janet evanovich

Book Review: Look Alive Twenty-Five by Janet Evanovich

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Look Alive Twenty-Five (Stephanie Plum, #25)Look Alive Twenty-Five by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Look Alive Twenty-Five from the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich was published last fall, I devoured the remaining books I’d not caught up on yet. I was surprised to see it already available at the New York Public Library (NYPL) and requested it around Christmas. What a shock when I moved up to #1 in the waiting queue last week. Since I had only a few days to accept it, I happily jumped into the book and finished it within two days. It pushed back a few other items on my reading schedule, but nothing I couldn’t easily re-arrange. I wasn’t letting this one slip through my fingers.

For fans of the series, you’ll get the same thing you get every book but with a small twist. Instead of chasing six to eight felons, Stephanie’s been recruited to manage a diner that her cousin Vinnie’s father-in-law, Harry the Hammer, inherited when someone couldn’t pay back a loan. Vinnie puts Stephanie in charge of keeping the place running well so Harry doesn’t hammer him. Except it seems… all the managers are kidnapped. One shoe is left behind. Six are gone already. Will Stephanie be the 7th? Along the path, she runs into Wulf, the crazy vampire-like guy she met through Diesel. Lula and Ranger help her operate the diner, but one of their tight little family is actually kidnapped. Joe Morelli helps protect her, too, and we learn a lot more about the mob families in Trenton.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was a nice change of pace to have Stephanie follow one big mystery rather than lots of smaller ones. Her parents and grandmother play a very minor role, but one of them is part of a big cliffhanger involving Harry the Hammer. I suspect we’ll get to know more about that side of the family in the next book. Lula’s sandwich-making abilities are epic. Ranger’s knowledge knows no bounds. And Evanovich is as funny as ever. I enjoy the books purely because I can laugh out loud without fail.

It feels good to be caught up on this series, but I think I’m ready for it to end. It’s not that the books aren’t good anymore. It’s just that we need something different. While reliable, they are too formulaic. That said, I’ll always read them, and now that I can get #26 possibly as an ARC or the day it’s published, the sweeter it’ll be.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Hardcore Twenty-Four by Janet Evanovich

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Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum, #24)Hardcore Twenty-Four by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s been a long-time coming, but I’m finally caught up on the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I just finished reading Hardcore Twenty-Four and am looking forward to reading #25 when I get to the bookstore next month (it was just released a month or so ago). 2019 is my year to catch up on every series I enjoy… I’m actually avoiding all new authors until I’m caught up and trim my TBR. I want a fresh, clean start… and now that I’ve got under 200 books on my TBR, it will happen this year! So… #24… Stephanie Plum… a huge snake named Ethel, Diesel (the hot cosmic guy), and zombies. Who wouldn’t love this book?

Seriously… you’ve gotta suspend some disbelief to think all this could happen in Trenton. I’ve only passed through it, but I’d think NYC would win the award for the craziest people. I live here, I see them! I might be one of them given what I’ve already said in this review. Anyways… I digress… kinda like the focus in this book. It was definitely repetitive and format-driven, but it’s still hilarious as all get-out (what an expression!). Lula saves these books every single time. She’s TOO REAL. I know a few women like her in attitude, not quite looks, although one or two fit the bill. I have had some of these conversations when it comes to chicken in a bucket, donuts and guns. Although it’s not guns being shot or cars exploding in my life, it’s getting locked out of apartments or losing drivers licenses. How do people make the same mistakes over and over again! At least it makes me laugh.

I needed Diesel. Joe was getting old. Ranger is on the border of getting old. Not in age, just tiresome activities. I kinda want Diesel to win Stephanie’s heart now. I also want something to happen to Connie so the duo can try to save her from whatever crime is going on around town. That said… the mystery behind the drugs and zombies was very 2018 modern. It’s happening all the time, just not with decapitated heads and brains. If you haven’t read this book, you probably think my review is whackadoodle. But seriously, this book will make you laugh so hard you have to change your underwear… but don’t wear it on your head like one of the characters does in the book.

Evanovich knows her audience. 25 of these books might be a bit much, but in small doses, these are the kinda books to make you enjoy reading all over again. I wonder who will replace her when she stops writing them… who’s a similar style author? Or should I turn into that author… maybe Kellan is the next Stephanie Plum!

