Stephanie Plum Bounty Hunter Series by Janet Evanovich – Read It or Skip It?

Looking for a new series to sink your teeth into? Saw the movie trailer for One for the Money and enjoyed it? Did you think maybe you’ll check out the novel its based on, see if that holds as much appeal to you as the movie trailer? Wondering if the bounty hunter Stephanie Plum series is worth reading or should you skip it? Check out this review…

    I am an avid reader but I am a picky reader. I could be called somewhat of a book snub because I don’t like too much emo, I don’t like to jump on the popular band wagon and I rarely like to read books that spend 20 pages describing a piece of furniture. I like dialogue, I like friction, I love action, mayhem and mystery but not static prose or things that focus to much on the woes of reality. In other words, it takes a lot for me to pick up a book and keep on reading it. I have my favorite authors and I follow them religiously. The problem is, most authors can only shell out one or two books a year so that’s a lot of down time for me waiting for their next release where I either re-read old favorites or stare at new potentials. I’m sure there are people out there just like me ~ you have your favorites and are always on the look out for someone new to read.  I recently saw a movie trailer for One for the Money, staring Katherine Heigl and it caught my interest. It had that dry humor, self-deprecating wit that made me laugh and when I saw it was based on a novel, I decided to check out the book written by Janet Evanovich.

    Now, I have been disappointed more times than I can count with books being turned into movies and was a bit nervous that a glaringly obvious change would be readily apparent when I started reading the book, One for the Money by Janet Evanovich. I was worried the director might get it into his head to do some change like what happened when the book series, The Vampire Dairies, by L. J. Smith was turned into a TV series.

     Those books harped and focused and made such a point that the main character was a blond, blue-eyed, fair haired princess of the high school. This was such a big part of the story line that when the series came out on TV and they chose an actress as exotic and the exact opposite of the toted fair haired Elena was portrayed, it made it so difficult for me to even watch the series.

      I loved reading those books and they totally altered one of its fundamental elements. Needless to say, that is something that drives me nuts when a book goes visual – whether it is for the big screen or small screen.  I mean, can you imagine if the actor that played Harry Potter was blond instead of the dark haired boy with the big round glasses you read about in the book? Thankfully, this movie actually shows in the trailer that it didn’t immediately go off base and change up the main characters fundamental features, so to me that was a promising start.

      Janet Evanovich didn’t disappoint me with her first novel of the Stephanie Plum series. That humor, that off-beat quirky character I saw in that brief trailer is in those pages of that novel. The way Evanovich portrays Stephanie Plum drew me in and kept me reading. I completely enjoy the New Jersey mindset of the burg and the pace of the conversations and the Italian familial obligations that Stephanie Plum juggles while trying to make a living as a bounty hunter. The total randomness of Stephanie Plums success at catching her Failure to Appears and the laugh out loud hilarious methods she uses to do so is described in such a way you can visualize it easily.

   Even better are the characters – that despite Stephanies wishes – help her out with her apprehensions. The characters truly feel real, relatable and add to the calamity that seems to follow Stephanie around like an ex-boyfriend you can never completely get out of your life no matter how hard you try. Grandma Mazur is one of my favorite characters. She’s that fiesty old woman that wouldn’t know trouble if it sat down and had a conversation with her. And if trouble did show up, Grandma Mazur would just taser him. I’ve taken to posting quotes on Facebook from the novels just because they make me laugh out loud. That is one of the best things I can think of for a book to do – make me laugh.

     To give a brief synopsis of the premise of the series: Stephanie Plum is a recently laid off Lingerie Buyer who is having a hard time finding work in this economy. Desperate for something, anything to help her pay her bills she does what every Italian-Hungarian woman would do and turns to the resources of her large extended family and demands a job from her duck-loving cousin Vinnie that owns the Vincent Plum Bail Bonds in Trenton, New Jersey. He puts up the bail for criminals and when they don’t show up for court, he loses out on the funds he put up for the bail. When one of the criminals he puts up bond for goes Failure to Appear, he sends out a bounty hunter to collect them and reschedule their court date. It is almost immediately apparent that Stephanie really doesn’t have a clue what she is doing and essentially she succeeds based on luck and intuition and an amazing ability to land on her feet when the world seems to be knocking her down. Of course, this is all with a little help from her co-worker, Ranger – bounty hunter extraordinaire, soldier of fortune and ultimate mystery guy, her Grandma Mazur, Joseph Morelli – a neighborhood boy that Stephanie has more than once tumbled with throughout her life and who is now a cop – various friends, dead bodies, cars that seem to not go more than a week without being destroyed, regular visits to the funeral parlor Stivas and dinner at her parents. Stephanie’s first assignment is a blast from her not-to-happy past, the one and only Joseph Morelli. The trail Stephanie follows to Morelli creates a story worth reading.

     I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the movie of One for the Money written by Janet Evanovich, does the story justice – that it stays true to the characters and is just as enjoyable to watch as it is to read the series. My vote on the whole read it or skip it question – definitely a Read It novel. So download the e-book, rent it from the library or order it from Amazon and give it a try!


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