PASSIONATE ABOUT SCHOOL LIBRARIES

Tag: Ages 14 and up

Book Review: Serious Moonlight

Serious Moonlight – Jenn Bennett – Simon Pulse – Published 16 April 2019

♥♥♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

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.

My thoughts

Jenn Bennett has created a seriously loveable, amazingly-sweet and swoon-worthy story in Serious Moonlight. I loved this from first page to last. It recaptured for me the beauty and night-time mystery of Night Owls, which is my favourite of all her titles, but Serious Moonlight has given it a pretty good run for its money. With romance that has a rocky start but digs deep into the heart of relationships, connections and chemistry; family complications that are both heartbreaking and hilarious; and a touching story about growing up, Serious Moonlight is a perfect crossover between young adult and new adult fiction that older teens (and older readers) will absolutely love.

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Book Review: Cure for the Common Universe

Cure for the Common Universe

Cure for the Common Universe – Christian McKay Heidicker – Simon and Schuster – Published 14 June 2016

♥♥♥

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Jaxon is being committed to video game rehab . . . ten minutes after he met a girl. A living, breathing girl named Serena, who not only laughed at his jokes but actually kinda sorta seemed excited when she agreed to go out with him.     Jaxon’s first date. Ever.

In rehab, he can’t blast his way through galaxies to reach her. He can’t slash through armies to kiss her sweet lips. Instead, he has just four days to earn one million points by learning real-life skills. And he’ll do whatever it takes—lie, cheat, steal, even learn how to cross-stitch—in order to make it to his date.

If all else fails, Jaxon will have to bare his soul to the other teens in treatment, confront his mother’s absence, and maybe admit that it’s more than video games that stand in the way of a real connection.

Prepare to be cured.

My thoughts

Cure for the Common Universe takes common YA tropes and turns them on their heads with humour, a million gaming references and an anti-hero who is truly awful (but only too identifiable).

Jaxon is being sent to video game rehab. Just moments after almost winning the latest game with his guild and asking a girl out on a date – for the first time ever. He is determined to get out of v-hab as quickly as possible. He has just four days to accumulate one million points by attending group therapy, winning competitions, eating healthy and (really?) running. But don’t worry, he’s got this and nobody’s going to stand in his way.

Jaxon isn’t your typical, loveable nerd. He’s lazy, rude, oblivious to the people around him and yet totally realistic. Surrounding Jaxon at v-hab are an assortment of characters from the bullying jocks to his own weirdly wonderful guild members – girls who are strong and stand up for themselves and what they believe in, a heroin addict, a group leader who is a master gamer himself and a young boy who hangs off Jaxon’s every word (or command). They are at once stereotypical and yet push outside of what we expect from YA characters.     Continue reading

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