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1,789 of 1,855 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2011
Posted at [...]
You don't know me. I'm a fan of your work, have been for years. I have gotten many friends and family hooked on Stephanie, Joe, Ranger and Lula. I had every one of your books. I love your work with Charlotte Hughes and the Full Series. I have laughed and teared up, I have giggled and gasped for years, but it's time I stand up and shout.

Your last three Stephanie Plum Novels have left me feeling cheated. With each new installment I hope for more. But I get the same old antics. I read a recent interview with you, in which you say that when an author finds a winning formula, to stick with it and milk it for all it's worth. I take issue with this. How can an author expect their fans to keep buying a novel with the same plots, same games, same lines, same everything? The books seem to be getting shorter, the font larger, and the quality poorer, all with a hardcover price. I used to recommend your books to all who would listen, but now? I shy away and that sucks!

In your latest installment of the Stephanie Plum Series, Stephanie turns into a Hoochie. I'm sorry to say it. I don't like the word, I don't like the meaning, but it's what you turned her into. I didn't mind so much previously when she would steal a few kisses here and there between Ranger and Joe (and hell Diesel) but having her sleep with both men, in the same book, on back to back nights is just shameful. Gramma Bella SHOULD put the eye on her! Joe SHOULD dump her, so should Ranger. So what, now that Joe and Stephanie have an 'open' relationship they can sleep with whomever they want, whenever they want, and each other? Yuck. I was a Joe fan in the beginning of the series, but then he turned rather chauvinistic, spouting how she should be barefoot and pregnant and not working, and that got my feminist hackles all up and pissy. I've always been a Ranger girl, but I can't understand how he can still be around playing for scraps. Is her vagina magic? Are you gearing up to make her like Anita Blake? Because if So, please for the love of books don't!!!

Characters need growth in a series. Stephanie has not grown, in fact I could argue that she has regressed. After seventeen books, she STILL can't shoot her gun, she can't use handcuffs, she blows up cars, and has no desire to learn self defense. I'm sorry, but she's an idiot. And not a funny one anymore.

To me, and I know that I am not alone, Stephanie used to be a source of comic relief. She made me laugh and took me out of the seriousness of my life or other more suspenseful books I was reading at the time. But she's no longer funny, she's a joke.

If you are tired of writing her, then please stop.
If you think your fans will stop reading if she chooses to stay with ONE of the men, they won't.
If you are doing this for the money, I'm sorry.
I won't be buying anymore of your novels.

If this alienates me in the book blogging world, so be it. I can't stand it anymore. I've held my council for the last three books and I can't do it anymore. It's my opinion, but I am not alone. I implore you to see reason. Please go back to writing meaningfully. Make Stephanie grow up a bit. Make her see that she has to learn.

I hate to see her the way she is. I hope you have a plan. I pray to the editors that you have a plan. Please don't string us along. Don't make us hate her. We fans, and Stephanie as well, deserve better than what you are giving us.
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530 of 559 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2011
I was horribly disappointed in books 13 - 16 and I wasn't going to buy 17 but I saw some decent reviews as well as the mention of Steph/Ranger sex and I caved. Is this book better than 13 -16 - Yes. Is it good? No. This book feels forced and completely disjointed. I don't believe it was written by JE or at least not completely and many of the characters are, once again, out of character. Grandma is tame, Ranger is devoid of personality and Morelli is resigned.

I love Ranger, I'm thrilled we got some S/R loving and I would like to see what would happen with a Steph/Ranger pairing. Morelli has always made it clear that he hates Steph bounty hunting and wants her to settle down and be a good Burg wife regardless of what she wants. If Steph ends up with Morelli then JE needs to end the series because no one wants to read about Steph learning to make pot roast. At some point she needs to make a decision. It would have been nice to see Steph actually struggle with choosing one of her men but instead she has sex with both of them and believes she is doing it because of a curse put on her by Bella. Pathetic. Why can't JE have Steph grow up a little, get some skills, look at her life and really consider whether she wants to be Morelli's Burg wife or Ranger's Wonder Woman?

Instead JE keeps doing these idiotic and repetitive plots and in this book...the characters don't feel real. There was no connection between Steph and Morelli, little connection between Steph and Ranger and the concept of Steph starting to sleep with Ranger again out of the clear blue after all these years was never addressed. Even the dynamic between Steph and Lula was off. The early Stephanie we all fell in love with is gone and in her place is this poorly written caricature. The whole book just felt wrong. And lazy. What's the point in having a killer when you make his identity obvious almost from the beginning? I don't know what I'll do about 18....other than hope JE fires Alex and her other ghostwriters and writes it herself! Or goes out to Fanfiction and hires a ghost who truly loves the series!
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252 of 275 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2011
Let's see:

Stephanie blows up a car? Check.

