Sunday, January 8, 2012

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).

All of these things happen in book 18. In addition, Lula falls under the spell of a love potion gone wrong, Ranger and Joe get into a mysterious brawl in Hawaii, Stephanie's mortal enemy Joyce Barnhardt is presumed dead, and someone (actually, many people) are trying to kill Stephanie because of a strange picture that somehow ended up in her bag on an airplane.

I know these books are formulaic and that the plots repeat themselves over and over again...and yet, I always look forward to reading the next installment. I enjoy peeking into Stephanie's life and seeing what outrageous (and completely implausible) situation she and her friends have gotten themselves into. Evanovich has created a ridiculous little world filled with equally ridiculous characters, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Looking forward to book 19. And no, I won't be seeing the upcoming Katherine Heigl just doesn't look right to me (although kudos for casting Debbie Reynolds as Grandma and Sherri Shephard as Lula). Maybe on Netflix.

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