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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