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on September 16, 2010
Here We Go Again:

Tell me what series I'm talking about:
28 year old underemployed woman (who graduated in the 93rd percentile of her college class) with a penchant for attracting dirt, grime, easy cheese goo and olive oil. Prefers to wear jeans, t-shirts, and tennis shoes.

Spunky semi-narcissistic sidekick with big dreams but little desire to do the work to achieve them. Constantly searches for shortcuts and can't follow directions or a recipe to save her life. Incapable of showing up to work on time. Over the top wacky.

Monkey with a middle finger which he uses at least 3 times a chapter. If you're looking for a good drinking game, try a good shot of bourbon every time Carl the Monkey flips a naughty bird.

Eating. Lots of it. Cupcakes and meat pies and muffins and ..... well you get the idea.

Explosions - In this case, a house. Farts.

Adults with admitted attraction for each other who fondle, lots of ear kissing, ponytail tugging, warmth in the nether regions, snuggling in bed at night but nothing beyond that.

My problem is this, Wicked Appetite isn't necessarily a terribly awful book although the humor does cross the line into annoyingly silly on more than one occasion. It is however a book of gags that I've already read from this author numerous times and chances are you have also. I've read it so many times that my reaction to reading it again hovers right between irritated and annoyed. Its like hearing your 4 year old niece repeat the line to a knock knock joke for the 74th time ("Orange Ya Glad I didn't Say Banana?") No. No. No. Not funny anymore, somebody SAVE ME!!!!

The last thing I need is yet another series for me to buy every summer wondering if this will finally be the book where something different happens. Thankfully, I have absolutely no emotional investment in these characters and no reason to become invested because I already know where this series is going. The rest of this series will be .... Pretty much .... The exact same book again.

I think it is time for a new Queen of Summer Chick Lit to be crowned. Hopefully St. Martin's press is out there looking hard for her. The Queen is dead, Long Live the Queen.
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on September 25, 2010
Wicked Appetite is just awful, a truly terrible book. The plot could have been something interesting, or the beginning of something interesting, but it is buried under a mountain of recycled characters and redundant silliness. Somewhere along the line in writing the Plum books, Evanovich lost the story + character + humor combination that was so appealing. Story was dropped or reused, characters stagnated and humor was overtaken by silliness and stupidity. Unfortunately, Wicked Appetite hasn't much story, the characters are just rehashed from the Plum books and there isn't real humor, just more silliness and even more stupidity.

Really, how many times did the monkey give the finger? Do we need more fart jokes? Come on. She's continuing her own trend, a really depressing and frustrating trend, of writing bad books.

What happened to Janet Evanovich? Was she overtaken by pod people? Did she run out of ideas? Is she failing because she's so afraid to fail? Are her publishers asking her for the same thing, over and over, not realizing that many of her fans are fed up?

Did she think we wouldn't recognize the characters from previous books? Changing names, hair color and occupation doesn't mean we haven't seen them before. And Lizzy and Diesel? Their relationship has also been seen before. Read the first couple of Plum books, when Stephanie and Joe were in the light touches and innuendo stage - it's all so familiar.

This was yet another hardcover book - they aren't cheap. And yet this book wasn't worth it, not in content and not in heft. The book is short, the pages contain way too much white space, so much so that it is very noticeable. It resembles a high school term paper written by a kid desperate to stretch the length to what was assigned.

None of us can afford to throw money away and spending hardcover money on this book was just that. Evanovich's new releases are hardcovers because of the success she had with the Plum books, but Wicked Appetite starts a new series and as yet this series just hasn't earned the right to that much of my money.

If you are a fan of Evanovich and curious about the new series, check it out of the library, buy it used or wait for the paperback, at least. Please don't throw your money away on the hardcover.
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on September 15, 2010
Janet seems to be running out of gas. Perhaps she is like the rock star who after achieving great success loses the fire and spark to continue creating anew. Yet while she can perhaps rely on her backlist for a continuing stream of royalties, she can't exactly go out on tour and rake in the big bucks.

Hence she continues to churn out new product, imposing on her loyal readers and diluting her legacy.

Her Plum books are becoming way to formulaic and the stories way to thin. It's getting to be like a comedy show where they use the same jokes, albeit with slightly altered words. I guess what I really mean is that there is not enough development of the characters going on. They don't evolve, their lives never change - it seems like they are caught in the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day.

Then there are the other projects where she exploits the characters that have become beloved and puts them into even thinner products. You get the feeling with her books that while she may not be finished filling out and developing a story, she is done with the book.

Between the numbers books are only an excuse to write short stories that she can't flesh out into real "number" quality stories so that she can financially exploit the franchise.

Wicked Appetite falls right in place in this evolution of Janet from an exciting writer into a "franchise" that, like a machine that churns out on product. This is neither fish nor fowl in that it's not a between the numbers book but it borrows familiar characters from past work. It's lazy to do that, of course and the book suffers from it. I get the feeling that Abbott and Costello are putting on a show with Laurel & Hardy popping in as extra guest stars.

The story is thin like her other books have become. It's silly and not very smart humor. Janet used to make you laugh with goofy silliness that almost seems smart. Now it seems strained and too familiar.

She needs to get hungry again and remember what made her want to write in the first place.

And she should stop ripping people off with pointless books - write the ones that matter and you'll make just as much money. You don't have to stick to a schedule. And you should STOP participating in the Great E-Book ripoff. You have the right to tell your publisher that electronic versions of your books shouldn't be sold for a couple of bucks less than a hard copy. Of all people, a franchise writer like you has clout. So stop with the ripoffs.
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on September 15, 2010
I thoroughly enjoyed the earlier Stephanie Plum books but found some of the later ones just okay, if not a bit silly...Well, this new series blows "silly" out of the water. Beyond ridiculous is more like it. A shame really as Diesel's search for the Seven Deadly Sins ancient relics could have been fun. I found the heroine, Lizzie, quite boring and the narrator used an irritating voice for her. I couldn't place the accent and her speech sounded like an older person with loose dentures that kept slipping and making a slight whistle on the S sound. Luckily, her accent came and went.

