Look for Me by Moonlight

( 133 )

Overview

When sixteen-year-old Cynda goes to stay with her father and his second wife, Susan, at their remote bed-and-breakfast inn in Maine, everything starts off well despite legends about ghosts and a murder at the inn. But Cynda feels like a visitor in Dad's new life, an outsider. Then intense, handsome stranger Vincent Morthanos arrives at the inn and seems to return Cynda's interest. At first she is blind to the subtle, insistent signs that Vincent is not what he seems-that he is, in fact, a vampire. Can Cynda free ...

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Overview

When sixteen-year-old Cynda goes to stay with her father and his second wife, Susan, at their remote bed-and-breakfast inn in Maine, everything starts off well despite legends about ghosts and a murder at the inn. But Cynda feels like a visitor in Dad's new life, an outsider. Then intense, handsome stranger Vincent Morthanos arrives at the inn and seems to return Cynda's interest. At first she is blind to the subtle, insistent signs that Vincent is not what he seems-that he is, in fact, a vampire. Can Cynda free herself-and her family-from Vincent's power before it's too late? Full-bodied characterizations and page-turning suspense ensure that this eerie, riveting novel will appeal to middle school fans of mystery and horror.

While staying at the remote and reputedly haunted Maine inn run by her father and pregnant stepmother, sixteen-year-old Cynda feels increasingly isolated from her father's new family and finds solace in the attentions of a charming but mysterious guest.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hahn deftly creates the proper atmosphere and setting for this spine chiller." —Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"A stylish psychological thriller... all the more gripping for its sturdy psychological underpinnings," said PW about this novel of a teenage girl in a remote, haunted inn who falls for a mysterious visitor. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)o
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
This is a sinister gothic story set in the bleak chill of a Maine winter. Cynda, 16, is visiting her dad and his new family at their remote coastal Inn. The landscape is desolate and foreboding which adds to Cynda's feeling of loneliness and isolation. When a handsome, mysterious stranger appears, Cynda's life takes on exciting possibilities. Vincent promises love but there are signs that he is not what he seems to be. She is spellbound and unable to resist his power. Only when her 5-year-old step-brother is threatened is she able to act, but is it too late? A riveting vampire story. 1997 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-A vampire story with all the formulaic trappings of Gothic romance. Rebellious and hostile, Cynda refuses to accompany her mother and stepfather to Italy, so she goes to spend a six-month trial visit with her father, young stepmother, and half-brother at an old inn on the winter-desolate Maine coast. She learns the dark history of her new home, which is reported to be haunted by the ghost of a former innkeeper's daughter, who was murdered, drained of blood, and tossed into the ocean in the 1930s. Will, the housekeeper's grandson, fleetingly wins Cynda's attention until a mysterious, tall, dark, and drop-dead handsome stranger appears in a silver Porsche bathed in moonlight during a blizzard. Vincent, sexy and poetic, jokes with her that he is 30 years old, give or take a few centuries. He quickly insinuates himself into the inn's routine, charming everyone, especially Cynda, who feels like an outsider in her father's new family. Only the child Todd fears and distrusts Vincent. When the vampire turns his attention to the boy and sucks his blood, Cynda fights back to save him. The novel's aura of romance and suspense, coupled with images of Bess, the landlord's daughter from ``The Highwayman,'' elevate the prose somewhat and help sustain reader attention and interest. But like Cynda's crush on Vincent, the narrative is predictable. The happy ending is disappointing; could a weakened vampire's thrall so easily overcome her centuries-old despoiler? In most vampire stories, evil demons usually fight to the death, taking a few innocents with them. Though a step up from ``Fear Street'' and other horror novels, this book lacks the gripping, palpable action and poignant emotion of Annette Curtis Klause's The Silver Kiss (Delacorte, 1990) or Margaret Mahy's The Changeover (McElderry, 1984). In Look For Me by Moonlight, it is the easy seduction of a teen who is a victim of her own insecurities that rings most true.-Alice Casey Smith, Monmouth County Library Headquarters, Manalapan, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547076164
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/8/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 342,310
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Downing Hahn , a former children’s librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories, including Deep and Dark and Dangerous and The Old Willis Place. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her two cats, Oscar and Rufus.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

SOMETIMES YOU CAN PINPOINT THE EXACT MOMENT life when things begin to go wrong. For me, it was the day my father left my mother. I was six years old, too young to understand what was happening except that it involved a student in one of Dad's literature classes. A girl named Susan. Because of her, he was moving out of our house. I cried and begged him to stay, I swore I'd be good, but nothing I said or did made any difference. Dad packed his bags and his books and kissed me goodbye.

