Review: Serious Moonlight – Jenn Bennett

Review: Serious Moonlight – Jenn BennettSerious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: April 16, 2019
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five-stars

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 received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Opening a book by Jenn Bennett immediately gives me a sense of joy. She has written some of my favorite books so it just feels like home when I get to read her words again. So to say I was beyond excited for Serious Moonlight is an understatement. I honestly remember Bennett announcing it and I immediately knew it was going to be another favorite. And let me tell you, she did not disappoint. It was EVERYTHING I love about a Jenn Bennett book and maybe a little bit more.

Serious Moonlight is the story of Birdie, an 18-year old that is trying to find her way. When Bridie’s mom died when she was 10 Birdie was sent to live with the overprotective grandparents she never knew. After her grandmother died 6 months ago, Birdie gains some independence and a job working the night shift at a hotel in downtown Seattle. When Birdie runs into someone she had a chance encounter with, her life ends up on a mystery filled path she never expected.

The thing that is a constant with a Jenn Bennett book is 1) the cute boy and 2) the chemistry the main character has with said cute boy. Jenn nailed this in Serious Moonlight. The first time Daniel was introduced I immediately swooned for him. He was everything Birdie needed in her life. He was the thing that brought out the best in her and vice versa. They played off of each other so well and I loved every minute of their relationship. Both of them had problems and fears and hang-ups which made them even more relatable

In the end, there wasn’t one thing I could complain about in Serious Moonlight. It was what Jenn Bennett does best and it shined. It is one of those rare 400+ page books that you may end up finishing in a sitting because it is that good. Make sure this one if on your radar!

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Review: Starry Eyes – Jenn Bennett

Review: Starry Eyes – Jenn BennettStarry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: April 3, 2018
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four-stars

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I fell in love with Jenn Bennett’s YA books last year when I read Alex, Approximately. The story and writing was exactly what I love in a realistic contemporary. When I finished Alex I moved on to The Anatomical Shape of a Heart. Same writing and story vibe that I love. Bennett seems to just click with what I love. So when Starry Eyes was announced I was beyond excited. And although it I wasn’t as in love with it as I was with her other two, it’s up there with some other favorites.

Starry Eyes is about Zorie, a girl with a plan. No, seriously, she has a plan for everything! And her plan fo the summer is to work, see a meteor shower, and to stay away from her former best friend Lennon who broke her heart. Unfortunately life doesn’t go according to plan. Suddenly Zorie finds herself abandoned in the woods with only Lennon to rely on to get them home. When plans are no longer an options Zori starts to learn things she never knew and has to deal with the aftermath of it all.

My favorite part of Starry Eyes was Zorie and Lennon’s relationship and history. It’s clear early on that there are things about their relationship that is a mystery to both of them. Honestly they are both missing parts of their own story. Reading as they delve into the past and see what went wrong really endeared them to me. It showed just how teenager-ish they were. Instead of talking they shut out. It was pretty perfect. And Bennett unfolded there story in a way that was paced perfectly.

Like I said, I didn’t love it as much as the first two Bennett books I’ve read, but I think that’s a me thing. I’m an indoor girl so the extended woods part was a tad too much for my city girl loving heart. But with that aside this book was really great. It shows friendships changing, parents failing, and character growth. Definitely one to get on the TBR.

Have you read any of Jenn Bennett’s books? Alex, Approximately is still my favorite!

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What I’m…(1)

With a new year I try to come up with something new I can share with all of my ABCers. I started to think about what I like to know about people and what I talk to people about. When I’m with my book friends the questions is always, ‘What are you reading?’. When I’m shopping with friends it’s, ‘What are you buying?’. When I’m going out for dinner/drinks it’s, ‘What are you going to wear?’. All of those things brought me to a new post idea…What I’m….

What I’m… will randomly post every now and then. I will take to Twitter and run a poll asking what people would like me to talk about for that week’s post. The options will be reading, eating, wearing, watching, buying, etc. After the poll closes I’ll write a post about what people want to know most. It’s that simple, and I hope something that interests you.

Since this is the first one, I’m keeping it easy and I’m going to share What I’m…READING:

  1.  Irresistible You – Kate Meader: I first read Kate Meader when I found her Hot in Chicago firefighter series. As a fan of Chicago Fire I was really excited for it and have read the first 2 books. When I saw Meader had a hockey series I was quick to add this to my list of books for my TBTBSanta to get. I admit this one was a little slow to start, but it has picked up and I’m enjoying the story. I have about 34% left to go.
  2. Starry Eyes – Jenn Bennett: I have been looking forward to this book since I saw it existed. As a massive fan for Jenn Bennett’s books (please check out Alex, Approximately!) I was thrilled when this showed up on my Kindle thanks to Netgalley and Simon Pulse for approval. I’m not very far in, but there has already been a washi tape shout out and I REALLY want to know what happened between the two main characters when it all seemed so promising.

So there you have it, my first What I’m… post. If yo uhave any ideas for things I could write about please let me know. And look for polls on Twitter.

Now tell me, what are you reading?

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Review: Alex, Approximately – Jenn Bennett

Review: Alex, Approximately – Jenn BennettAlex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: January 1st 1970
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five-stars

In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Swoon. That is the immediate word that came to mind while I was reading Alex, Approximately. I’m not going to lie, I fell in love with this story, the writing and the characters almost immediately. I was worried going in because I had such high hopes, but Jenn Bennett did not disappoint me. She gave me exactly the kind of book I wanted.

First, the plot of this has definitely been done. I’m not denying that. But when I was reading Alex, Approximately the thought never once crossed my mind. I felt like I was reading a brand new idea and I savored every page. Second, I’m insanely in love with Porter. If I didn’t already have a book boyfriend (I’m looking at you Etienne St. Clair) I would be all over Porter. He’s sweet and smart and sassy. He’s completely unexpected when you get to know him. Third, Bailey and Porter are all sorts of slow-burn explosive. They had such great push-pull chemistry. And man were they sexy, hot. I loved everything about them together. I just never wanted their story to end

Honestly a book like Alex, Approximately is why I got into reading YA books and blogging. It was heart-warming, it was sexy, it was smile inducing, it was amazing. Jenn Bennett delivered a book and characters that will stay with me for a long while. If it isn’t on you TBR you need to fix that immediately.

 

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