Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “Stephanie Plum”

Katie’s #CBR4 Review #50: One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

Title: One for the Money
Author: Janet Evanovich
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: This book is like junk food for your mind. It’s fun and enjoyable, but it sucks you in with humor and sex appeal rather than good writing.

One for the Money is a surprisingly plausible story about Stephanie Plum,  a pretty average woman who loses her job and ends up becoming a bounty hunter. Sounds crazy, right? What makes it work is that she’s not instantly good at it. Her bumbling mishaps and witty commentary throughout are both hilarious and believable. Her strong personality and sheer stubbornness – enhanced by the fact that one of her targets, Joe Morelli, is a guy who slept with her once and never looked back – gives her the perseverance she needs to make the job work.

Read more on Doing Dewey.

Valyruh’s #CBR4 Review # 86: Smokin’ Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

Well, I just got in my Janet Evanovich fix for the year, and it was a fun ride as usual but the cookie-cutter plot is starting to wear really thin, and Ms. Evanovich is going to need to get her creative juices flowing if she wants to keep this series going.

As usual, our intrepid girl Stephanie Plum is on the run from assorted murderous fruitcakes, gorging on donuts and fried chicken with her friend and former “ho” Lula (who I find more interesting by far than Stephanie, truth be told), hunting down bail skippers with stunning violence (pun intended), and still waffling between her two guys while doing the nasty with them both! Her mother still irons and cooks to deal with stress, her father still covers his eyes and ears, her grandmother still tries to face down death by prying open coffins (that have usually been sealed for a reason), and Stephanie is still managing to antagonize her boyfriend Joe’s grandmother Bella into giving her the evil eye. Oh, and surprise! The bad guys lose and Stephanie skids into home base unscathed yet again.

Ms. Evanovich has a natural comic bent to her writing which definitely tickles the funnybone, but calling her writing formulaic would be a serious understatement. There’s not much more to say, except that it’s time for her to put her talents to a real challenge, or retire Stephanie Plum.

narfna’s #CBR4 Review #30: Three to Get Deadly By Janet Evanovich

I liked this one a lot, although it got a bit weird at the end, with the porn movies and the drug dealer assassinations. Sometimes these books take way serious things not seriously at all and it’s just a little . . . off-putting?

This time around, Stephanie Plum is tasked with bringing in neighborhood ice cream and candy vendor, Uncle Mo, who is universally beloved. He was caught carrying concealed, but it turns out to be so much more than that, of course. Aforementioned porn films and assassinated drug dealers, dead bodies buried beneath ice cream shops, and neighborhood vigilantes . . . and they don’t want Stephanie to uncover their secrets. While all of this is going on, Stephanie and Joe Morelli grow closer and finally consummate their adult relationship, so that probably means something, although who knows with these two at this point. And Lula is working at Vinnie’s now as a file clerk/bounty hunter in training. Lula is wacky.

Not much to complain about here. Three to Get Deadly was a fun read that doesn’t tax your brain cells or ask too much of you, and it never pretends to be anything more.

[Link to original review here.]

narfna’s #CBR4 Review #29: Two For the Dough by Janet Evanovich

This series is silly, silly fluff.

It’s been a while in between reading the book and writing this review, but the basic plot of the second Stephanie Plum novel concerns Stephanie hunting down a goon who shot a buddy of his in the knee (and later in the head), and who also happens to be Joe Morelli’s cousin. This leads to all sorts of hijinks in funeral homes (Grandma Mazur is obsessed with going to viewings), with missing coffins and junk popping up all over the place, and Stephanie laughably being hired to “bodyguard.” And of course somebody threatens Stephanie’s life, and she goes through about five cars a day.

The good? Morelli is still delicious, and Stephanie can’t resist him. Afterwards, she’s disgusted with herself, of course, and at one point she leaves him naked in a cold street and drives away, but he’s a good sport. Their antagonistic sexually charged relationship continues to hold my attention. Two For the Dough is also funny and disturbing. I can’t decide if the part where Stephanie has an honest to god penis mailed to her was wonderful or awful, but either way, it’s entertaining.

I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first or third ones. There was too much plot, and the plot was confusing to boot. I wanted more character stuff. Part of the reason I liked the first book so much was Stephanie’s musings on life and her past, and there was basically none of that in Two For the Dough. Just wacky caper after wacky caper. It wasn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon, but it could have been much better.

Final verdict: 2.5 stars.

[Link to original review here.]

Bothari’s #CBR4 Review #2: Smokin’ Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

After the heaviness of the last book I read, which killed off all women with a terrible plague, I needed something light and girl-powery. Janet Evanovich’s series about Stephanie Plum, inept bounty hunter, fit the bill. Smokin’ Seventeen is a funny, quick read, just like all the rest of the series. The Evanovich novels are like meals on a road trip: you know you stopped and ate something several miles ago, and you probably remember if it was good or bad, but that’s as far as the recollection goes, and the details all blur together.

All 17 books (I imagine all 18, but I haven’t read the latest) follow roughly the same format. Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter in New Jersey. She bumbles around and zaps people with her stun gun when they don’t show up for their court dates. She eats a lot of donuts. She takes her wacky grandmother to at least one viewing at the funeral home (Grandma Mazur’s favorite hobby). She takes her wacky sidekick Lula with her on the job. She dithers between the two loves of her life, the dreamy cop Morelli and the dreamier bounty hunter Ranger. She accidentally blows up cars. She usually stumbles on a bigger crime with a bigger villain, and has to extricate herself before the bodies pile up too high. Smokin’ Seventeen is no different, hitting all the familiar notes while remaining funny and engaging. The main story here is the rebuilding of the bail bonds office (which apparently blew up in a previous book – don’t remember!), which is stymied when they keep finding bodies at the construction site. Who done it and why? Stephanie and Lula are on the case.

The Stephanie Plum series is lady porn, but well written and hella fun. Evanovich spends as much time lovingly describing everything Stephanie eats (her mother’s lasagna, coffee cake, fast food chicken, etc.) as she does Ranger (Latin heart-throb) and Joe Morelli (boy next door), with a little bit of shopping thrown in. Everything a girl could want, with the added bonus of tasing dumbasses with impunity.

And yes, I will see the movie. I can’t help it.

Scootsa1000’s #CBR4 Review #2: Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

If you’ve never read one of the 18 Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich, here’s a quick primer. Stephanie is a really bad bounty hunter working for her sleazy cousin Vinny’s bail bonds company in the suburbs of Trenton, NJ. In every book, the following things happen:
Stephanie eats a lot of junk food: donuts, fried chicken, pineapple upside-down cake, meatball subs, and pizza.
Stephanie does very little exercising.
Stephanie’s car blows up.
Stephanie takes her Grandma Mazur to a wake at the local funeral home to try and figure out a mystery she has somehow stumbled across.
Stephanie’s friend Lula (former prostitute, plus-sized, and super confident) shoots someone and there are no repercussions.
Stephanie must try to choose between the two beautiful men in her life: Handsome cop Joe (who wants to settle down and have a family) and mysterious and dangerous Ranger (who wants no strings attached).

Find out what happens to Stephanie in book #18.

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