"I love you, Cynda," he said. "No matter where I live, I'll always be your father, and you'll always be my daughter. Nothing will change."

Of course, it wasn't true. A year later, Dad moved to Maine with Susan and I stayed in Mary land with Mom. That meant he was suddenly almost a thousand miles away. It also meant I saw less and less of him.

Not long after Dad married Susan, Mom married Steve, and things changed again. We became a Navy family, hopscotching all over America. California, Florida, Virginia-we never stayed in one place long enough for me to make friends, settle down, and feel comfortable.

When Steve announced we were going to Italy for three years, I fiat-out rebelled. Giving up all pre tense of being a mature sixteen-year-old, I threw a major temper tantrum which resulted in a series of phone calls between my mother and my father. The end result was an invitation to stay with Dad for at least six months, maybe longer if things worked out.

Mom's role in setting up the visit surprised me. She'd never forgiven Dad for falling in love with Susan. Nor did she approve of his career. In addition to writing best-selling mysteries, he ran an old inn on the Mainecoast-occupations my mother denounced as fiscally irresponsible, proof of Dad's immaturity and selfishness.

Later, when I had time to think about it, I came to the conclusion that Mom and Steve had decided Italy would be more fun without me. To be candid, things hadn't been good in our house since I turned thirteen and, as Mom put it, lost my mind over night. Which meant I changed from an obedient child who never gave anyone a second's trouble into an obnoxious teenager who left wet towels on the bathroom floor and dirty dishes in front of the television, played loud music, and argued about everything from politics to curfews. Maybe Mom thought it was Dad's turn to cope with me. Maybe I was her revenge.

Whatever her reasons, Mom put me on a plane to Maine one cold January day. As I left National Airport in Washington behind, I tried to convince myself I was going to a new and better life with Dad, but deep down inside I wasn't so sure. I hadn't seen my father for almost two years, hadn't talked to him about anything important for longer than that. Worse yet, I'd never met his wife or their son, now five years old. I might not like Susan, she might not like me. Todd might be spoiled and bratty.

By the time my plane landed, I'd had more time to think (and worry) than I'd expected. Thanks to winter storms buffeting the coast from Virginia to Nova Scotia, my flight had been delayed, diverted, and unexpectedly stranded in Boston for two hours. I'd eaten lousy food and washed it down with even worse coffee. I'd read a three-hundred page novel whose plot I'd already forgotten. I'd been pushed and jostled and propositioned by strangers. Not to mention bounced from one air pocket to another all the way to Bangor.

Jumpy, jangled, and tense, I was too strung out with anxiety to join the passengers mobbing the aisle. I stayed in my seat, closed my eyes, and tried to relax. In a few minutes, I'd come face to face with a father who might not even recognize me. I was going to stay with him for six months. Twenty four weeks, more or less. A hundred and seventy eight days. What would we do? What would we say? A lot could go wrong in half a year.

The doubts I'd swept under the rug began to crawl out, bigger and uglier than ever. How did Dad feel about me? Did he really want me? Or was he just doing Mom a favor? He had Susan now. And Todd. He didn't need me. Neither did Mom. She had Steve. But who did I have? Not even a boyfriend.

"Are you all right, sweetie?"

I looked up to see a flight attendant staring down at me. Red-faced with embarrassment, I hastily gathered my belongings. While I'd been brooding, everyone else had gotten off the plane. I was the only passenger still on board.

"It was a terrible flight," the attendant said as if bad weather explained everything. Chattering cheerfully about air turbulence, she followed me to the plane's exit, wished me well, and waved goodbye.

I expected to see Dad at the gate, but he wasn't there. No one was. The waiting area was deserted, the check-in desk unstaffed. Discarded newspapers and rows of empty seats gave the place a surreal look. It could have been a set for a movie about the end of the world.

