By: Jenn Bennett
Published Year: 2019
Publisher: Simon Pulse
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion of this book.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced to work together in a Seattle hotel where a famous author leads a mysterious and secluded life in this romantic contemporary novel from the author of Alex, Approximately.
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.
Bennett’s covers are the best. Every time I see her covers I just want to crawl inside and live in them. I mean look! They’re perfection. I didn’t even need to read the summary because I had enjoyed Bennett’s two previous novels.
What I thought
Bennett just keeps getting better and better. I loved this book.
Birdie is 18 and starting her first job. Problem is, she slept with and ran away from one of her now coworkers. Daniel is a magician who works at the same hotel as Birdie. He knows that she loves to solve mysteries, so when she refuses to talk to him about what happened, he tells her he knows of a mystery happening at the hotel and asks if she would like to solve it with him.
I enjoyed this book so much that I don’t even know where to start. Birdie is such a unique character and I loved her. She has a lot of flaws, but they’re all endearing and not irritating. Sometimes I can get easily annoyed with characters that are either too perfect or too flawed, but Birdie hits that perfect balance. She is struggling to find out who she is while also dealing with typical teenage love awkwardness.
And Daniel. Oh man did I love him. He’s a great book crush. He has this cool air about him but the magician side makes him more approachable. I love the way he talks to Birdie and that he doesn’t let her get away with much.
I think what I liked best about this book was that while it is a contemporary novel (which is my jam) this one added a mystery twist and it was awesome. Daniel has discovered that recluse author Raymond Darke is coming to the hotel every Tuesday for an hour and then leaving. Daniel and Birdie investigating Darke was a delight.
I also appreciated that Bennett doesn’t shy away from adult issues. The story touches on issues like death, suicide, depression, sex, drugs, and more and it is done so well and realistically. I think often YA books gloss over the gory details because they want to please the readers’ parents. But when a book talks to the teenagers like adults and throws in real life issues, I think it’s more important.