Apparently, I’m a Seattle snob | Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett [ARC]

Serious MoonlightBirdie and Daniel had possibly the most awkward first encounter of all time (they had sex and then Birdie ran away). Birdie would have been fine to never think about the experience again, except that Daniel is working at the hotel where she just got her first job. Determined to push past their initial encounter, Birdie and Daniel embark on a journey to solve a local mystery.

TL;DR – Not as good as Alex, Appoximately.

eBook | Hardcover

My first problem with this book is the cover. It’s great that they were able to get a model with long hair for Daniel, but where is Birdie’s flower? That’s such a key part of her character and I don’t feel like it would have been¬†that¬†hard to include that in the cover, but whatever. I mean, they’re eating pie, Birdie has a book…how did they miss the flower???

Some of you might remember that I LOVED Alex, Approximately¬†so I was fully prepared to love this book too. Unfortunately, it seemed a little too reminiscent of Alex, Approximately and wasn’t as enjoyable to me. Obviously there were some different plot points, but it was the same formula of “sheltered and somehow damaged girl meets extremely charismatic and attractive boy, boy pursues reluctant girl, girl discovers boy is also damaged, girl and boy get together”. It just felt too the same to me.

Then we get to the setting. I was born and raised in a suburb near Seattle and I just felt like this was a very tourist portrayal of the city. I mean, I guess maybe people who live in the city proper are different? But I don’t think so and I found it detracted from the book for me. I mean, Daniel calls Safeco Field “The Safe”. Literally nobody calls it that. Okay, I googled it and apparently some news stories have called it that, but I have never heard a local call it that. Literally never. Besides, it’s T-Mobile Park now so that “nickname” is already dated. There’s also a line where Birdie mentions that a Fremont Troll sized weight is lifted off her back or something. What. Who thinks stuff like that? It’s literally only in there to namedrop another Seattle landmark. And the weather is mentioned by Birdie way too often. Growing up, I would never think about the weather. If it’s raining, I’d grab my jacket and that was it. I never dwelt on the fact that it was raining in June or whatever. I hardly even noticed if the sky was overcast. Locals also never talk about the “Seattle freeze”. So there we go. Apparently I’m a Seattle snob or whatever. Don’t @ me.

Besides those things, I thought the side characters were okay. I liked Mona, Birdie’s grandpa, and Joseph, but we never really get time to know much about any of them. I thought the setting of the diner was good too (every pie sounded AMAZING). I didn’t love Birdie as a character, however. She complained about her grandmother A LOT and never seemed to really think about why her grandmother was so overprotective–she just kind of complained about it. I also never understood why she was so resistant to learning about and dealing with her narcolepsy? I guess maybe I didn’t realize that there was a stigma around it. Daniel was okay as a character if a little too perfect.

Daniel and Birdie’s relationship wasn’t super compelling to me. There was just too much angst (created by Birdie). It was so obvious the entire book that Daniel was SUPER into her, but Birdie was really hesitant and kind of held back the entire time. Even after she and Daniel “got together” and his mom had¬†told Birdie that he was super into her, she was still really paranoid and doubtful. It just made Birdie not make much sense to me as a character.

Overall, I just didn’t find this book, the characters, the subplots, or the setting as enjoyable as Alex, Approximately. I probably shouldn’t be comparing the two, but I can’t stop myself. I will say, this was a very sex positive book portraying teens practicing safe sex and consent, so it’s got that going for it. I haven’t read Starry Eyes yet, but I’m a little more hesitant to pick it up now.

Overall Rating: 3
Language: Moderate
Violence: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Mild
Sexual Content: Moderate

Note: I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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14 Best Book Deals for 1/26/19 – TWO FREE BOOKS, Notorious RBG, The Belles, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, and more

There are some great deals this week!

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Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin

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How can you turn down free books? Both of these are ones I’ve downloaded and I’m excited to get to them!

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Truth or Dare by Madeleine Labitan – This is actually a novella and it sounds like a great love to hate story!

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Stealing Snow¬†by Danielle Paige – Again, with the retellings! I seriously can’t get enough.

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A Year with C.S. Lewis¬†edited by Patricia S. Klein – This seems like it would be a great way to start every day–with a little bit of C.S. Lewis.

Winterfolk by Janel Kolby – I just heard about this book and it sounds really interesting! I haven’t read a book with contemporary homeless representation before and I grew up near Seattle so it especially hits close to home for me.