Fighting panic, I reminded myself that Dad lived way up the coast, close to Canada. The snow had probably delayed him. He'd be here soon. I sat down and leafed aimlessly through my book. After a few minutes, my imagination began churning out increasingly scary scenarios. The storm had closed the roads. Dad had given up and gone back home. He couldn't call because the telephone lines were down. Maybe he'd had an accident. Maybe he was in the hospital. Maybe he'd forgotten I was coming.

What was I going to do? It was dark and cold outside. I knew no one in Bangor. I didn't have enough money to buy a return ticket. And even if I did go back to Washington, where would I stay? Our house was rented. Like a little kid, I wanted my mother, but she was on her way to Italy, blithely assuming I was safe with Dad.

An hour passed. I cried for a while, then I got mad. People arrived to meet a flight from Albany. I hated them for not being my father. I hated my father for not being them.

Just as the Albany passengers deplaned, Dad came hurrying toward me. He looked the same as I remembered, ruddy-faced and with a full beard. "Cynda, I'm so sorry," he said, giving me a hug. "The roads were terrible-accidents all the way to Bangor, cars and trucks everywhere. I'm lucky I got through."

I clung to him, crying again in spite of myself. "I was scared something had happened to you," I sobbed. "I thought you'd gone of f the road, I was afraid you'd forgotten . . ."

Dad apologized again, adding, "Don't be silly, honey. Nothing could have stopped me from getting here. Neither rain nor sleet nor whatever, as the post office puts it."

I tried to smile, to make our reunion go the way I'd planned, but all the clever things I'd meant to say dissolved into a silly jumble of platitudes and corny cliches.

"You look great," Dad said, probably to cover up the awkward silence developing between us. "Prettier than ever, just plain lovely."

"I shrugged Dad's compliments away, too embarrassed to thank him, and followed him to Baggage Claim. On the way, I glanced at my reflection in a plate-glass window, hoping to see what he saw. There I was-a tall, thin girl with a pale, narrow face and long, dark hair, tangled from sleeping on the plane. Gawky. All arms and legs and feet. A loping walk Mom had tried unsuccessfully to correct with ballet lessons.

Who was Dad kidding? At sixteen, I was far from pretty, even further from lovely. Just plain was more like it.

After we found my suitcases, we loaded them into an old Volvo station wagon and headed north toward Underhill Inn, dodging in and out of snow storms all the way to the coast. I was too tired to say much, so I let Dad do most of the talking, some thing he obviously enjoyed. He began by telling me how much Susan and Todd were looking forward to meeting me. I hoped it was true. Next he gave a long account of Susan's many talents, which included decorating, bookkeeping, and sewing.

"You'll love her," he said confidently. "And wait till you see Todd. You'll adore him, Cynda. Every body does."

Still talking, Dad accelerated to pass a log truck, and I closed my eyes, certain the chains holding the logs would break and we'd be crushed to death under the load. The Volvo fishtailed on the snowy road, but Dad was too absorbed in telling me about Todd to notice I was frightened. If my father was to be believed, my half brother was a child prodigy, sensitive and imaginative as well as charming.

How nice, I thought, but what about me? Was I special too? Or was I merely the daughter he left behind when he fell in love with Susan?

After we turned off Route 9, Dad asked if I'd like to stop for coffee. "We still have about thirty miles to go, and I could use a break."

"Coffee and something to eat," I said, grabbing the chance to keep Dad to myself a little longer. Maybe we'd relax over coffee and feel comfortable with each other. Maybe he'd ask a question that would open my heart. Maybe he'd at least stop talking about Todd.

"There's the Seaside Diner's sign." Dad pointed at a pink glow in the sky I'd mistaken for the northern lights. "It's the only place open at this hour."

A few minutes later, Dad maneuvered the Volvo into a parking place behind a pickup truck so coated with road salt I couldn't read the license plate. "Welcome to the thriving metropolis of Ferrington," he said. . . .

