Parents' Guide to

Serious Moonlight

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Layered, deep romantic mystery set in Seattle.

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age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

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This is a swoon-worthy but substantial teen romance from one of the genre's most capable authors, Jenn Bennett. It's an ideal pick for fans of Gayle Forman, Brigid Kemmerer, and Jandy Nelson. One of the best aspects of the story is how prominent a role Seattle plays in it, offering precise details about locations and landmarks where Birdie and Daniel meet up, as well as a fascinating exploration of how Japanese Americans in the Pacific Northwest connect with their culture -- particularly the haunting past of Japanese internment during World War II. Birdie and Daniel's relationship is somewhat backward: They hooked up one sweet but then awkward time and only really get to know each other months later when they become co-workers. But Bennett makes it clear that while attraction can be immediate, real friendship and love take time.

There's a lot going on between Birdie -- possible narcoleptic and obsessive lover of mysteries with a sad and unconventional upbringing -- and Daniel -- partially deaf magic aficionado overcoming his own sadness. This isn't a lightweight romance where the teens' biggest concerns are based on class or social status; these two have uppercase problems, but they manage to acknowledge and overcome their issues. Bennett's romances are always memorable for dealing with heavy topics in a nuanced and considerate way, and this one is no exception. The mystery-solving, the conversations over pie, and the vulnerability Birdie and Daniel show are just a few examples of how their relationship is based on more than superficial attraction. Bennett writes lovely, sex-positive teen romances for mature readers ready for more than fairy tale happily-ever-afters.

Book Details

  • Author: Jenn Bennett
  • Genre: Contemporary Fiction
  • Topics: Friendship
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: April 16, 2019
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
  • Number of pages: 432
  • Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: April 29, 2019

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