Customer Reviews: Eleven on Top
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VINE VOICEon June 21, 2005
Of course, I had to read "Eleven on Top" today. I can't remember ever not finishing a new Janet Evanovich novel the first day I got one. "Eleven's" no different!

"Eleven" is different from its predecessors in that Stephanie Plum actually takes the advice of I've lost count how many people and quits her bounty hunter job in search of a real job. She's lucky--she gets the first job she applies for at the button factory, and the second with a local dry cleaners, and the with a fast-food chicken franchise "Cluck in a Bucket"....all with disastrously funny results.

THe triangle between Steph, Joe Morelli, and Ranger is throbbing with tension. This is particularly so since Stephanie ends up working for Ranger at Rangeman Security--to keep safe. Which hunk is going to claim Steph this time--and for how long? I'm not telling!

Steph is also being stalked by someone who tells her she thought they were dead. They attack with bullets, fire....Meanwhile, Steph, Ranger, and Joe are all looking for four Trenton men who have disappeared with their cars on the same day. This plotline is a real mystery folks and had me guessing all the way through the book. Definitely a great addition to the Plum series....

Oh yeah, and the laughs keep on coming. Your favorites are here: Grandma Mazur, the eighty year old teenager, the prospective brother-in-law Albert Kloughn...

All the Stephanie books are better than Prozac and almost as good as chocolate to cheer a person up.

Evanovich is right: "Eleven" is DEFINITELY on top.
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on July 22, 2005
It was an interesting twist for Stephanie to quit her job with Vinnie. In the beginning it sort of bummed me out. But when Lula promoted herself to take over Stephanie's job and then constantly needed Stephanie to bail her out, that became pretty amusing. Stephanie's various jobs were mildly amusing also, but the whole car exploding thing is getting old. There are so many other ways to entertain. The reason I rated this book only 3 stars is due to Stephanie's relationships with Joe and Ranger. I can appreciate the author trying to please all the readers, the readers rooting for Joe and the readers rooting for Ranger (my money is on Ranger), however, at some point it just feels like Stephanie's in limbo. It's going nowhere with Joe and going nowhere with Ranger and the reader feels that. It's become almost boring, her interactions with these men. It almost feels like she's being cruel to Joe, living with him, yet flirting with Ranger at work. Stephanie's going to have to make a decision pretty soon, before the readers start to lose complete interest in either of them.
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on June 22, 2005
Stephanie has decided being a bounty hunter is too dangerous, so she quits her job working for Cousin Vinnie and tries to find something safer. After working for the button factory (fired before she even starts work), a dry cleaners, and Kluck-in-a-Bucket, she finally ends up working for Ranger. However, someone is still trying to kill her, and her cars are getting blown up at an alarming rate.

Also, her sister Valerie is getting married, and Stephanie is expeetec to walk up the aisle dressed in eggplant. And for no very good reason she has told her family that she can play the cello (she can't) and they are expecting her to play it at the wedding. And then she decides she is going to give up eating sugar, could things get any worse?

There are a lot of funny scenes, my favourite is the one where Grandma Mazur and Grandma Bella hav a fight (in the funeral parlour, where else?). However, I found myself slightly less gripped by this one than by the previous volumes. Maybe it's because she's not a bounty hunter any more, but there seemed to be less excitement and suspense than in the other stories. And I found the denoument too preposterous to believe. Also I found myself wondering how much longer she can keep stringing Morelli along without making a committment, before he just gets fed up with her.

Never mind, you don't read a Stephanie Plum novel for the realism, you read it for the laughs, and there are plenty of those, more than you get with most other authors anyway.
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It's a good day when the latest Stephanie Plum novel shows up... Eleven On Top by Janet Evanovich. This may be one of my favorites of the series...

Stephanie Plum has decided to quit the bounty hunting business. Her life isn't going anywhere, and she's decided to get a steady job with a regular paycheck. Of course, not having anyone shoot at her or blow up her car would be nice too. But of course, nothing is normal or steady when it comes to Ms. Plum's life. She gets fired on day one from the button factory. She gets fired from the dry cleaning job after a couple of days (and when the matriarch of the owner's family dies when Plum's car blows up). And her job in the fast food business ends after a day when the chicken restaurant she works at burns down after a couple of days. So why all the pyrotechnics? Someone's apparently out to settle an old score, and Stephanie's life seems to be in peril. Threatening notes, exploding car bombs, exploding garages, burning restaurants, and she's not even in the business any more. Add into the mix that she's now working for Ranger at the same time she's trying to nurse Morelli back to health from a broken leg...

As I said above, this may be one of my favorites in the Stephanie Plum series. I enjoyed the interaction between her and Lula as Lula tries to take over her old job (and still get Stephanie to help with all the apprehensions). There's a bit more Ranger time as you learn more about his business, as well as wondering whether Stephanie will succumb to her urges to jump his bones. And her gramma is as zany as ever. Even though you think you know how the story is shaping up, there are still plenty of twists that accelerate at the end, making sure that I stayed up later than I wanted to find out how it all ended.

