Friends with ARCs | The Girl He Used to Know + Serious Moonlight

pub 4/2/19 by St. Martin's Press
Contemporary Fiction
Received ARC from pub for review
The Girl He Used To Know is a second chance romance that alternates between the past and present of Annika Rose and Jonathan Hoffman. They met in chess club while they both attended the same college and from that first meeting he was immediately drawn to her intelligence, beauty and quirks. She, on the other hand, has always felt anxious and awkward in social situations but finds herself opening up to Jonathan. They fall in love but something happens that forces them to go their separate ways. Until ten years later (in the present) when bump into one another and wonder if they can start over again after all this time. I’m a fan of second chance romances and the back and forth between their college years and the present was done really well. But I struggled to connect to either character. I certainly sympathized with both, especially Annika who I felt slightly more invested in, but there was something missing. Also the majority of the book felt like a quiet romantic novel (which I didn’t mind at all) but suddenly took one dramatic turn after the other in the last quarter. And then we’re taken through those tragedies rather rapidly. It was a bit jarring and I wish the author would’ve chosen to really dive into one major (and tragic) occurrence in their lives earlier in the story.

Are you still in contact with your first college roommate? • The relationship between Annika and her college roommate was one of my favorite parts of the book! So this felt like a good question to ask. Unlike Annika, my first college roommate and I got along but never became friends so we never hung out after freshman year. But she’ll always my thanks for introducing me to Harry Potter.

pub 4/16/19 by Simon Pulse
YA - Contemporary Fiction
Received ARC from pub for review
Serious Moonlight is cute and fun, which is what I’ve come to expect from Jenn Bennett. She always introduces interesting characters thrown into unique situations and while a part of me wonders “is this real life?” at times, the bigger part of me just enjoys being along for the ride. Birdie Lindberg is a sheltered girl who loves mysteries and has a tendency to play out scenarios in her mind where she’s the detective solving a case. When she takes a summer job at a historic Seattle hotel before she heads off to college, she’s hoping to spread her wings a bit. There she meets (or re-meets), Daniel Aoki who she had an awkward first encounter with before taking the job. He’s friendly, outgoing, into magic tricks and knows exactly how to get Birdie’s interest—he’s discovered a real-life mystery at their hotel and asks for her help. But their investigation merely serves as the backdrop to the growing romance between these two, which was the best part. I have to admit, I usually didn’t understand Birdie and her actions, but there was something about watching her muddle through the unexpectedness of Daniel that I found endearing. And like Birdie and everyone else in the book, I was completely charmed by Daniel (I dare you not to be!). Overall, this may not be a new favorite of mine but it’s quick, cute and entertaining which are all good things!

Favorite detective • I immediately knew my answer to this: Veronica Mars. I am so overdue for a rewatch.


Collaborative feature with Alexa. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.


  1. Both of these stories were cute, but ultimately, I didn't love them as much as I wanted to! I will say that Serious Moonlight had the bonus of a setting that appealed to me though.


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