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Smokin' Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel (Stephanie Plum Novels)

Smokin' Seventeen  - Janet Evanovich [b:Smokin' Seventeen|9583507|Smokin' Seventeen|Janet Evanovich|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Bb6D54-aL._SL75_.jpg|14470450]
Book Completed: August 1, 2011
Rating: ★ ★

My favorite part of this book is on page 111, when Stephanie says “I feel like my life isn’t going anywhere.” Yep Steph, you are absolutely correct! Your life and this series are going nowhere. The antics were delightful (initially), but after 17+ books (I’m also counting the “in-between” books), I am just weary of them. All the usual gang is still there, and we do get some more Morelli and Ranger time, but nothing meaningful takes place or is said in this book. The book ends in a cliffhanger and I am reminded of a previous book (was that book 8??), where we were left thinking Stephanie may actually make a decision about her main squeeze, but didn’t.

Now, for those of you thinking that I am just hating on Steph too much, I need to point out that I initially LOVED this series. The first couple of books was cleverly written and had tons of smart humor in them. I applauded Ms. Evanovich’s writing and the uniqueness of the series. The last ten books have been formulistic and just uninspiring to me; its just the same old, same old. I am tired of Lula’s incessant “ho” routine, gluttony and people shooting. I tire of waiting for Steph to actually make a decision about her life, her job, her main man, and her apartment. Frankly, I think my main issue is with Lula, I really dislike her as a character. Since her addition to the books, it just feels that she brings Stephanie down to her level. Stephanie is not at her best with Lula, and their antics just strike me as childish and stupid.

Comedy books fall into two categories for me; the first are smartly-written, thought provoking, sarcastic and intelligent ones, while the second type are what I will loosely call stupid humor and relies on gags, common humor, physical comedy. Equating that with comedy movies; the first would be like watching the elegant comedy of Monty Python and Airplane, while the second falls in the realm of Dumb and Dumber, Jack*** and Superbad. One works for me, the other doesn’t. Even stupid movies work for me, but not 10 of them in a row.

Will I continue with this series? Probably, for one more book. However, if the insanity continues, it will probably be my last one. I debated on what to actually rank this book and I finally settled on a two star rating mainly because it was OK. The mystery was woven well into the book but was pretty elementary. I figured out who the murderer was fairly early in this book. There really was no depth added to the characters and the dialog was fairly straightforward and basic. I knew going into this book what the humor would be like, I hoped for the best, but was just delivered something mediocre. Here’s hoping that Explosive Eighteen will be better.