Book Review: Stephanie Plum books 4-6 by Janet Evanovich

I read these three book in the space of a week. The series is still amazing, finally delivering on the drama it spent books 1-3 promising.

Four to Score gets 5/5 stars

High Five gets 4/5 stars

Hot Six gets 5/5 stars.

(Follow the links to get to the amazon descriptions of the plots of the books.)

In my review of books 2-3, I complained that the series was promising a lot of drama and wasn’t delivering.

Books 4-6 solved that issue. And it is awesome.

Something actually happens in her semi-love-triangle with Morelli and Ranger. Her grandmother gets crazier. She wrecks more cars.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that makes me laugh out loud this often. I looked like an idiot in the middle of chemistry while reading book four. My sister is ready to kill me for laughing while she was doing homework. But these books are so funny.

Though some plot lines carry over, each book’s plot is separate from the rest. I didn’t love the mystery in book four, but Sally was probably the funniest character of the entire series. Book five’s plot was a lot more put-together and ended up being pretty fascinating. Book six’s was perfect, finally making Ranger be more than a mysterious character with basically no personality.

I like how the romance in these books is almost completely autonomous from the main plot of the book. In YA books, I’m used to the romance being an integral part of the plot, driving it forward and contributing a major portion of the drama. In these books, the case Stephanie is working on and her love life remain fairly separate, joining at key moments. It is a nice break from YA, but I also miss my familiar age range, so I don’t know if I’ll read book seven.

The writing in these books is great. The descriptions and characterization aren’t overdone, but still convey powerful imagery and bring the story to life. The plots are fast-paced and hard to put down–enough that I’m definitely not doing as much homework as I should be. The second and third books had some slow moments, but I didn’t have that problem with any of the next three. The ending of each book leaves you no choice but to read the next one–especially the ending of book five. I seriously hadn’t planned to read book six this weekend, but I had to. (Ugh.)

You can definitely see Stephanie evolve as a character, though it is subtle. I like that she doesn’t have any major character shifts, just slight ones that over the course of the series significantly change her as a person. She also breaks down into hysterics less in these books, which was getting a little old in the first three books. Her life feels real, and the changes her character experiences make sense.

I’m really glad I picked this series up. It’s not that inappropriate (except for a few scenes in book four), so I’d say YA readers should totally look into it. The humor alone is reason enough to keep reading them, and the plots are a nice change of pace from the intensity of most YA books.

Book Review: Stephanie Plum books 2 and 3 by Janet Evanovich

These books are pretty similar in regards to what I have to say about them so I decided to just make them be one post together.

Two for the Dough and Three to Get Deadly

both 4/5 stars

Genre: contemporary crime fiction (adult)

I really enjoyed reading both these books. They are easy reads, but manage to be well written and thought-provoking. Perfect for my first week back at school.

(Sophomore year is going well, though it’s exhausting, thanks for asking.)

*Amazon descriptions of book 2 and book 3 here.

Both books are very similar in structure and pacing. The plot does lag a bit in the beginning of the middle, while Stephanie dead ends over and over. It’s a part of the story that is important to her, but I felt it drag on, especially in book three. However, the ends of the books are always so climactic and compelling that I have trouble disliking the books.

I love Stephanie. She’s the perfect example of what people mean when they say a strong female character doesn’t have to be masculine or muscly. She’s a horrible bounty hunter, but she’s determined and has fairly good instincts. She handles what the world throws at her and doesn’t give up. Her fortitude and awesome sense of humor are endearing. Over the course of the three books I’ve read so far, she does grow as a character, learning and changing at a believable pace. I want to read the twenty-plus books in this series just to spend more time with her and see where she ends up.

The one problem I have with these books is that they are very obviously part of a long series. What I mean by this is that when you’re reading the books, you can tell Janet Evanovich is holding off on her dramatic plot points, especially the ones involved in her subplots, to be used later in the series. She does a good job of foreshadowing, promising her readers romantic conflicts and character developments, but only delivers tiny pieces in each book. It starts to get old by the third book. I want something to happen. Evanovich has promised me drama–I want to read it sometime in this lifetime.

Even with that said, I’m in love with these books. I plan to keep reading them until I need a change of pace (I’m guessing that will be in a few more books). With school being crazy and taking up most of my free time, I’m enjoying have a quick dose of humor on hand with these books. Whatever else the Stephanie Plum books are, they are hilarious.