Monday, August 4, 2008

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich (and first completed challenge)

Stephanie Plum has run out of luck. She recently lost her job and has not been successful finding a new one. She has had to resort to selling her appliances and furniture for money to pay her rent and bills. With no other options, Stephanie decides to visit her cousin Vinny, who runs a bail bonding company. Though she has absolutely no experience tracking down and bringing in rather shady and dangerous people, she believes she can handle the job--just until she makes enough money to get out of debt.

However, her first case is not only a murder suspect, but an old childhood acquaintance--Joe Morelli. The more she becomes involved with the case, the more in danger her life becomes. What started out as a way to make a quick $10,000 becomes an investigation into multiple murders and a drug ring. Stephanie knows she is running out of time to find the evidence she is looking for, and every day her life is in even more danger. Joe saves her life more than once, but all the signs point to him as a murderer. She must figure out whether he is a good or bad guy--her life depends on it.

I don't think I have read any negative reviews of the Stephanie Plum books, but I must say I was quite disappointed. I did not find Stephanie to be hilariously funny, as so many find her to be. I am aware of the fact that I have a rather strange sense of humor and the things I generally find funny are not at all humorous to pretty much everyone else. I think that this is just not my type of book. I couldn't just sit back and enjoy it for what it is, but I kept thinking that it was very unrealistic and no one would really make the bad decisions that Stephanie does over and over. I feel like I am missing out, because I know that many people eagerly await the next installment in the series, and I don't quite understand why.

Date completed: July 30, 2008
Number of pages:320

I don't know if this is actually considered chick-lit, but I am going to classify it as such. The main character is a young women, and the story is about her career and love life. Even though there is the mystery/detective type angle involved, I think the other criteria fit the chick-lit bill! With the completion of this book, I have completed the chick-lit challenge, which was to read 3 chick-lit books by September first. The three I read were:

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos
One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

My favorite of the three was Love Walked In, but I have decided that chick-lit is not really a favorite genre of mine. In my somewhat limited experience with these types of books, I usually find myself really annoyed at the main character. She is usually shallow and spends most of her time, energy and money on finding a man, or many men. For once, it would be great to read about a young intelligent woman, who makes sound decisions, doesn't sleep around, and is a good example to those around her. Any recommendations?


Trish said...

First, Yay for finishing your first challenge! Doesn't it feel great to mark it off the list? Second, don't feel bad for not liking the book! These types of books aren't for everyone and I often find myself annoyed with female characters like this as well. Brainless reading is what I call it (yikes, hope that doesn't offend anyone!!). :) Bridget probably wouldn't be a safe bet, then, afterall...

Laura said...

~Trish-It does feel nice to actually complete a challenge, I just wish I liked the books more. I don't like being negative about any books--especially ones that so many other people like, but oh well. I guess you can't like them all!

cj said...

Laura -

I agree with Trish - no book is for everyone, thank God!

But, I'll say One for the Money is the first in the series and it's been my experience that firsts are usually the weakest. I didn't love Stephanie after the first book and I had many of the same problems - no one could be so inept! But, she's grown on me considerably. She's still inept but in not quite the same way.

And, congrats on finishing the challenge! I've really got to get back to reading mine!


Kari said...

I have to admit, I really like the Stephanie Plum series. They were easy reads that would have me laughing out loud at some of the crazy actions and situations she got herself into and never being able to make it through an entire book without losing a car. Some of my favorite characters are Grandma, Ranger and Rex (who I realize is a hamster). I do agree with CJ that the first book in a series is not always the best, and if you are willing and/or intersted you should try another one of them, maybe one later on in the series. If not, completely understandable.

This genre is a hit or miss with me. I often times find myself annoyed with the main character believing that her only purpose in life is to find a man to be with, when there are so many other exciting adventures and tasks to accomplish or experience in life.

It's a great thing that everyone does not enjoy the same books, otherwise we would have a pretty mundane society.

Congratulations Laura on finishing your first challenge, that is very exciting!! :)

Melody said...

Yay for completing the challenge! I participated in six but only completed one so far. ;P

I haven't read this series yet but I understand from other readers that it's either a love it or hate it kind of books.

Tiffany Norris said...

Congratulations on finishing the challenge. Hmm--recommendations for good chick lit? Sorry, I'm out. ;) Not my favorite genre either.
Come to think of it, I haven't read anything lately with a stand-out female character. I need to get to work on that!

Laura said...

~CJ--I don't read any series right now, but not for any particular reason. I might give the 2nd book a chance during a read-a-thon or something, since the first one was so quick!

~Kari--I think I'm a weirdo, because the rest of the general public agrees with you about the series! I totally agree that having differing opinions about books makes for a more interesting world!

~Melody--I still have about six more challenges to finish, so we'll see how that goes! Good luck with yours! :)

~Tiffany--if/when you find a good, strong leading female character, please share!