Serious Moonlight follows Birdie Lindberg on a journey to find herself…and maybe love along the way. Growing up without socialization and under the scrutiny of her overprotective grandparents, Birdie has a lot to learn about life. Since her strict grandmother has passed away, her grandfather gives her more freedom: enter a brand new job at a dazzling hotel in downtown Seattle, Washington and adventures with her handsome coworker.
Her first night on the job, she runs into fellow hotel employee Daniel Aoki. Only, she’s met him before at the Moonlight Diner and she may have already hooked up with him. That was the first, and only, time Birdie has done something like that, which leaves her horrified that she has to be around him every day.
However, the two quickly bond and discover a mystery at the hotel. A famous author, who hasn’t been seen in public, could be secretly meeting someone at their hotel. The two go on a quest to discover the writer’s true identity, going undercover to track his steps and find out why he’s been going to this hotel. But sometimes secrets are best kept hidden, especially when the truth can hurt someone.
Serious Moonlight is a cozy mystery about love, acceptance and getting out of your comfort zone. Birdie spends the summer using the mystery as a way to find out what she really wans in life.
Sadly for us, Serious Moonlight is our least favorite book from Bennett. We didn’t connect with the characters or the story in the way we hoped. The premise sounded great, it just didn’t quite work.
Honestly, Daniel and Birdie’s relationship wasn’t all that exciting, and it felt like their characters could have been better developed. As readers, we could tell they had chemistry— their banter was great— but something was lacking.
It was like their relationship was almost there, but we couldn’t quite ship them together. Both characters had some soul searching to do through out the book, which led to a lot of miscommunication and unnecessary drama, detracting from their love story.
The big mystery also felt like a let down. We won’t spoil it— you all can piece together the puzzle yourselves! However, the fact that Daniel knew the answer to the mystery all along and was just using Birdie was upsetting and, quite frankly, a huge let down. She should not have forgiven him so quickly!
Also, Birdie’s backstory regarding her family life was so complicated. Even after knowing about her past and why she’s so nervous, we still didn’t get enough development from her. The fact that she forgave Daniel so quickly made us wonder how she could let him treat her that way. She should have stood up for herself better by that point in the book.
The one aspect we really did enjoy was the Seattle, Washington setting. We felt like we got a great guide to the city, which is on out list to visit someday. We loved the distinct locations too, like the diner and the hotel. The setting and the descriptions really worked here.
Overall, we recommend reading Bennett’s other YA books before considering Serious Moonlight. For fans of Alex, Approximately, Daniel is no Porter Roth!