Copyright ) 1995 by Mary Downing Hahn

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 133 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(74)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 133 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not what i expected

    When i first got this book i was so excited because i finally found a vampire book that i havent read and it seemed so good. But when i started reading this i got so mad! This book was not what i expected at all!!!!! I was pushing my self to finish this book because i never leave a book i started to be unfinished, doesnt matter how bad. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone if you want to read a book that is supernatural/romance, like twilight, morganville vampire series, vampire kisses, ect..... <BR/><BR/>This book is about a girl named Cynda and how she moved to live with her dad, stepmom, and half-brother in the northeast pacific. She lives in this old inn (that is supposedly haunted) that is very isolated from everyone excepted from a few small towns. One day a guy named Vincent comes to the inn to stay for a month or so.... And during this time Cynda starts falling in love with him. But once she tells him that she would do ANYTHING for him, he uses her for her blood. From there she figures out that he is a vampire and most likely will die. <BR/><BR/>This book isn't a good book to read unless you like that type of book that the vampire is completely bad and most likely the main character is screwed. So unless you like that sort of thing, i say don't waste your time on it because it isn't worth it. Trust me

    10 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2012

    Read it. I will make you

    Hahn' s books are so amazing. I hope someday all of them will become movies. I wish that all books were written by such talented authers who make you keep reading until you finish. I recommend all of her books and if you choose not to, you will be sorry.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Amazing

    I read tthis book when I wa younger and I still love it. Way better then this wierd "Twilight" phase.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    highly recomended - you must check it out!!

    This is a book that you will love if you enjoy love and romantic stories. This book will catch your attention istanly and you will not be able to put it down because you will want to know what happens next!!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2008

    AWESOME!

    WARNING! WARNING! THIS BOOK CONTAINS MAJOR AWESOMENESS! I enjoy reading all of the Mary Downing Hahn books and they are all outstanding. I just read this one and it kept me reading non-stop. The details were amazing and the suspense was breath-taking!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2012

    Amazing

    You will not believe this book. Its so good. Definatly a page turner!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Enticing, But Not Too Much

    This was a quick read for me - mostly because I wasn't in love with it. It's got bite, I do have to say, and I didn't /hate/ it, but it just wasn't there for me.<BR/>Bottom Line: Something to read on a rainy afternoon.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2012

    Mary downing haun rocks

    I read like every single book by marydowning haun sheeee is awesome i really likes wait till helen comes it was sooo good i havent resd this one yet so im startin to read noww anyway she is sooooooo awesomeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Anonymous

    This book was really good. This was very different then what i exspected. Ghost story lover will want tonread this!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2012

    Loved it!!

    When I got bored and started searching for any vampire books, I happened to find Look For Me By Moonlight. At the beginning, I thought it was okay, but then when Vincent came in, I immediately fell in love. I couldn't stop reading it; I stayed awake the whole night for hours just so I could finish it!!!!!! It's one of my favorite books, and I recommend this to people who love vampires. I believe one reason why I may have liked it so much is because of my obsession with vampires. But you will love the book!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2011

    EPIC!

    I veer this toward Twihards, and people looking for a good vampire story, because just reading the first chapter, you will realize how much Twilight author, Stephanie Meyer, has stolen from this book.
    But this had a great ending, and I was happily surprised by this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Depressing

    Look for me by Moonlight is by one of my favorite authors, Mary Downing Hahn. I was deeply disapointed by what she wrote. It was, though, one of her firsts from 1995. Still, I easily got depressed reading it, even though the ending was fabulous. The characters are quite believable but yet, I still can't get around how their moods changed so drastically. If you do like vampire stories, though then read Twilight or some others... Also try some other books by Mary Downing Hahn.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2008

    Not the best

    It was okay. Not the best in my book. I didn't expect it to be like this. It's actually pretty creepy and weird. If you want to buy it DON'T. It's most def a book you would check out at the library or something.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2014

    The original vampires were female

    They were in Greek mythology, with pale skin, fire hair, red eyes, one leg bronze and one leg like a donkey. They would hypnotize men and eat their flesh and drink their blood.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    How does......................

    How does Hahn do that?She writes such frekin awesom books.the way she writes......its lik its really happen to me.Awesome book btw.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    BEST BOOK EVER!

    This book was amazing i loved it and i usally read ghost books only but this book got me to read other sort of books. This book is an older version of twilight.I very much enjoyed reading LFMBM!!I reccomd that you read this!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Purely amazing

    A thrilling yet scarey tale that i will forever remember as awesome

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    Read this !!!!!!

    Im a5year old and i think this book is asome

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Freakin amazing

    This is about vampires and its tote rad Go vamps except i dont like this vamp only EDWARD

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    Asdfghjkl

    They really should be movies

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 133 Customer Reviews

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