One for the Money
St. Martin’s Press
Fiction - Suspense
St. Martin’s Press
Fiction - Suspense
Like I said in my pre-review, it took me a long time (and a movie trailer) to notice One for the Money, by Janet Evanovich. My track record for “noticing things” isn’t the greatest (see: pre-review for other, more personal things I didn’t notice, like my husband’s affairs). When I realized that the new movie with Katherine Heigl is also the first book in the best-selling Stephanie Plum series, I thought I should probably get with the times.
The book was first published in 1994, people. I’m so far behind the times, I might as well be my mother (holla Ma!). Not only was it published 18 years ago, but there’s also been, you guessed it, 17 books to follow in the main series. I figured I’d read the first book in the Stephanie Plum series, and if I hated it, perfect - I can write at least 17 books off of my Should I Read This? list.
I started the book off, almost willing myself to hate it so that a) I wouldn’t have to catch up to said 18 freakin’ books and b) I could go back to mocking Katherine Heigl for continuing to make poor movie-role choices.
Page 23 sinched it for me.
“I couldn’t imagine him hurting me, but the possibility of being mortally embarrassed was extremely high. Not that I’ve ever let a little embarrassment stop me from forging blindly ahead on any number of dumb projects ... like my ill-fated marriage to Dickie Orr, the horse’s behind. “
I like my female characters like I like my real life friends - sarcastic, funny, strong and believable. Stephanie Plum was all of those, and I not only wanted to continue reading her story, I immediately wanted to be her friend. It’s rare when that happens for me, and I’d be hard pressed to find more than a few characters off the top of my head that I wish were real live people so I could track them down, stalk them, beg and bribe them to be friends with me.
I thought maybe I’d get a little tired of the Jersey Girl atmosphere in the book, knowing that both a lot of non-Jersey and Jersey writers try to do this and it gets old quickly. I worried for no reason, because at no time did I think the author laid it on too thick. However, this is coming from someone that’s a bit of a Jersey Shore fan (Vinnie, call me), so if I can handle them on a weekly basis, I can probably handle something a little more authentic (Side note - I love when the Jersey Shore crew goes to Italy and hates it because it's "too Italian").
The anticipation between Stephanie and Joe slayed me. Would they hook up? Are they gonna hook up? What about now, will they hook up now? When when when? The realism to Janet Evanovich’s writing of their situation was just that - real. After reading so many novels and plot lines where characters either get it on right away or play hard to get for no reason, it was nice to read something that held the romantic side as an undertone to the story instead of making it the main detail.
One of the other things I really liked was that in a lot of other books, the strong heroine/subtle hero story plays well right up until the Strong Heroine is in a Real Mess and needs Subtle Hero to Save Her At The Last Minute. None of that was apparent in this story - Stephanie didn’t need a hero, no matter how subtle. It was a great change, and again, made both the characters and the story itself more believable.
I’m not sure if I like that aspect because I admire strong women doing it for themselves, or because I’m still really bitter from my divorce and never want to rely on a man again in my life ... either way, it’s a refreshing change.
So, bottom line? If you haven’t discovered this series yet, or haven’t been paying attention (it happens to the best of us), read this book. Preferably before the movie comes out in a week.
I hope the rest of the series is as good, but with so many, I have reservations that the momentum will keep up at a believable pace.
Now, excuse me while I go find my whiskey and crank some Salt N Pepa.
(This video probably won't work without Flash, sorry)