Top critical review
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Jersey Shore meets the 90s meets Bounty Hunting
on November 9, 2015
My husband and I recently bought a house in a nice little neighborhood. When I found out some of the neighbors have a monthly book group, I signed right up. So let me first of all post a disclaimer here: I did not pick this book. But I figured, “What the hell? It’s got plenty of 5 star reviews on Amazon and so many folks enjoy the Stephanie Plum series. And it’ll give me an excuse to meet with the neighbors.”
First, I was sick the day the book club got together, so that plan was shot. Second, this book is not great. It’s not terrible… But that’s about the best compliment I can give it.
Stephanie Plum is a Jersey Girl who is supposed to be this smart, witty, resourceful woman who just happens to take a job as a bounty hunter because she’s been laid off and needs money. She spends a lot of time worrying about what color oversize t-shirt she is going to wear over spandex shorts. Not only does Stephanie repeatedly get herself into ridiculous situations, but she’s too dumb to get OUT of them and has to call on her mentor or some other big strong man to save her. I was really hoping for something a little more empowering.
I don’t consider myself a great intellectual nor do I spend my spare time reading many classic novels. However, I do expect a book dealing with topics such as sexual abuse, joblessness, graphic violence against women, etc. to be written at a slightly higher than 8th grade reading level. Don’t get me wrong, the book was fun to read, but it was certainly not stimulating.
One of the reasons for so many 5 star reviews was the comedy. There were a few instances of humor, but not as many as I was expecting. And there were too many horrible instances for me to consider this book entirely comedic. For instance, Stephanie is molested at age 6 by an 8 yr old boy. This same boy takes advantage of her as a teenager. In retaliation, she hits him with her car. This is all supposed to be funny, but I found it terribly sad. Of course, Stephanie ends up with feelings for this same guy, who happens to be the one she is trying to collect in her new job as a bounty hunter.
Best thing about the book is its length. Perfect beach read. Easily read in an evening or two. And Evanovich doesn’t drag the story out any longer than it needs to be. But never fear! If you do like the first book, there are 21 novels, 4 novellas, and 1 short story compilation featuring Stephanie Plum, bumbling bounty hunter. But I’ll pass.