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich

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Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum, #23)Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am almost current with the Stephanie Plum series written by Janet Evanovich. I just finished Turbo Twenty-Three and there are two left to be fully caught up. I should get to them both next month… it’s been an exciting and fun ride. While always humorous and page-turning treats, this one left me a little bored by the mystery hence the 3 rating. It has all the normal adventures and comical moments, but I felt like half the mystery was missing, and the parts kept in the book were disconnected and way too simple.

For the most part, the culprit was known from the beginning. Although there was an extra level added, it didn’t happen until about 90% thru, and it wasn’t someone we’d even gotten to know well. I felt a bit cheated by this story, but that said, I couldn’t sit still from the laughter at all the normal antics. Between the ice cream, geese, and change in the Ranger / Morelli dynamic, it was wonderful. No one does crazy-try-to-kick-ass-but-fail-epically better than Evanovich. I would love to have someone like Lula or Stephanie in my life. When Lula and Briggs do a demo tape for ‘Naked and Afraid,’ I wasn’t sure whether to get sick or be the first to sign up to watch their nutty adventures.

Here’s the thing about these books… they’re meant to just make us laugh. It’s not about solving a mystery. It’s not about choosing between two guys. It’s not about learning anything. It’s all about throwing people together in crazy scenes and seeing what happens. I’m good with it. I know what it’s for. I just wish there was a little better balance in this one to keep the interest on all levels with a common theme throughout the book. Onward I go to get #24 to read next.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich

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Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum, #22)Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Can you imagine writing dozens of books in a series about the same core characters? If you find the right combination of setting, characters, and tone, it can be amazing. Janet Evanovich has been successful with the Stephanie Plum series creating clever and humorous plots that always bring something fun to the table. Occasionally they get repetitive, but as a stand-alone book, each is always great. Number 22, Tricky Twenty-Two, continues the trend with Stephanie visiting a college campus to collect a bond escapee — only this time, she’s found herself dealing with flees that might have the Bubonic plague.

No, this isn’t a sci-fi series. Actually, the plague isn’t a big part of the mystery until the end, but it delivers some comic relief along with Morelli’s digestion issues (he’s as bad as Bob now!) and Stephanie’s car issues (never trust a flock of geese!). The best part of this book is when Stephanie’s mom finally gets involved in a fugitive take-down. The characters we see in this one are typical of all the past but bring us a few steps closer to crazy. I really enjoy these books, and even though they’re mostly fluff, they make me laugh, so I must finish the series.

I sense a possible turning point coming based on how this one ends. There is only so much further Evanovich can take us given Stephanie is unwilling to push forward dating Ranger and unwilling to commit to marriage with Morelli. She has to choose 1 of them or neither of them soon. Personally I’m a Ranger fan. Morelli’s become boring. Yet I’m open to someone entirely new, too. I’ll pick up the 23rd installment right around New Year’s… and I’ll be current in January when I read 24 and 25. Looking forward to it…

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich

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Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum, #21)Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Top Secret Twenty-One in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich has all the normal hilarious banter, sexual chemistry, and silliness as the ones in the past. It also offers a deeper look at Ranger’s past, Stephanie’s grandmother’s bucket list, and Joe Morelli’s tolerance level when it comes to Stephanie’s escapades. I believe in love, but if someone put me through what she puts him through, I’d probably disappear just to avoid any further impacts. She’s a barrel of laughs, but I couldn’t worry about someone 24/7 the way Ranger and Joe have to worry about her. While she can take care of herself from time to time, it’d be way too many trips to the hospital, jail, court, and car dealership for me. That said… while I couldn’t be her lover, I can definitely love her antics.

Oh, how I laughed. Last time it was the giraffe, this time is ten feral Chihuahua dogs who travel in a ferocious pack. At least she found homes for them all by the time the ~325 pages were up. Grandma Mazur looking into a boob job was a little much for me to handle, but I can appreciate the things people put on their bucket list. While the curse with Bella was a nice touch, I would’ve loved to see more of those side stories pulling together the rest of the book rather than the missing guy trying to kill off old women. The search for the culprit was fun, but the ending was a little too confusing and wrapped up neatly in a weird way. It needed more explanation rather than a rushed closure.

