(Damnit, Janet.) Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

Explosive Eighteen

Author: Janet Evanovich
Publisher: Bantam
Date: November 22nd 2011
Pages: 320
Genre: Fiction- Mystery
Source: Purchased and I want my effing money back

**This rant (this is in no way a review) contains spoilers, pissiness and general hate and discontent.**

Stephanie, Janet, and I have been friends for eighteen books now so I've earned the right to say whatever the hell I want to about this series. I have YEARS vested with the Plum company and well, frankly I'm pissed that its stock value has plummeted most drastically

Stephanie Plum, laid-off lingerie buyer turned bounty hunter has a habit of getting herself caught in the stickiest situations. She's been threatened, kidnapped, assaulted, and car bombed more times than she can count and usually in the most humiliating of ways. She's well, not very good at her job and relies heavily on luck to catch her skips and make the rent money. While her job has frequently placed her in a less than ideal position (usually the dangerous kind) it's her personal life that really scares the hell out of her. Stephanie is in love (or lust) with two men- two men that can be equally as difficult to deal with as the bad guys she plays at tracking down. Joe and Ranger have an unspoken pact to not acknowledge Stephanie's romantic attachment to the both of them, but they readily agree that it takes two of them to keep her safe. But when the time comes for Stephanie to finally decide if she's playing for Team Cupcake or Team Babe, Joe and Ranger may have both decided to give their bounty hunter the slip.

When I first heard that we were getting another Plum novel right on the heels of Smokin' Seventeen I was a little perplexed. We get one Plum book a year right? THAT IS THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS. So why is Janet throwing a curve ball and giving us Explosive Eighteen a few short months later? When we left Stephanie in June she was boarding a plan for Hawaii and she knew exactly who she was going to take with her. Did she take Joe? Did she take Ranger? So maybe we're getting Eighteen so soon afterwards because SOMETHING HAPPENED IN HAWAII!

Wrong. I don't know what their reason was for pushing Eighteen so soon after the last one but it wasn't to showcase what happened in Hawaii. It wasn't so that Stephanie could finally choose between Joe or Ranger. It wasn't so that after 17 books of her screwing both of them she could finally commit to only screwing one of them. It wasn't to finally show Stephanie as adept at her job. It was published so soon so that:

  1. Something could get blown up.
  2. Someone could break into Stephanie's apartment
  3. Stephanie could take Grandma Mazur to a viewing at the funeral home.
  4. Stephanie's parents could hang their heads in shame and embarrassment at the dinner table and Stephanie could brown bag leftovers.
  5. Stephanie and Lula could eat at Cluck-in-a-Bucket.
  6. Stephanie and Lula could make several unsuccessful attempts to capture a skip and be thwarted over and over again in the most humiliating ways.
  7. Stephanie could toss Rex a few hamster crunchies and have him scurry out, shove them in his cheeks and go back into his soup can.
  8. Stephanie can shamelessly sleep with both Joe AND Ranger all the while saying that she's not going to sleep with either of them.

You know, the same thing that happened in Seventeen....and Sixteen...and Fifteen....and Fourteen...shall I keep going or do you get the picture? Here's what happened in Eighteen: NOTHING. NOTHING NEW HAPPENED. No decisions were made, no changes in plot line or formatting, it was just copy/paste the last seventeen books and changing the type of excrement that Stephanie gets covered in. She doesn't "pick" anyone and the ending was left just as ambiguous as it has been for 17 books. I could possibly, if I wanted to, draw some inkling that a point was scored for Team "_____" but it would be mostly wishful thinking.

Where Sizzlin' Seventeen was hysterically funny to the point of convulsions, Eighteen was dry, dry. I actually marked the three (only three) pages that made me laugh, and only one of those was loud enough to draw attention- of course that one came from Grandma Mazur.
     "It got better after you left," she said. "Melvin Shupe came through the line and cut the cheese right when he got up to the casket. He said he was sorry, but the widow made a big fuss over it. And then the funeral director came with air freshener, and when he sprayed it around, Louisa Belman got a asthma attack and they had to cart her out the back door to get some air. Earl Krizinski was sitting behind me, and he said he saw Louisa's underpants when they picked her up, and he said he got a stiffy."
     "Louisa Belman is ninety-three years old."
     "Well, I guess to Earl underpants are underpants."
So what the hell Janet? Seriously? If you want to continue to rake in the dough with your cash cow by reproducing the same book over and over again, I AM OK WITH THAT. I DO LOVE THE SERIES. But come on! Nothing? Nothing!? Sorry if that's a spoiler but truth is truth.

Janet Evanovich, author of eighteen Stephanie Plum novels who I still love with all my heart but currently want to throw things at:

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