Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
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 most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel.
I think Jenn Bennett writes the perfect book boyfriends. I loved Alex, Approximately and I loved this one, too.
Birdie is kind of an awkward girl who is always afraid of embarrassing herself. Her mom died when she was younger and she grew up with her grandparents. Her grandma was very strict and home schooled her. After she died, Birdie was able to convince her grandpa, with the help of Aunt Mona, that eighteen year old Birdie was ready to get a job in Seattle. Birdie is also obsessed with mysteries. She actually makes detective profiles of the people she meets. Birdie has sleep issues and might have narcolepsy, but hasn’t been diagnosed yet.
Daniel is nineteen and very outgoing. He’s always smiling and everyone knows him. He does have a secret that he’s been keeping. Daniel lives with his mom, but never knew his dad or who he was. His mom just said he was white, had money, and had to marry someone white, which she was not. Daniel loves magic and lost his hearing in one ear.
Birdie and Daniel meet one day at The Moonlight Diner. They have this instant connection and decide to go on a date. They never got further than the car. Birdie and Daniel were having sex, but she freaked out and ran away. She figured she would never see him again, but she thought about him and what happened often. She always looked for him when she went to The Moonlight Diner. She lived about the diner when she was growing up and it felt like home there.
Birdie gets a job at a hotel on the night shift. She is shocked on her first night when she sees that Daniel works there. Birdie is freaked out, but they eventually start talking a bit. He knows she likes mysteries, so he tells her about this guy that shows up every Tuesday for an hour. He believes it’s a popular mystery writer that keeps himself hidden. While working to solve this mystery, Birdie starts to have feelings for Daniel which scares her. Half the people she’s loved have died.
I loved Birdie and Daniel. They both had insecurities and the relationship never felt forced. It showed the awkwardness and not just the good stuff. I also loved Aunt Mona. She was so funny and made the story even better. Her grandpa was also a standout. I love books with good adult/parental figures.
I gave this book 4 1/2 stars rounded up to 5. Thank you to the publisher for reaching out and sending me a copy through Edelweiss.
Warnings for depression, talk of suicide, and abandonment from a parent.
One final thing I want to share is this quote that really stood out to me.
Family isn’t always blood, and it isn’t contained in a single tree. It’s a forest. It took me a long time to figure out that not everyone in my life was meant to stay. But using that armor didn’t shield me from future heartache.”
Have you read Serious Moonlight? Any other books by Jenn Bennett?