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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2005
Scooby elements: A cache of gold bars! A treasure map! A dastardly, swarthy villain who drives around in a limo with henchmen saying things like, "Very well. It's only a matter of time." Young woman who finds her brother's apartment ransacked, but doesn't call the cops -- she and her friends solve the mystery themselves!

Bad '80s TV drama (Riptide, Remington Steele, A-Team) elements: Soviet weapon at large! Outwitting doofy, incompetent G-men! Car crashes! A secret warehouse where the bad guys load stuff into 18-wheelers! Rappelling in through the roof! Scuba-diving for treasure! An exploding helicopter! Thousands of rounds fired, but people are only superficially wounded!

I'll shut up about the two dozen continuity problems and ludicrous plot cheats (well, in a minute): A Nascar driver and a guy named Wild Bill weigh only 360 pounds together, and can be lifted into a car unconscious, handcuffed together by a skinny blonde woman and a willowy gay guy? An elderly woman is such a good shot with a handgun that she can hit one guy in the foot and one guy in the arm because she just wants to wound them? A fishing boat running the Cuban blockade sinks and is missing for decades, then turns up at the bottom of a HARBOR? Almost made it!

And the characters are totally stock: The hot, tomoboyish young blonde woman in the short skirt, the homosexual, Burberry-wearing, exfoliating, interior designer queen (whom the hero just happens to know from childhood 1,600 miles away), the Texas race-car driver, the bumbling federal agents.

This actual quote from the first-person narrator on page 254 sums up the book: "Good thing I watch a lot of television. If it wasn't for television, I wouldn't have any ideas at all. Sometimes I worried that I didn't have a signle thought in my head that wasn't already a cliche'."
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63 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2004
Alex Barnaby is worried when her brother Bill, who is working in Miami, disappears along with his girlfriend Maria. She finds herself reluctantly joining forces with Hooker, a handsome racing driver, whose boat Bill has stolen. Together they set out to find the missing pair, helped and hindered by a variety of other characters.

This is quite a good story with some amusing moments, but I did not find it nearly as funny or exciting as the Stepahine Plum novels, none of the characters interested me very much, and the heroine, Alex, seemed insipid compared to Stephanie.

If you haven't read any Janet Evanovich books before, my advice would be to skip this one and go for the Plums, they are very much better than this.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2004
I had high hopes for this new series by JE but they were a bit deflated by the end of the book.

I'm a big fan of her Plum series and while in many ways it was classic JE, I found that I didn't quite come to care about the characters in Metro Girl as I do Steph, Joe, Ranger, Lula and the gang. I felt a distance from Barney and Hooker, and the secondary characters as well. They lacked the presence and spark her Steph Plum characters carry.

Her website advertises this series in comparison to the Steph Plum books as - The sex is sexier, the night's hotter. Huh? There is no sex, the most you're going to get is a little making out and it's very 'high school' at that. The night's hotter? Hmmm, aside from the hot weather there is not a lot of hot going on here.

The sexual tension between Steph, Joe and Ranger far surpasses anything in Metro Girl.

By halfway through I was starting to lose interest in the whole mystery, by 3/4 the way through I found myself skimming ahead to the end just to get it over with.

I'd say this new series is ok for paperback, but I wouldn't spend hardcover $$ on it.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2004
Like one of the reviewers before me, I am a big fan of the Plum series and when this book was promoted to be on par with Evanovich's bestselling series I confidently bought it in hard back. I am here to tell you that I am actually taking the book back to the store. There is no guilt - this product is simply not worth the money spent. I refuse to be swindled out of 23 dollars.

If this is a mystery - pieces of the plot work up until the end climax. Can we say - silly? If this is a romance - NASCAR guy is annoying. That joke went on too many times even when he was being sarcastic. He's a lech, looking at women as a bakery of overflowing offerings - and we are suppose to like him? But he's NASCAR guy - everybody wants NASCAR guy. What kind of ego is that? On the other hand, Alexandra just never quite evoked my sympathy either. This "high octane" adventure left the character development at the starting line.

I have happily gone for a ride with Evanovich prior to this book

- why? Because Plum just makes you want to follow her around to see what she'll do next. Alexandra - or Barney - just made me shake my head. She is a cookie cutter image of Plum without the substance, moxie or sense of self (or lack there of). Evanovich wants to also follow her proven formula by bringing other characters - literally - along for the ride. And that extra help just smacks of the various characters that hitch along in her other series. Lula is now Rosa and works in a cigar factory.

