Title: Serious Moonlight
Author: Jenn Bennett
Genre: Young Adult
There is a lot going on in this book. It tackles some big topics including death, abandonment, mental health issues, suicide, disability, medical conditions, family trauma…whew! Although it seems like the book would feel very heavy, I was not able to get very emotionally attached to it (which is uncommon for me—I am a crier). Perhaps this was because there was too much going on, making it difficult for me to truly get sucked into the drama.
This coming-of-age story follows 18-year-old Birdie, an innocent girl with a deep, thrilling love for mysteries, as she steps into newfound independence. With this independence comes a new job at a fancy Seattle hotel and mystery-solving adventures with her attractive coworker-turned-love interest, Daniel.
Throughout the novel, the young duo attempts to solve a case surrounding a mysterious hotel guest who visits the VIP floor like clockwork. Is this guest the famous recluse they think he is? Overall, I felt the mystery they were solving fell a bit flat. However, Bennett does throw in a big twist near the end of the novel that turns the entire investigation on its head. I was not expecting this until shortly before it happened. Perhaps I need to brush up on my sleuthing skills!
Aside from the ongoing mystery, I found the story to be charming and pleasant. The Seattle setting was developed nicely, bringing the beat of the city to life. There were strong scenes between Birdie and her Godmother, Mona (who was, in my opinion, the most interesting character in the book). Daniel’s family was also introduced. They were a hoot, but were seldom dropped into the storyline. The locales in the story, including the Moonlight Diner where Birdie spent countless hours during her youth, were cozy and unique. Bennett made me want to visit the neighborhoods Birdie and Daniel frequented.
In all, this would be a good read for mystery lovers and suckers for odd (and slightly corny) romances. It does tend to drag out a bit, but there are some great scenes weaved throughout.