Buy This Book
Other books by Jenn Bennett
Other books you may enjoy

“And when you pin impossible ideals on someone, nobody wins... Judging other people unfairly doesn’t define them; it defines you. And in the end everyone will be disappointed,” Grandpa. –Serious Moonlight.  

Serious Moonlight

by Jenn Bennett
AR Test, Diverse Characters

At A Glance
Interest Level

Reading Level
Number of Pages

Birdie has been raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents. With no friends, Birdie spent her time reading mystery books. Birdie’s overactive imagination keeps her entertained. When her grandmother dies, Birdie’s world expands. She takes a job working the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel.

Birdie hopes that her new job will give her the opportunity to be brave and solve a mystery. When her cute coworker, Daniel Aoki, has a mystery to solve, he wants Birdie’s help. The two come together to investigate a hotel guest, who they think is a famous reclusive writer. Together they embark on an adventure to uncover the writer’s identity. As the two try to solve the mystery, Birdie must also try to understand her growing feelings for Daniel.

With a wide variety of unique characters, Serious Moonlight delves into the complications that come with relationships. Both Daniel and Birdie are connected by their love of mystery as well as the fact that their fathers are not present in their lives. Birdie struggles with understanding her feelings for Daniel, especially since the first time they met they had sex. Like many teens, Birdie has questions about sex, relationships, and her own motives.

Told from Birdie’s point of view, readers can understand Birdie’s insecurities, worries, and confusion. Many teens will relate to Birdie because she is a likable character who is just trying to figure out what adulthood looks like. Birdie has a positive relationship with her grandfather and her aunt, who want to help her navigate life’s difficulties. By the end of the story, Birdie learns that “Missing people is hard. Letting new people inside is harder. But the reward for making the effort was greater than I could have imagined… It took me a long time to figure out that not everyone in my life was meant to stay. But using that armor didn’t shield me from future heartache. And even heartache felt is a million times better than running away.”

While Serious Moonlight has some light, humorous moments, it is not a Hallmark romance. The story hits on several difficult topics, including grief, sexual relationships, and having a child out of wedlock. The descriptive sexual content and the profane language may surprise many readers. The ending of the story has a few surprises, but Birdie’s conflicts are neatly wrapped up in a way that is not necessarily realistic.

In the end, Serious Moonlight is an entertaining, suspenseful story best suited for mature readers. Readers who are looking for an entertaining, but tamer teen romance should read Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo or What Light by Jay Asher.