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A Date with Darcy¬†by Tiffany Schmidt – This is the first book in the Bookish Boyfriends series and it sounds so cute! Who hasn’t fantasized about their bookish crush coming to life?

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Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon РWith the RBG movie coming out, this could be a good book to familiarize yourself with her story.

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The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner РThis sounds like a great book with serious fairy tale vibes and (hopefully) a strong sister relationship.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer РI really loved this book which features two characters falling in love via letters (swoon). Highly recommend! (my review)

 

HW Assignment: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (Kirkus Review Style)

51ri3drmqpl-_sx324_bo1204203200_1936 was a hard year for a lot of people, but in backwater Seattle something exciting was happening–the crew team from the University of Washington was preparing for the row of their lives at the Olympic Games in Berlin.¬†As the youngest team with the least experience, the UW crew team were the obvious underdogs but despite all of this, they were determined to beat the odds.

This book primarily focuses on the life of Joe Rantz–one of the boys to make it with that crew team to the 1936 Olympic Games. The reader is transported to 1930’s America where we’re given a view of how desperately Americans needed something to cheer for. The United States was still recovering from the first World War when the Great Depression hit and many people were having a hard time making ends meet. Joe Rantz was no exception. He only joined the crew team in order to help him pay for his schooling but it wasn’t long before he fell in love with the sport and the feeling of being out on the water. Despite¬†facing a trying childhood where he’d been abandoned¬†multiple times by his father and his family Joe¬†would need to learn¬†about love, life, and how to trust in his teammates. Joe and the other boys in his crew only had one chance to win. With everyone back home depending on them and war looming on the horizon, the boys in the boat would have to give this last race everything that they had and more.

Brown takes readers on an emotional journey as he weaves the backstories of those involved with descriptions of just how difficult rowing actually is. Even though the ending is already set in stone, given the circumstances leading up to the final race readers will doubt that the boys from Seattle will really be able to pull this off.

Everything But the Truth by Mandy Hubbard [ARC]

Charles Buchanan (one of the richest men in the world) has moved into Sunrise House–the ritziest and most glamorous retirement home in Seattle. His grandson Malik visits him regularly. Holly is also often at Sunrise House because she lives there with her mom, the manager. When Malik and Holly meet, they really hit it off. Everything’s going well, except for the small fact that Malik thinks Holly’s there to visit her rich grandmother. And he thinks Holly’s name is Lucy.

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This book was really surprising because I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. It’s not perfect, by any means, but I was expecting the book and overall story line to be much more shallow than it actually was.

Let’s start off with the fact that I LOVE that it’s set in Seattle–my hometown. I loved reading about Alki Beach, Lake Washington, Gas Works Park, and Pike Place Market. Since I’m so familiar with the area, it was really easy to place the characters in the setting. The author is from the Seattle area herself so everything is pretty accurate, but I did have a couple of minor issues–I know I’m splitting hairs here, but I can’t help it! First, WSU. Sorry, but my blood runs purple and gold (both my parents graduated from UW and both of my siblings were also students). So the fact that our main character was going there? Not a fan. Second, (and this is so minor, I know) at the end of the book Holly mentions how she’s been at school for a couple of weeks and her friend Alex (who’s going to UW) is going to call to update her on her classes. Sorry, but the timing doesn’t work out there. WSU has semesters and starts classes at the beginning of September or the end of August. Meanwhile, UW has quarters and doesn’t start classes until the end of September (or beginning of October even). So…Alex wouldn’t be in classes yet. This book was just so close to being accurate! I was just disappointed.

Anyway, I know no one else cares about that kind of thing except for me so let’s get onto the book. As a reader, I experienced the typical agony that comes when two characters just won’t communicate with each other. Half of the book I was screaming at Holly, “JUST TELL HIM!!!” If she did, though, there would be less drama and tension, so I get it. Malik seemed like a good guy, but he was maybe a little too reformed? He had a troubled past and I find it hard to believe that there wasn’t any of that left in him. Lastly, the secondary characters were pretty great. I liked the senior citizens that were in the book (Charles and Henrietta) because I felt like it added a depth to the cast that a lot of books don’t have.

Overall, I was definitely surprised¬†this book! It¬†reminded me of home which was nice and the characters were all pretty believable. Even though I wouldn’t say this book had that¬†much depth to it, I still had fun reading a clean and pleasantly predictable YA romance.

Overall Rating: 3
Language: None
Violence: None
Sexual Content: None
Smoking/Drinking: Mild. Mention of drunk driving.

Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.