A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

LEAN MEAN THIRTEEN by Janet Evanovich

LEAN MEAN THIRTEEN by Janet Evanovich

If you remember my disappointment last year with TWELVE SHARP you are probably wondering if I've lost my mind or won the lottery, or at the very least what possessed me to buy LEAN MEAN 13.

My story, and I'm stickin' to it, goes like this, a year goes by and I'm wandering the book aisles of my local Barnes and Noble when I spy the latest Evanovich hardcover and 13th Stephanie Plum book. I think to myself, "It can't be as bad as the last book." Then I recall that over the course of the series there were some installments that were better than others. So what are the odds that there would be two stinkers in a row? I then snatch the book from the shelf and march myself to the checkout. Of course, all of this is suspect since I entered the store with the store coupon which discounted the sale price for the new release.

LEAN MEAN THIRTEEN isn't a total bounce back, but it was a pretty good book. Not great, but pretty good. This book is much more focused on Stephanie working her cases and less on her personal life. I do sense and hope that Stephanie is getting ready to make some changes in her life. Ms. Evanovich certainly leaves some bread crumbs in that direction. In LM13, Stephanie is trying to find her ex-husband Dickie Orr. If you've read any of these books you know that Stephanie loathes the air Dickie breathes. Not only because she caught Dickie boinking her arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt on the dining room table, which precedes the end of her 15 minute marriage, but also because Dickie is a total schmuck and PITA.

Dickie has gone missing after a very high octane meeting with Stephanie, so now Steph is a suspect in his disappearance and possible demise. In order not to end up in the clinker herself Stephanie decides to find her no good ex. Of course, she gets help from her cast of characters along the way. I did chuckle a bit and smiled often, but right now I can't think of a single laugh out loud moment in this one.

While this book was way better than feeling like I was ripped off, which is how I felt last year, it just wasn't as snappy nor did it have alot of the sexual tension and simmer between Stephanie and her guys that we've come to expect. I seriously think (not that she's asked or cares) Ms. Evanovich needs to do one great book and finish up the series. As the saying goes, all good things must end. I really think it's time for the gang in Trenton, New Jersey to call it a day. So maybe Stephanie doesn't end up with either of these guys, or maybe she finally choses between the yummy Joe Morelli and the delicious Ranger. Either way it needs a resolution already. I just hate to see Stephanie Plum and company, who have provided so many hours of reading entertainment, stay too long at the dance and ruin all the good feelings readers and fans have for the books.

So I guess it's not really much of a review to sum up by saying, "Not a bad book, but ..."

Fortunately, with my Barnes and Noble membership and an online store coupon I was out the door with this one for $15, which is only slightly more than a trade sized paperback, so not too bad. Here's a Barnes and Noble coupon for LM13 and here is the Borders coupon if you are interested in buying it. This is a Borders 20% off coupon good until June 24th. At the B&N link there's also a link for online shopping discounts and coupons.

I know myself well enough to know that I will probably buy the next book too. Maybe I need to find a sponsor like they have in AA that can help save me from myself. Of course, that counts out all you lovable addicts in Romancelandia who read my blog. Life preserver anyone?

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Blogger CindyS said...

You and me both. I have already found a cheap enough copy if I order online. It seems to make it go down easier. Also, it's been a year and maybe it'll be funny. This is the way my brain works. At least I kicked my LKH habit. I figure one bad habit is okay. Right? ;)

I've had the same feeling about the series being wrapped up but I figure as long as everyone is making money they aren't about to roll up the red carpet.


2:33 AM PDT  
Blogger Marg said...

I've stopped buying Plum books, but I am still reading them - just from the library! I should be able to pick it up in the next couple of days hopefully.

4:29 AM PDT  
Blogger Jennie said...

I'm with Marg--I still read and enjoy the Plum books, but I can't buy them in hardcover! I'll be getting this one from the library. :)

8:20 AM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Cindy, I'm so glad I'm not the only one! You're probably right about the money thing, but one can hope!

Marg and Jennie, I so admire your restraint. I'd get mine from the library (no really I would!) if I didn't have to wait 3 to 6 months. They order out to the county for the book and then there's a waiting list. I'm too impatient I'm afraid.

9:26 AM PDT  
Blogger Wendy said...

Yes, support your local library! LOL

The problem is that with your library on hand, it's very hard to kick the habit. I have several authors I tell myself I'm going to quit - but then the library copy rolls in....

Seriously, I need a twelve step program.

I listen to Evanovich on audio, and we got this one as an e-audio. Hopefully there will still be copies left for me to download one this evening....

10:04 AM PDT  
Blogger Holly said...

I'm with you and Cindy. I say I'm not going to buy them and then I see them in the store and they always end up on my shelf. I was seriously disappointed in Twelve, but I was hoping - like you - that she'd be back again with this one. I'm sorry that wasn't the case.

Naturally I'll still buy it, though.

I agree she needs to end the series, but I read an interview she did around the time Eleven came out where she said she had no intention of stopping anytime soon, and she had no intention of having Steph choose a man in the immediate future..if ever. Ugh.

2:06 PM PDT  
Anonymous scooper said...

I've never read a Stph. Plum book. I keep saying that I'm gonna try, but I've not yet made it. One day I will be stalking the book aisles finding nothing to buy and thoughts of this series will tap me on the shoulder and I'll buy it.

2:58 PM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Wendy, I think I'd almost commit a capital crime to have a decent library...really I would.

Holland, this is why I love all my blogger buddies. You all understand perfectly why I had to have this book.

Scoop, reading those first three books in this series is a real treat. In fact I think they are pretty damn good until about 10 or 11. I can't think of any other book(s) I've read where I've laughed so hard. Really, they are a treat. If you have a decent UBS they usually have the books around as they've been reprinted many times.

12:42 AM PDT  
Blogger ReneeW said...

You're right, you're not going to find a sponsor for your habit in this crowd. In fact we all should be in a 12-step program. I heard an interview at the end of Twelve book on tape and it basically confirmed that there is no way she is going to stop this money gravy train or give Stephanie a HEA of any kind. I miss the belly laughs from her previous books. Twelve was a disappointment but I was starting to get weak about Thirteen when I saw your review. It doesn't sound too bad but I'll probably get it from the library.

2:44 PM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Renee, my sister heard about the same interview that you and Holly mentioned. It's depressing I tell you. This books is more substanative than 12 by a long shot, but no belly laughs. I just can't see where she has much new to say, but then I'm not the creative writer who came up with Stephanie Plum in the first place, so what do I know?

9:07 PM PDT  

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