Grandma ruins a funeral? Check.

Stephanie can't decide between two men? Check.

Poor grammar and inexcusably poor editing? Check.

Another disappointing effort by JE that leaves those of us who purchased yet another lame book hating ourselves for doing so? Check.

JE laughing all the way to the bank? Check.

My deciding to finally drop the series after all of these years and finally feeling okay about it? Check,,

JE, you should be ashamed of putting your name on this crap.
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79 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2011
I hesitated to buy this book and read the reviews before I finally caved and downloaded it to my Kindle. It took me days to read it, instead of hours, and I'm sorry I bothered. I feel bereft, like friends that I have known and loved for years have moved away and the new neighbors are nowhere near as fun or interesting. I love books one through twelve--there was character development, there were actual plots, and they were fast paced. But Twelve was the last truly good book in this series.

What is good about Seventeen? Gone is the fart humor. Lula and Grandma Mazur don't team up for any shenanigans. There is not a bird-flipping monkey anywhere in Trenton. Stephanie actually goes after FTAs, AND!!! she takes Ranger out for a spin...

What is bad about Seventeen? The characters are flat and lack the spark that made them so lovable. Dialogue has been recycled from earlier books. The plot is transparent and a little insulting. The only red herring is not developed or present enough to be a viable alternative.

**Spoiler Alert**

Morrelli and Ranger curiously seem to have lost any trace of testosterone. Morrelli loves Stephanie, but isn't concerned about where she goes or the strange man who waits outside her apartment for her? He's confident about himself and Stephanie, but he's a cop! Shouldn't the strange guy make some kind of warning bells ring? I guess we could argue that maybe he's just used to Steph and has learned to back off, but, again, he loves her!

What made Ranger so hot is gone. Ranger has kept his distance because he knows he would be bad for Steph--enjoyable, but bad. His intentions are good, but they don't mask the attraction he and Steph have for one another. It was constant foreplay, but there isn't any in this recent installment. Ranger just lets Stephanie have her way with him, and more disappointing, Steph can't even own it. She does the deed with Ranger because of a curse? Ugh! To make matters worse, Stephanie, whose middle name up to this point has been "Guilt", doesn't harbor any guilty feelings about what she has done, which JE solved by making the Steph/Morrelli relationship open. There is no introspection on Stephanie's part--she is no longer trying to figure out who she is or how she fits into her world, but she hasn't solved these problems either.

Grandma Mazur is still behaving badly at funerals. Lula is still shooting people and escaping any kind of legal repercussions. The action still centers around food, although Grandma does not shoot anything at the dining table. I don't know how many pages are in this book because I read it on my Kindle, but once again, the story plods along with no apparent resolution in sight, only to be wrapped up in a way that reads as an afterthought...once again the bad guy traps Steph, alone, in her own apartment and makes a crazy confession, and I couldn't even muster up any fear for her safety because he was SO OBVIOUSLY the bad guy, she should have seen it coming! Oh! and don't foget the other, ahem, bad guys, all of whom are assembled in the parking lot so the conflict can be tied up with a big bow. And then--then!--JE ends the book with a cliffhanger so abrupt I thought pages were missing.

(Big sigh) I am sorry I bought Seventeen instead of the other book I was considering, and it breaks my heart to say that. I am done with this series; I just can't read anymore, can't stand to see characters I love turn into sloppy caricatures of themselves.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2011
I used to bust a gut reading the Plum series (seriously, my college roommate thought I was losing the little sanity I was born with). But the last few books have fallen flat, way flat. While 17 is better than 14, 15, and 16, it can't hold a candle to the first books in the series. Part of it is because the books have become so formulaic. Does Stephanie really need to find a way to explode a car in every book? Must there always be a nailed shut coffin viewing that Grandma Mazur ruins (and even that lacked oomph)? Many of the jokes are repeats. And the "mystery" is no mystery at all. It's pretty obvious who the killer is almost from the get-go. I laughed a few times, but nowhere near the hysteria that cause my roomie such concern. Will I pre-order 18, like I did this one? Probably, but more because of my slightly compulsive need to finish the series than out of any expectation that it will be reminiscent of the brilliance that was the first 5 books.
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229 of 264 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2011
I wouldn't exactly say that Janet is back, but she definitely made a U-ie and is heading back towards Jersey. I loved books 1-13. 14 was just plum bad. 15 started out great then went right down the toilet. 16 was a total snooze with no plot and copied/pasted dialog. So, I had no hopes for anything good. Especially after reading the excerpts.