A good, fun read, and another excellent installment in the series...
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on July 25, 2005
Did anybody else feel like this book was written in a couple different phases and somehow lost it's initial direction? The story in the 2nd (or so) half of the book deteriorated to paragraphs of Stephanie obsessing about either food or Ranger. For most of the 2nd half what happened to Lula, the family, or the missing men?

That aside, it's absoutley amazing to me that there is no character development in this series. I posted last year after reading #10 that it seems like having the characters grow has tons of potential to be funny. I really don't get why that is not happening, with any of the characters! At all! Also, there no new characters. The stories are all repeats at this point. I agree with a couple other posts that comment about how many times can Ranger respond with "Babe". I cringed everytime I read that. He's suppose to be an intelligent person! The situations are all the same. How long can Stephanie date Joe while constantly lusting after Ranger? How many times can Ranger be suggestive, but only suggestive? How many cars can blow up? How much junk food can one person consume? How many times can one person fall in garbage or food?

I know this series is suppose to be light and fun (and at the beginning definitely was - no doubt about it!) but the story is old and stale at this point. Sadly disappointing! I really hope there are some major changes in #12, as I would love to laugh like I did while reading the first books in this series!
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on May 8, 2007
In ELEVEN ON TOP, the eleventh entry in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, our heroine has decided to hang up her handcuffs for good. And the end of her bounty hunting career gives Evanovich plenty of opportunities to showcase Stephanie's "talents" in many other vocations, which quickly become even more hazardous for Steph than bounty hunting (she's a walking occupational hazard). To make matters worse, someone is stalking her -- quite possibly from the grave. After briefly trying out the button factory, a dry cleaner's, and Kluck-in-a-Bucket, Stephanie settles in at Rangeman Security, working directly underneath (pun intended) everyone's favorite Cuban bad boy, Ranger (much to long-time boyfriend Joe Morelli's discomfort). Sure, she may not work for Ranger forever, but right now he can offer her what no other career can: protection from the psychopath trying to kill her.

Meanwhile, Stephanie is helping her family prepare for her sister Valerie's wedding to Albert Kloughn. She's told everyone she can play the cello (which she can't), so they're all looking forward to her solo at the wedding. In a risky move, she's also decided to stop eating sugar altogether. And, of course, there are lots of bounty-hunting antics here too, as Stephanie tracks the FTAs with her protege, Lula.

ELEVEN ON TOP is typical Stephanie Plum in a lot of ways; there's a lot of showering, changing clothes, eating junk food, and pining over Ranger and Morelli. However, I found this eleventh entry to be a bit more sinister than previous offerings, with a truly ruthless villain (maybe not as relentless as Benito Ramirez, though, who I personally think was written out of the series way too soon). There are plenty of laughs -- but not as many of them are the belly, laugh-out-loud kind. The humor just doesn't feel as fresh (how many cars can Stephanie possibly destroy, after all?). I found myself getting a little bit frustrated with Stephanie's ditziness in this one. Her wrecklessness is starting to irritate me just a twinge, and I kind of wish she'd make up her mind about the whole Ranger-Morelli thing.

...But probably I'm overthinking the novel WAY too much. The point of the Stephanie Plum novels is that there really IS no point to them: They're just pure fun, the very definition of guilty pleasures. So sit back and enjoy the zany characters and outlandish situations in ELEVEN ON TOP -- but if you're a fan of the series, just be prepared to read more of the same.
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on June 23, 2005
It's not often that I read a book and feel completely satisfied when I reach the last page. This was one of those rare treats, not only full of giggles and guffaws, but the breathless joy of seeing things develop a step further between Ranger and Stephanie. Great moments include Ranger's line, "I wish this was as bad as it looks," him saying "You're a fun date" (I won't say what Stephanie did to earn that accolade), and seeing Tank torn between trying to decide who is more dangerous -- Ranger or Stephanie. LOL. Really, the more you see that pair together, the better matched they appear! The ending is equally clever - siumultaneously satisfying and leaving you dying to see what will happen next in the Ranger/Stephanie relationship. I can hardly wait for the next in the series!
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VINE VOICEon June 23, 2005
If you don't like slapstick type of humor, these books are not for you! The first of these books I read, "Seven Up", I wasn't sure I liked but then I read "Hard Eight" and "To the Nines" and soon I got the humor and they kept me laughing.

