Friday YA: Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Birdie Lindberg is a quirky eighteen year old, by day aspiring private detective and by night front desk clerk at an old historic hotel. Home schooled and raised by her grandparents on an island off the coast of Seattle she has led a pretty sheltered life. One night after a job interview she meets Daniel Aoki, aspiring magician and overall nice guy at her favorite diner. Their instant connection turns into a flirtation that ends as a tryst in the back seat of his car. Horribly embarassed, Birdie runs off hoping to never see him again. Little does she know that she would soon be working the night shift alongside Daniel, and that they’d investigate a mystery that would bring them close once again.

I loved the quirkiness of this novel! Our heroine, Birdie is sweet, but also socially awkward yet her innocence and naiveté are so charming the reader can’t help but be drawn to her. She is the first character I can recall reading who has narcolepsy and it’s fascinating to read how she deals with that secret. Daniel is also adorably quirky with his magic tricks and wry smile giving us clues that all may not be as they appear on his surface. They have an old world feeling that fits right in with the Sam Spade type mystery they are trying to solve. As a side note the other characters in this book were just as charming and added to the overall feel of the story.

Hidden beneath their colorful exterior are some serious subjects. Birdie’s secret narcolepsy is one, but Daniel also has his own dark background. The reveal is quite a pivotal scene in the book and I don’t want to spoil the story but just as in the land of OZ there is a lot hidden behind that magic curtain and not all of it is fun and games. I love how this author led up to the conflict really making the reader care for this characters yet didn’t lose any of the curiosity’s that make the book so special.

I loved Starry Eyes, also by Jenn Bennett, and somehow missed reading Alex, Approximately when it came out. After reading Serious Moonlight I’ve reminded myself why I love Jenn Bennett’s books and will be fixing that error asap! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a free copy of the ARC through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“There truly is something a little magic about this book. It just glows and I loved every minute of it. From the all-too-real confusion and embarrassment Birdie feels as she navigates her relationship with Daniel, to the hilarious moments between family (Birdie’s aunt and grandfather are amazing and I loved Daniel’s family). And can I just say that card trick Daniel does???? Whew. Be still my beating heart.” Madison’s Library

“Overall, I enjoyed Serious Moonlight. While there were a lot of heavier topics to deal with, at it’s heart it was a cute contemporary romance that I shipped. I really liked Birdie and Daniel together. There were many cute moments between them, including one of the coolest first date experiences I’ve ever heard of. I think fans of more serious YA contemporaries will enjoy it.” Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Click this link to purchase!* Serious Moonlight

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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Friday YA: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Starry eyes weaves the story of Zorie and Lennon. Two ex best friends who decided to take their relationship to the next level. Sounds pretty simple, right? It should be but family drama, miscommunication, and teenage emotions cause Zorie and Lennon’s relationship to shift from young love to not speaking. When the two of them get stranded camping they find their way out of the wilderness and back into each others hearts. I read very few teen romances but this story was very well done and I was intrigued by all of the different aspects of these characters. Zorie and Lennon were as unique as their names and Jenn Bennett’s Starry Eyes an intelligently written vehicle for their story.

This was my first Jenn Bennett novel and was rather surprised by the adult subject matter. Lennon has been raised by two moms who own an adult sex shop. As wild and crazy as that may sound the scenes in the shop were subtle yet filled with humor. Most of the early emotional drama came from Zorie’s father who hates Lennon and his parents. As the novel goes on we are clued into the why’s and wherefore’s but in the beginning this hatred seems filled with bigotry.  Zorie’s emotional growth is displayed by the way she deals with her father and his irrational anger and marital problems with her step mother. Also, I feel I should give a warning, the teens in this book are all sexually active which I guess is not uncommon today but I found myself trying to double check their ages a couple of times. At times I forgot I was reading a YA novel, so if you have kids, be aware of the adult content.

Lennon was a perfect blend of nerdy cool. He had two moms, worked in a snake shop and had a b-level rock star for a father. What’s not to like? Even though the novel was written from Zorie’s perspective you could feel Lennon’s emotions and really identify with his character. I can totally see YA readers being easily captivated by him.

I really enjoyed this novel in large part because of all of the surprises revealed through the story, but also because of the unique setting. Most of the novel takes place while Zorie and Lennon are hiking through the wilderness. Seeing nature and the night’s sky through their Starry Eyes almost made me want to pack a bag and a book and go on a hike. Almost. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Starry Eyes

Click this link to purchase! Starry Eyes

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small stipend if you purchase through the above link.

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Uppercase Box – April ’18 Reveal + #Giveaway

It’s that time again! I look forward to the middle of the month because I know my Uppercase Box will arrive. In case you aren’t familiar with it, Uppercase is a YA book subscription that sends you a recent YA book release. Sometimes the book is a fantasy novel, sci-fi, or contemporary. We’ve had a few fantasy-ish novels lately so I had guessed that April would bring a novel in a contemporary setting. Was I right? You’ll see if you keep reading. Sheesh!

Uppercase (2)

The Uppercase subscription actually comes in a bag, not a box but it doesn’t really matter does it? A book any which way it comes is a great thing. Oh no! I just realized you can kind of see the title of the book through the bag. Oh well. I’ll admit, I’m too lazy to re-take the picture.

There are always other bookish gifts in the bag. This month along with the note about the book was a reading journal. Very cute, but a little too youthful for me. I will be putting this one out in my Little Free Library for one of the neighborhood kids to enjoy!

Upper reading journal

The other items were these two cute book pins. I know there are quite a few bloggers who collect bookish pins. I myself have them on my rolling bag that I take to book fairs and conventions. It’s hard to see but the pin on the left shaped like a book says Read Past My Bedtime. I do that a LOT.

Bookish pins

On to the book in the bag! This month’s book is called Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett. I have not read a book by Jenn Bennett before but I know she is very popular! There was a cute postcard for the book that also came in the bag that leads me to believe that this one is definitely a romance.

Starry Eyes

Synopsis:

In this romantic dramedy from the author of Alex, Approximately, a teen girl’s way-too-ordinary life is driven off the beaten path when she’s abandoned in the wilderness with her worst adversary—the boy who broke her heart.

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?

Wow, this book was just released on April 03! I’ll tell you what. I’m going to read this book in the next couple of weeks and give this copy of Starry Eyes- and the post card, away to one of my fellow bloggers. Wait, what??!! I can hear all of these excited gasps of excitement from all of you. LOL.

What do you have to do? Well, it’s easy. In the comments section below, please convince me why your favorite fictional romantic couple is so fabulous. They can be from any genre I’m not picky. I will randomly pick a winner! If my winner is in a country where it may be too expensive to mail I’ll send you this book in e-format and will pick another winner who lives in the US to receive the physical copy of the book.

I can’t wait to hear about your favorite fictional couples!

Until next Sunday,

Deb