On to #22 next… then only 3 more to go and I’m current. I hope to get there before 2018 ends. Then which series do I go to: VI Warshawski, I’m about 5 behind there, too. Oops, 2018 is the year for serial catch up.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

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Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum, #20)Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Stephanie Plum series is like your regular Saturday evening movie… there are always some good moments, often you’ll encounter a few repetitive things, and occasionally exists the chance you might wet yourself! In Janet Evanovich’s latest installment (for me, I’m behind a few books) — #20, Takedown Twenty, here’s what you need to know: (a) a giraffe is wandering around Trenton, NJ, (b) a sicko is strangling elderly women, (c) you get attacked if you attend BINGO, (d) Stephanie’s guaranteed to be shot at nearly 10 times and her car stolen at least a handful more, and (e) you’ll want to kick Evanovich’s butt if she doesn’t give us another hot Ranger / Stephanie sex scene. Stop teasing me, Woman! (said in a very humorous way and not in a negative way!)

Some think the series has gotten old and tiresome. Others see it as too repetitive. As a stand-alone book, forgetting about any of the others, it’s a solid story worth 4+ star. I pull back a little with the shiners because it is a little too formulaic. I don’t mind some similarities but we’re approaching duplicate mode in some scenes even within the same book. Her car was stolen 4 times if I counted properly. I can take twice. Maybe a third if I’ve been drinking and forgot the first time. But 4’s pushing me, and I’m a forgiving reader.

That said, it’s still laugh out loud hilarious. And if I could find a new occupation just because I want to tell people what I do, it would be to act like Lula and say I’m a reformed ‘ho. I’m not sure I could pull off the sass, but it’s worth a try, right? I’m gonna do some research. I’ll be back with #21 next month.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

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Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum, #19)Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I began reading the Stephanie Plum mystery series years ago and got through number eighteen around 2012 when I stopped. I am not really sure why, but I was in a reading slump for a few years. When that ended, I didn’t go back… now I’m on a kick to close out all series I used to love so I’m fully caught up. I picked up Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich at the library last week and finished it last night. ‘Why did I stop?’ I asked myself ten pages in when I had to hold my bladder to prevent spontaneous bursting. Maybe it’s a good thing I waited so long as it was like reading the series all over again this time — had me nearly wetting myself a few times! It might be formulaic, but it works.

Stephanie Plum is a disaster. She’s smart and feisty, but she just always gets herself in trouble. That’s why we love her. When it comes to capturing bond breakers, or dealing with her new bestie, Lula, a former ‘ho, to use her terms, you can’t not laugh out loud. Between their trips to Cluck in a Bucket (chicken joint) or misusing guns and shooting people or their own toes, it’s hilarious. I also love the back and forth between Ranger and Morelli, but I know it might get old again soon. Either way, picking the series back up after almost 7 years was a good decision.

In this one, she’s got 3 different perps she’s trying to capture. Evanovich is politically-incorrect and non-apologetic about it — but in a good way. Some might be offended, but it’s done in a way where hopefully it’s not about calling out a certain thing or personality or race / creed / religion / disability / style to make fun of it. That ‘thing’ or ‘person’ being focused on could be ANYTHING, It’s just about laughing at a situation… for instance, Lula the ‘ho is a few pounds overweight or possibly 100 pounds overweight (we never really know) but she constantly gets into situations where her weight poses an issue. Lula herself laughs about it, but there are also a few lines about how she feels great and she looks sexy and she knows she needs to check that she’s healthy and not hurting herself long-term by binge eating et al. There’s a balance. Stephanie does the same thing with her hair or apartment or car being blown up or caught on fire. It’s just about exaggeration. That said, I can understand why someone could get offended and I respect people’s opinions if they feel this can be hurtful in any way. I do not think the author is intending to be hurtful.

Okay, that out of the way… seriously?!?!? how many times is Stephanie gonna get hit with a stun gun? Or think she has a perp only to have them wriggle away. Or be car-jacked? It’s always funny… I could say it’s repetitive, and maybe it is, but at the same time, I’m laughing out loud. I’m wanting to smack her for the stupidity, but I love her. So I enjoy it for what it is… a 3 hour escape that makes me feel like everything in my own world is a whole lot better! 🙂

Love ya, Stephanie Plum! On to #20 next month. View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.