The featured sin was gluttony, but its relation to food was very much overdone to the point of grimacing---(and don't get me started on the woman who could only say "gobble, gobble.") The mystery was scant, the unimpressive "bad guy" hardly made an appearance, and the romance was non existing. They'll have to look for the future sins without me.
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VINE VOICEon September 24, 2010
When it was announced that Evanovich was going to start a new series, I was seriously happy about it as the Plum series has gotten rather repetitive and trite. Unfortunately this series is just about as bad. At first I was sad that Evanovich returned to her formulaic writing of the Plum series. Then I guess I got mad. One of the reasons I enjoy the the Motor Mouth (Alex Barnaby) series is because the characters are more fleshed out than the Plum series, they grew from book one to book two and there was some stand alone (vs. a take on the Plum series) humor, plot etc. Wicked Appetite has a heroine who loves donuts (gee does this sound like Plum or not) and there is the requisite argument over who gets what donut, is trying to find herself because her life is lumpy like the gravy she made and failed with culinary school and on and on. Stephanie Plum polished up a bit and transplanted to Salem. Diesel, the guy from the Plum inbetweens, is the male hero.

This series has a lot of potential for being DIFFERENT from the Plum series. Hopefully, since it appears there will be six more books in the series, Evanovich will work on making Lizzie her own person and not a carbon copy of Stephanie. Same goes for the other characters.

Evanovich also needs to learn that more is not necessarily better. The monkey in the book constantly seems to be flipping people off. Once or twice was enough, but as with the Plum series, she over uses the humor. She needs to flesh out the characters and add some dimension to them. I realize when you purchase a book you purchase the artist's creative efforts, but I do find it rather insulting when purchasing the Plum series and now this one that Evanovich is really writing a novella or a long short story. If you've never noticed, her books contain a lot of space between the lines and a larger font than most authors. You might have 300 plus pages, but you aren't getting the same number of words. So there is absolutely no reason this author can't take the space she has saved via the fonts and white space and put some depth into her characters, some originality, something new.

Unfortunately for Evanovich's pocketbook, she has now gone on my "get from the library" list rather than my run out and purchase list. Looking at these reviews, it appears many others feel the same way. Janet get your act together! Write something original. You have a huge fan base that loves your books and I'm sorry Janet, we deserve better than this constant recycling.
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on September 18, 2010
I love most of the plum novels and was looking forward to this new series. I hope its not a series. it is beyond silly [ it is awful! I forced myself to get through the first 150 pages - and then I started jumping - it kept getting worse - so I finally just read the last chapter. I didnt miss anything. I hope janet was drunk or something when she wrote this one. this one was a real bomb. and that damn monkey! lizzy was thin - diesel didnt click with her at all - and my only wish was that grandma mauer from the plum novels would have come to the funeral home and buried all of these people in this stupid book! save your money fans - skip it. its hardly a one.
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on September 19, 2010
If you re-read the first few Plums, you will see that they are really good stories and still have humor. But as time passed, there was less and less of a really good story and more humor. Then as time went on even farther, we saw that there was less and less real humor and more and more silliness. This book crosses both lines. There is little story, little real humor, and maximum silliness. I truly hate the monkey stik. And I would have liked to have seen a real story and new characters. This is just Ranger, Lula, and Stephanie with different names. I did not buy the graphic novel. I don't like comic books, and the reviews were awful. I was sorry I bought Sizzling Sixteen. I'm going to read the reviews before I buy any more Evanovich. PLEASE, get back to the original formula, I beg you, Janet. You are out of control.
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VINE VOICEon September 14, 2010
It's impossible to read a Janet Evanovich book without smiling. The woman knows how to write funny, engaging characters, throw them into outlandish situations that always leave me wanting more. I'm a huge fan of her Stephanie Plum series (including the supernaturally spiced Between-the-Numbers novellas that this new series is based on) and have wondered for years what a full length paranormal novel from Evanovich would be like. The answer? Familiar in a good way, flirty in a great way, and more fun than urban fantasy ever gets to have!

Everything I love about the Stephanie Plum is in the new WICKED APPETITE book: quick fun dialogue, simple yet sharp characterizations, dangerously sexy guys, zany sidekicks, and a main character who is like the best girlfriend you ever had. Plus this time Evanovich has tied them all together in a perfect paranormal package in modern day Salem. The wickedly sexy Diesel (along with Carl the monkey) and the just plain wicked Wulf have permanently migrated over from Stephanie Plum's New Jersey and I wouldn't be surprised if other familiar faces don't pop up in the future. Dare I hope for a Plum/Tucker crossover...?

If you already like Janet Evanovich (and who doesn't?), you will love her new spin off series. It's basically exactly like her Stephanie Plum series with a magical twist and a new batch of crazy characters to love. And even if you're an Evanovich newbie, WICKED APPETITE is guaranteed to satisfy. I'm just psyched that I now have two Evanovich releases to look forward to each year instead of just one.

Sexual Content: References to sex. References to rape. Kissing
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on September 18, 2010
I am once again disppointed by one of my favorite authors. I "deleted" this from my Kindle, when I was about 50 pages in. A total waste of money. It appears that Evanovich is out of steam, and I'm done with her.
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on September 19, 2010
What a waste of time and money. I thought i was getting a Janet Evanovich novel, I could have paid less and purchased an e-book from Harlequin. Light hearted infatuation is all this book was about.
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