Feed Your Inner Nancy Drew | Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Friday, May 17, 2019

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: 4/16/19
Pages: 432
Source: from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Thank you!)
After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced to work together in a Seattle hotel where a famous author leads a mysterious and secluded life in this romantic contemporary novel from the author of Alex, Approximately. Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg has an overactive imagination. Raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents, she’s cultivated a whimsical fantasy life in which she plays the heroic detective and every stranger is a suspect. But her solitary world expands when she takes a job the summer before college, working the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel. In her new job, Birdie hopes to blossom from introverted dreamer to brave pioneer, and gregarious Daniel Aoki volunteers to be her guide. The hotel’s charismatic young van driver shares the same nocturnal shift and patronizes the waterfront Moonlight Diner where she waits for the early morning ferry after work. Daniel also shares her appetite for intrigue, and he’s stumbled upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer—never before seen in public—might be secretly meeting someone at the hotel. To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell…discovering that the most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel.
When Daniel meets Birdie, the two immediately click. He thinks she feels it too until she suddenly runs away from him. Birdie regrets leaving but she tries to put her past behind her since she’ll probably never see him again, right? On her first day at her new job, working the graveyard shift at a hotel, she runs into none other than Daniel, who happens to work there too. Fate must be at work here. Birdie loves a good mystery and when Daniel gives her the inside scoop about a questioning meeting that happens every week on Tuesday evening, she can’t resist joining forces with him. Daniel believes that this meeting has something to do with a mysterious bestselling author: no one knows his true identity. Together, the two must figure out what’s happening at the hotel. And if fate is truly at work here, is this a second chance to make Birdie and Daniel realize they’re meant to be? Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett is a fantastic contemporary romance that doubles as an awesome mystery.

  • I’ve never read a book written by Jenn Bennett before but Serious Moonlight will most definitely not be the last I read from her. I absolutely adored Bennett's writing; it was witty, realistic, and adorable at times. I plan on picking up her other works, Alex, Approximately and Starry Eyes soon. 
  • Serious Moonlight is set in Seattle, Washington. I've never been there so I cannot say much on its accuracy. However, the way Bennett describes all the sites, the beautiful skyline to the walks on the pier will make readers want to visit someday.
  • Spring is the perfect time to enjoy contemporary romances. Love is in the air, my friends. Yet, Bennett gives us more than just a fluffy romance. There’s a mystery afoot in Serious Moonlight. It focuses around a mysterious author: identity unknown. He visits the hotel Birdie and Daniel work at on the same day at the same time every week. The mystery gives off some major Nancy Drew vibes. The teen sleuthing is so much fun. It layered the plot to make readers even more invested in the romance as well as the characters. 
  • Not only is there a bit of mystery but Daniel brings some magic into the mix. Not fantasy magic but the pull-the-rabbit-out-of-the-hat kind of magic. These small elements Bennett adds to the story makes Serious Moonlight stand out. 
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  • Birdie is such a great character. She’s a mystery buff. It seems she only accepts her position at the hotel to find the perfect summer mystery. Her skills at sleuthing makes for such a fun and entertaining read. Though she is not without her flaws. She tends to run away when things get tough. Bennett’s characters seem as real as you and me.
  • There’s a twist that neither Birdie nor the reader discovers until much later. I don't read many mysteries but I adored how Bennett gave us the chance to help solve the mystery alongside such an amazing pair, Birdie and Daniel. 
  • Daniel and Birdie win at the best date ever as Bennett whisks them to an old mansion to play a live action Clue game. Isn’t that the coolest? I'm all for a classic whodunit story. 
  • Nearing the end of the novel, a few of the chapters started to feel like great conclusions. I kept thinking, “Now that chapter would have made a great ending.” Serious Moonlight could have ended 50 pages before it did. This contemporary maxed out at 432 pages which is quite long for the genre. Still, Bennett is able to tie everything together and to give readers a lovely ending. Despite being a lengthy book, readers get to know the characters more deeply and feel for them more than if it had been your standard 300-page romance. 

Serious Moonlight was such a heartfelt romance and gripping mystery. Jenn Bennett’s writing was magnificent! The story hooks readers to the end and beyond. Serious Moonlight was a fun story filled with intricate characters, a detailed setting, and an unpredictable mystery. I will definitely be reading more from Bennett in the future.

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