This Stephanie Plum story starts with Stephanie having quit her job as a bondsman 30 seconds before the opening of the story. Lula and Connie in her office are shocked and Vinnie, her cousin and boss, is outraged. Stephanie has decided she is tired of her cars being blown up, members of her family being hurt or in danger, and being in danger herself physically. She has heard there are job openings at the button factory in town and decides to apply there. She is hired as a receptionist to replace the one that just left and is suing for sexual harassment. Stephanie "celebrates" her new job with on-again-off-again boyfriend, Joseph Morelli, and is 90 minutes late for her first day on the job! She refuses to do any sexual favors for the boss to make up for her lateness and is fired.

In the meantime, she is receiving threatening notes from an unknown stalker in her apartment and in her car. Her car is set on fire, she is shot at, her grandmother and Morelli's grandmother get into a fight at a funeral home and so on!!

Lots of menace and mayhem ensue, Stephanie works hard with Ranger's and Morelli's help to investigate and find her stalker and who it is turns out a big surprise.

Romance, sexual tension, suspense and lots of laughs make a fun read!
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on July 25, 2005
I started to read Stephanie Plum when the first book came out.

It was such a fun and refreshening style and approach and made me fall in love with the book and style. I laughed a lot and pictured each moments as if I was right there. What has happened since then? This is a typical case of an idea that is being stretched and stretched and nothing comes of it. The same punch lines, same jokes and same approach. I finished number 10 and actually enjoyed the speed of it but there were so many gaps and I felt as if the author either had usesd a ghost writer to finish her first draft or she had run out of ideas.

Pages filled with the same stuff. Explosions.. the "in between man" issues and it was so obvious that she was looking for a way to get Stephanie away from Morelli so she could open the idea about Ranger again. And yes it was nice and such but the same old.

I disliked the way she finished the book.. a totally blow and unimaginative end.

Especially now that I read 11 and realize it doesn't pick up right where it ended.

Reading this book I just want to skip through the pages. I appreciate that Janet is trying to give it a different twist but it drives me insane to read about all these silly jobs that Stephanie is trying out only to see how she is messing them up. I rather have her mess up her bounty hunter job but it is what she enjoys doing. What? Why all the sudden the feeling that this sucks, where for 10 books it was what she defended against her families and Joe;s bagging to stop. This doesn't make any sense. I think that Janet has reached the point of running out of good plots a while back and now is stretching the story even thinner then it was already.

I heard she has signed up for 13 books total. I think those are too many since the story is not advancing. Maybe JANET can't decide which way Stephanie will turn when it comes to those two men and she will stop writing the story without telling us which one it would be.

Again.. a great idea and story but it really lost its air a while back. The same jokes and punch lines and right now I am finding myself wnanting to SKIP ahead so I can find the parts that make sense and are fun. I am bummed that she quit her job but more because one more thing that doesn't make sense and I dislike that the depressed tone of voice is just lingering page after page .. it really is a turn off verses turn on, this twist of the story.

WOuld have been a nice turn for the first few pages and then get Stepahnie back in because she is anyhow.

I DO RECOMMEND these books to anyone but if you are new to the series you have to start with number 1 and then read down.

To get the original humor and story and idea of it.

Yes I willl read them all, of course I am hooked but also disappointed and thank god I received this book as a birthday gift.. I would not spend the money on it.

Enjoy Stephanie PLum.. she is great.. but not this one.
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The previous installment in the Stephanie Plum series, TEN BIG ONES, was published in June 2004. In November, author Janet Evanovich apparently launched a new heroine with METRO GIRL, a book I investigated and decided I had no interest in reading. I thought perhaps Evanovich was done with Stephanie. But either I was wrong, or Janet came to her financial senses. In any case, Plum has returned in ELEVEN ON TOP. I admit it; I'm hooked for life on this trashy series.

Thirty seconds into ELEVEN, Stephanie quits her job as a bond enforcement agent working for her cousin Vinnie in Trenton, NJ. True to form, however, brief gigs in the local button factory, Kan Klean Dry Cleaners, and Cluck-in-a-Bucket just don't work out. And it shouldn't be a surprise to any series aficionado when Cluck-in-a-Bucket goes up in flames while Stephanie is on duty.

Everything Plum fans have come to love about Stephanie's personal and public comic misadventures are present in ELEVEN in satisfying excess: explosions, fires, accumulating corpses, tumbles into messy organic debris, and her dysfunctional relationships with Trenton cop Joe Morelli and the hottie Ranger.

Yeah, it's incredibly sophomoric, but great fun. And Plum reveals a new side to her personality when she attempts to quit sugar intake cold turkey. Indeed, the man in Stephanie's life witness to her to voluntary abstention from cookies and donuts had better have the sexual stamina of an eighteen year old. A Plum Assignment if you ask me. Is Morelli up to the task, you think?

I'm perhaps overreacting with five stars. But I'm just so ecstatic that Stephanie is back. I only wish that Evanovich would sign a Hollywood picture deal with Sandra Bullock in the lead role. Janet, work with me here, will ya! It would be a box office hit!
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