Written by Jenn Bennett
Published August 13th 2015
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia
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Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she's spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Leonardo da Vinci’s footsteps, she's ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum sponsored scholarship contest, drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.Wanting to become the next big name in cadaver illustration, Beatrix is a girl on a mission. But having no such luck at the local hospital in which her mother works, she's forced to take the Night Owl home, a bus that travels around San Francisco taking wary travellers home each night. It's there that she meets the enigmatic Jack. Cheeky and flirtatious, Jack is a mystery wrapped in an attractive package, a vegetarian Buddhist dressed as a jewel thief and the two teens strike up a conversation.
Jack is charming, wildly attractive and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is, and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?
This was the night bus, not a Journey song. Two strangers were not on a midnight train going nowhere. I was going home, and he was probably going to knock over a liquor store.
But Jack isn't the loving and free spirited teen he seems. Behind the facade lies a troubled young man, visiting the hospital several times per week with his family always weighing heavily on his mind.
Jack paints the town gold, literally. He's one of San Francisco's most notorious graffiti artists, defacing public property while the city sleeps. Armed with only her illustration blog to communicate, Jack seems to find Beatrix wherever she goes, leaving golden messages of support and celebration. Driven together by chance and bonded by art, the two teens find themselves navigating towards one another in times of need.
Night Owls was absolutely phenomenal, adventurous, heartwarming and incredibly lovely. Previously called The Anatomical Shape of a Heart for the overseas market, it follows the story of Beatrix, determined, creative and incredibly quick witted. An artist fascinated with the human body, she wants to illustrate cadavers and it's there on her way home from an interview at the hospital where she meets Jack, exuding confidence and mystery. I can't remember the last time I had read a romance so utterly lovely, where two characters were more ideal for one another. I adored both Beatrix and Jack as individuals, and even more so together. Both artists, their natural chemistry shone through the pages as the two formed an attraction, leading eventually to gentle and tentative relationship.
Reminiscent of the Australian classic Graffiti Moon, Jack is a graffiti artist. His choice of art is created by a gold spray can at landmarks around San Francisco. But Jack isn't a hooligan, his art represents a side of his life that no one understands, a secret that threatens to tear his family apart. His reasoning was beautiful, it made my heart ache that a young man would go to those kind of lengths and hence, the swooning began.
It made my heart soar.
The storyline is utterly captivating. From the first few pages, I was completely immersed and emotionally attached to both Beatrix and Jack. This is a couple you can't help but cheer on as they flirt their way through the chemistry that sizzles among the pages. There is no excess drama, but both teens have their own issues that are slowly unraveled throughout the storyline. Wonderfully paced, I read long into the early hours of the morning and simply couldn't put it down. One of the best heartwarming, contemporary romances I've read in young adult to date.
The Final Verdict
Beautifully written, Night Owls is an engaging adventure romance beginning in the most unlikely of places. Jenn Bennett has crafted an immaculate storyline to warm your heart and steal your breath away. I adored it. Madly.