But I was pleasantly surprised. I really think Random House had something to do with this by giving her a boot in the patoot to produce something of quality. It's not even close to the best book in the series, but it's much better than the last 4. Almost gone is the moronic slapstick. There were only a few eye rolling moments. I don't know what her obsession is with hobbits, midgets, and monkeys, but she has to at least mention them in each book. I haven't found any laugh out loud humor since the earlier books, but there were a few scenes that made me smile.

There was actually a plot. No scary bad guys like in the older books, but this bad guy didn't just fade into the darkness with no resolution. Janet limited her recycled ideas. There was only a couple thrown in there. And finally poor Ranger gets the girl for a change. This doesn't mean there was any movement in the triangle...which is really getting old. Lula didn't break wind nor did any character in this book. A nice and refreshing change.

It's obvious that this was part of a larger story that was watered down with a lot of food and eating to stretch the word count. That's probably why 18 will be out in November. But I enjoyed this book. Janet still has a way to go to get this series back to the level it once was, but at least she's heading in that direction. Will 18 be the final book and Steph picks a man? I don't know. I would rather see this series go out on top instead of the direction it was heading....Happy Days without Richie Cunningham. I can honestly say that I am looking forward to 18 now.
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68 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2011
I used to laugh out loud whenever I read the Plum books. Those days are long gone. The series is extremely stale and stagnant...same jokes, same ineptitude, and same love triangle except Steph is now sleeping with both Morelli and Ranger. Hmmm, what happened to the Catholic guilt and the no sharing? This is fiction, but, when had alpha males ever share their "woman"? JE says she does not want to make Steph seem trashy. Sorry, sleeping with both men at the same time is trashy. This series should have ended a long time about with both men dumping the two-timer?
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2011
Okay, I will admit that this go around was a smidge better than the previous two, but only a smidge. I can honestly say that I finished this one, and can't say that for the previous two.

In this go around, Stephanie is being sought out by a serial killer. They leave dead bodies with a note pinned to them that read "FOR STEPHANIE". Stephanie has to find out who is leaving the dead bodies and why she's linked to them. With all of this going on, she is still undecided on who to hook up with: Ranger or Morelli. As usual, she has to go after other bounties that she has trouble catching. WIth all of this is going on, someone from Stephanie's past is back, and they're not to happy with her, and someone is always trying to run her over with their car.The usual cast and crew is with her. Vinnie, Lulu, Connie, ect.

Okay, this book has a lot of problems with it. First off, the books are interchangeable. Stephanie is after a main bad guy. She has to catch smaller bad guys, and usually, the smaller bad guys have mental issues. They think they're either, Santa, Bigfoot, aliens, the Easter Bunny or a vampire. Same old, same old. The second issue is that Stephanie still hasn't chosen between Ranger and Morelli. It's getting old. Just pick one and be done with it. It's just getting so tiresome. A fourth problem is that Stephanie is always blowing something up, and saying, "It wasn't my fault". Over, and over, and over. Fifth, Grandma is still going to funerals, and wanting to get a look in the casket. UG! Enough. Again, it's tiresome. Honestly, all of the books are interchangeable. Same plot is rehashed with a different title. What makes it worse is that this book ends on a cliffhanger, and I doubt that Evanovich will bring the cliffhanger to a logical ending. I have a feeling I know what's going to happen, but I can't say here because I don't want to spoil anything.

There's not humor or charm to the book. It's honestly as if Evanovich is phoning the series in now. I honestly feel sorry to Stephanie in that this is the direction that Evanovich is taking the series. Stephanie isn't growing as a character just always staying the same. I'll continue to read books, but I wish that Evanovich would end the series, I don't like seeing Stephanie this way.

Read the book if you want to, just don't expect to much.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2011
I have loved her books for years but this one::::::::::
pretty lame. and boring but at least we have Lula and her gun.

I thought the killer was so obvious that I actually decided he COULDN'T be the killer casue it was serioulsy just TOO obvious - and I was wrong i figured it out almost right away. And why on earth is Stephs mom so hell bent on getting her married again. This is the 21st century people do not have to be married to be happy.

At least Ranger and steph have sex or so we are told you never really get the whole yeah i am charged with sex feeling.

The Sex was boring, but at least there WAS sex.

And to be honest i am hating the cliff hanger endings of these books,

janet Please go back to the way you wrote the first 12.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2011
For the first time I gave up halfway through a Plum book. I did finally finish it, but only because the library was closed and I had it for the weekend. I have already stopped buying her books (sorry Amazon) and may now stop reading them. Everything is predictable and not particularly funny. I had the feeling that this was a collection of stored up episodes strung together with a lame plot. My free reading hours are too precious to me to find myself this disappointed. I never thought I would say this about a Plum book. I hope this is an aberration and 18 will be better. I'm not counting on it.
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