Monday, June 7, 2010
The Summer of Moonlight Secrets by Danette Haworth
Allie Jo knows every inch of the old hotel including a hidden staircase behind a camouflaged door, tunnels running under the hotel, and a speakeasie from prohibition times. Nothing unusual happens until one moonlit night Allie Jo sees the beautiful and mysterious Tara come out of the water of the springs. Tara has a secret and once Allie Jo and her friend, Chase, learn it, they have to figure out a way to help her.
The Summer of Moonlight Secrets is about a summer filled with intrigue, magic, mystery, mean girls, and a budding romance ( done so well, so cute, it brought back fond memories of innocent crushes at that age). I enjoyed everything about this book.
At first, when I realized that each character would be given alternating chapters to tell the story from their own first person point of view, I wasn't sure how that would work. However, Danette Haworth gave the reader such a complete understanding of the character's personal life, attitudes, and reactions to the plot, that I looked forward to each chapter change. The way she handled it moved the story along without bogging down with unnecesary repetition. I also loved her unique but simple descriptions, for example, when she compared the exhaust turbines on the restaurant roof to chef's hats. Can't you just see them now?
The story of Tara was written so well it made me suspend my disbelief for a short time-I love that! I think middle graders, boys and girls alike, are going to love it, too, if they are able to find it. I say that because I checked Borders and none of them carried it. I found a copy at Barnes and Noble and found out each store only had one copy available for sale and none of them had a copy of Violet Raines Almost Got Struck By Lightning. Children and parents are not going to find this book "just browsing" and that's such a shame. It's a sad commentary on bookstores and shelf space today, but we won't go into that.
Thanks, Danette Haworth, for a great read.