Summary (from the publisher): 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.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Between Alex, Approximately and Starry Eyes, Jenn Bennett stole my contemporary-loving heart in 2018. Her latest novel, Serious Moonlight, is and now was my most anticipated release of 2019, thanks to its swoon-worthy synopsis. Swoon-worthy for the romance, and swoon-worthy for the fact that this book follows a mystery book-loving girl working in a hotel and trying to solve a mystery with her swoon-worthy co-worker. So basically any (okay, my) fangirl’s dreams!
It may be no surprise, but I seriously adored Serious Moonlight. I loved just about every element in this book. From the atmospheric setting to the relatable characters to the romance, Serious Moonlight is a new favorite read of mine.
Serious Moonlight is set in Seattle. While I plan on travelling to the West Coast one day, this book solidified my goal to visit the city. Jenn Bennett made this book feel so atmospheric, from Pike Place to the Cascadia (the hotel where Birdie and Daniel work) to the Space Needle. My favorite spot was probably the Moonlight Diner, and I promise it’s not just for the pie. But seriously, this book made me break out my apple pie recipe! I’d love to try and recreate a few of the Moonlight’s pie of the days!
I’ve also read few, if any, books that take place in a hotel. Serious Moonlight definitely delivered on this part of the synopsis. It was really fun to read about the Cascadia’s inner workings. I also loved how the mystery revolves around some ‘suspicious acitivity’ going on in the hotel. Daniel and Birdie’s stakeouts were so much fun.
My favorite part was being able to relate to Birdie. Birdie absolutely loves mysteries, and her first ‘suspect’ profile about herself hit home for me. Her love for everything mystery felt so unique. Her Nancy Drew collection brought me back to my own childhood reading days! Just as much as I loved Birdie, I had total heart eyes for her love interest, Daniel. Jenn Bennett does not shy away from some intimacy. The romance between these two had my fangirl heart squealing. While the duo spend time figuring out the mystery, this book is more so about Birdie’s growth as a person and her relationship with Daniel. Both Birdie and Daniel have health issues that I haven’t read about before, which I thought Jenn Bennett did really well.
As much as this book is about Birdie and Daniel, their story would not be complete without their amazing secondary characters. There is a lot of depth to explore within Birdie’s family, losing her mom at a young age and just recently losing her grandmother. Birdie’s grandpa is the YA grandfather of every reader’s dreams, and I loved her relationship with Mona, another super unique character. I must admit, I think my favorite part about Daniel were his grandparents! His Jiji had a few one-liners that made me laugh out loud.
Overall, Serious Moonlight was the romance, emotional, and fun-filled contemporary read I needed. This book is easily a 2019 favorite and new favorite read of mine.
Serious Moonlight comes out on April 16th, 2019.
This review is based on an advance reader’s copy provided by the publisher. By no means did receiving this ARC affect my thoughts or opinions. Thank you Simon Pulse!
Courtesy of the Moonlight Diner, Serious Moonlight features so many crave-worthy pies. I definitely have a sweet tooth, but even I’ll admit that chocolate is my favorite. I decided to make a Chocolate Chip Pie for the first time. From my understanding, it seems like you can use almost any chocolate chip cookie recipe. The amount of chocolate chips is also up to you, depending if you like more chocolate or cookie in your pie. I also recommend splitting the following recipe into 2 pie pans if you’re looking for a thinner pie—perfect for decorating cookie cakes!
Is Serious Moonlight on your TBR? Have you read any Jenn Bennett books? Share in the comments!