Sexual Content

  • Birdie doesn’t know who her father is because her mother “got knocked up by an unknown boy when she was a rebellious seventeen-year-old.”
  • Birdie loses her virginity to a boy she just met. They have sex in the back of his car. Birdie wasn’t thinking “because once we got back there and clothes started getting unbuttoned and unzipped, it all happened so fast… So when it was over, I bolted.”
  • Birdie reads Seattle’s local alt-weekly city paper. When she reads the ads, “a few were just begging for kinky hookups.”
  • When Birdie tells her aunt about having sex, her aunt says, “Do you know how much weird sex I’ve had in my life… Sometimes it’s good; sometimes it’s awkward. Sometimes it’s just plain bad. It’s never the same.” Their conversation lasts for two pages.
  • Daniel tells Birdie about his father. “My dad didn’t want to have anything to do with me, so he basically gave my mom a big hunk of cash for an abortion, washed his hands, and said adios.”
  • Birdie thinks back to when she had sex. “I was transported back into his car, and my hands were in his hair, and he was kissing me into a wobbly, weak pulp.”
  • While driving a customer, Daniel “heard some Amazon bigwig order two male prostitutes on his phone.”
  • Birdie has a fling with one of her friend’s brothers. After basketball practice, “he kissed me by the fence. Then again, two days later, for much longer. Secret basketball make-out sessions became a regular thing for a few weeks.”
  • Daniel tells Birdie that it was a mistake to have sex because it was “pretty awful.”
  • While at a party, Birdie and Daniel are in character. They pretend to be teachers. When they talk about who their characters are, Daniel says, “We have ten [kids]… You couldn’t stay away from me. I tried to resist, but the smell of chalk dust and blackboards excited you, so we were constantly having sex in the classroom where we taught.”
  • While at the party, Birdie and Daniel are alone when Birdie kisses him. “Oh God, did he kiss me back. His mouth was on mine. Warm. Open. Eager. He kissed me like he meant it…” They were interrupted by other guests.
  • Birdie goes into a store and buys condoms. She’s surprised by the variety: “Fiery ice. Studded. Sensitive. Extra sensitive… Armor of the Gods.”
  • Daniel tells Birdie that he had sex with “someone I had a crush on.”
  • When Daniel tells Birdie that he loves her, they kiss. “We kissed like we were desperate, separated for years and had only minutes to spare until the world ended, rushing, breathless, all roaming hands-teeth-tongue…”
  • Birdie and Daniel kiss. Birdie “Kissed him back without thinking. His lips were soft and warm… Pleasure flooded my limbs. Then he was pulling away…” Daniel gives Birdie oral sex. At first, Birdie “nearly blacked out. First from embarrassment, then from pleasure.” The scene is described over two pages.
  • Daniel’s friend teases him about his good mood. His friend joked “about me having a look on my face as if I’d spent the weekend in Las Vegas with a bunch of male hookers and a bag of cocaine.”
  • While at work, Daniel and Birdie “may have taken advantage of our working situation and made use of an unbooked hotel room on our lunch break.”
  • Birdie’s aunt becomes pregnant after spending time with her ex-boyfriend. She says, “We’d been texting. One thing led to another, and we spent the weekend together in Scottsdale.”
  • Birdie’s mother died because of complications from a pregnancy. Birdie finds out that her mother “didn’t know who the father was, and she wasn’t planning on keeping it.”
  • Birdie and Daniel kiss, and “his mouth came down on mine. He kissed me quickly—small, desperate kisses all over my mouth, until I flung my arms around him and kiss him back.”


  • In the past, Daniel tried to kill himself. He “tried to overdose and was found in the school library by a janitor.”

 Drugs and Alcohol

  • Birdie’s grandfather was in an accident, which “made him dependent upon mild opiates.”
  • When Birdie falls asleep on the ferry, an employee wakes her up. Birdie was “worried he thought I might be a drunkard or a heroin addict.”
  • During a dinner party, the adults have champagne. One of the guests gets drunk.
  • Birdie goes with her aunt to an art dealer’s house, where he has a “tray of vodka bottles.”
  • Birdie gets high when she accidentally eats gummy worms that are medicated with cannabis.
  • Daniel and Birdie go to an opera where “patrons cluster around a cocktail bar, drinking and chatting.”


  • Profanity is used often. Profanity includes asshole, crap, bastard, damn, fuck, hell, jackass, piss, and shit. For example after they have sex, Daniel tells Birdie that, “I feel like an asshole, and I wish I had a time machine so that I could go back and change everything.”
  • Jesus, Christ, God, Oh My God and oh God are used as an exclamation occasionally.
  • When Birdie was ten, her aunt taught her “a dozen words that contained the word ‘cock.’”
  • Birdie’s aunt tells her, “your mother was a goddess. Not a whore. Not a sinner. You know this.”
  • Birdie says “GD” instead of saying “Goddammit.”
  • Daniel tells Birdie a story about a man who was “a real prick.”
  • Daniel calls someone “a total dick.”


  • None

Spiritual Content

  • Birdie’s “grandmother had been religious. However, Grandpa veered toward angel sighting and UFOs and people communicating with their long-lost Aunt Margie from Topeka.”
  • When her aunt embarrasses her, Birdie thinks, “If there were an all-powerful being that ruled the universe, it would have surely heard my desperate prayer to please, oh please, have mercy and strike me down. I needed a natural disaster pronto—earthquake, tornado, tsunami. Anything.”
  • Birdie is confused about Daniel and thinks, “I wished someone could tell me what to do about Daniel. I wished I believed in something, so I could ask for a sign. Fate. God. Myself. Elvis.”
Other books by Jenn Bennett
Other books you may enjoy

“And when you pin impossible ideals on someone, nobody wins... Judging other people unfairly doesn’t define them; it defines you. And in the end everyone will be disappointed,” Grandpa. –Serious Moonlight.  

Latest Reviews