffiti artist responsible for the surge of graffiti art emerging throughout San Francisco. These two come together following a brief encounter on a midnight bus. As these meetings slowly become a regular occurrence the connection between Bex and Jack deepens. The attraction between them is undeniable and their relationship, based on honesty and trust, becomes a beacon of comfort and strength for each other as they struggle with their individual family issues.
I love the fact that Jack and Bex’s families are involved in their lives and I loved exploring the differences in their family dynamics. It is the tensions within each family that prove to be the point of drama in the book. For Bex, she is faced with the reappearance of her absent father and in turn has to face up to the secrets and lies that her mother may have kept from her. In contrast, Jack is forced to keep his families secrets close to his heart in order to protect his father’s political image.
This book also explores some serious topics; such as schizophrenia. I liked the way that Bennett explored the impact of this illness on the individual and their immediate family. Each character deals with this issue in a different way. Some chose to adapt and support while others refuse to acknowledge the condition, thus making them distant from the patient. However, as much as I enjoyed exploring the affects of schizophrenia, I did find that some passages were a bit of an info-dump and instead of exploring the symptoms of this condition, we’re kind of given a list of what to expect which made it feel quite clinical at times.
As I mentioned earlier, this book is mainly focused on the romance between Bex and Jack and one aspect I really loved about their relationship was the honesty between them. Here is an example of a sex-positive relationship; a couple that takes the time to talk about their comforts and their expectations within the relationship. I really appreciated the honesty in the way they communicated with one another.
After reading this book my desire to visit San Francisco has only heightened and I enjoyed getting to explore parts of the city. Overall this book is romantic, mature, and heart-warming. If you are looking for a sweet and fast read I would pick this book up.