This is fluff and it's short. Big print and 296 pages long. Metro Girl feels like it came out of some sort of machine that has forgotten that character, character, character is what brings the readers back for more.

I am feverently hoping that Evanovich hasn't lost her touch.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2004
I'm a HUGE Plum fan and have been waiting anxiously for the release of Metro Girl. Janet Evanovich is the only author who I will spend the extra money for hardback. This book was a huge disappointment. I had to force myself to read it which is so surprising! I was irritated with practically every character in the book. It's like Janet Evanovich tried TOO hard to make the people funny and it flopped. The love interest was the most annoying character that I have ever read (and I read a lot!). I cannot believe that I am giving my favorite author one star but this book read like it was written in 1 day.

I understand that she was trying something different than Plum but at least give us a likable characters and a good story. She bombed on both with Metro Girl.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2006
Not funny, not clever and insulting.

I am Hispanic. I live in Florida. I am a woman. I do not work in a cigar factory. This book is totally insulting to Hispanics. It is also insulting to gays. I thought society and authors had moved on from using racial or sexual stereotypes for cheap laughs.

How old is Janet Evanovich? She writes as if it is the 1960s in terms of the Hispanics in Florida. The women don't all roll cigars, and never did. We don't carry guns in our purses. My mother is a doctor, my father a professor, I am a surgeon, my sister is a lawyer, my brother is a pharmacist. Yes, we are all originally from Cuba and not a gun between us.

However, the racial stereotyping wasn't the worst of this book. Nascar man was, without doubt, the worst idea an author has had since the middle ages.

The writing was lazy, repetitive and used the same jokes over and over again.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2004
Janet Evanovich promised her fans a brand new character. What we got was Stephanie Plum as a race car driver/mechanic with blonde hair. Worse: Alex is not nearly half as interesting as Plum, but Janet Evanovich works way too hard to try to make her to be.

The writing is not as natural as the Plum novels. The storyline a bit contrived. And confusing. The love and/or sex story? Nothing like what we have with Stephanie, Joe, and Ranger.

I am severely disappointed in this much-anticipated novel. Instead of handing us Alex Barnaby, Ms. Evanovich's time would've been much better spent expanding on the story she gave us a few years ago with Visions of Sugar Plums. Instead of Alex, she could have followed up on the story she started with Mary Alice. Now THAT was interesting.

Alex... not so much. Sorry, Janet. I really wanted to like this one, but it was an extreme disappointment.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2005
The only thing good about this book was that a friend gave it to me for free.

The writing was pre-adolescent stream of consciouness. The characters were one dimensional, the plot was thinner than Kleenex and I have read better humor on a bathroom stall.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2005
I have never read anything by Ms. Evanovich before reading this so I don't have her other stories to compare to but I can say this isn't a good one to start with. I give it one star for the overall story. If she would have left out the 15 times a page reference to NASCAR in the first 5 chapters it might have not been so bad. But when she misspelled Talladega (she had Taledega pg 104 line 16) it was ruined for me being a NASCAR fanatic. The stereotyping of every character was another annoyance, the Hispanics, the gays, the "NASCAR guy" all stereotyped horribly, even the crime family was was a story full of clichés one after another. The story had potential (if you took out the NASCAR and stereotypes and clichés) but it fell flat with the ending. It was so unbelievable and so forced it sucked the air out of me. And to think this is going to be a series for her. I can hardly hold back my enthusiasm.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2006
I was given this book for Christmas and it was probably the worst book I have read in years. Luckily the gift giver bought it marked down to 99c in her local book shop and you can see why.

What a ridiculous storyline, and NASCAR man has to be the most annoying character ever written. Alex Barnaby is a flighty, stupid and most unappealing heroine.

The storyline is feeble.

She hears a scream during a telephone conversation with her brother, she flies down to Florida, meets up with obnoxious NASCAR man, and basically resorts to the worst plot lines ever to find her brother, recover gold, missiles, and it goes on and on.

I'd heard Evanovich was a good author, but I have since been told by others that only her early Plum books are good. The rest are garbage. Judging by Metro Girl, they are right - this is total garbage.

The only good thing about this book is that is made of paper and paper burns. That's what I used to for - to help start the fire.
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