All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Sizzling Sixteen – Janet Evanovich

on July 8, 2010

I -really- wanted to like this book. I’ve written before on how this used to be one of my favourite series and how I would wait the year in between books with anticipation and then devour them when they came out. They made me laugh out loud and I liked all the characters. However, that was a couple of years ago now and I’ve been disappointed in the last probably 4 books and I actively disliked Finger Lickin’ Fifteen. So it was with great apprehension and still a little bit of hope, that I opened this book yesterday afternoon after finishing East of Desolation.

Sigh. It did have potential. For starters, it actually had a plot, and not a bad one at that. Stephanie is forced to search for her cousin Vinnie when he’s kidnapped by people he owes money too. The debt starts at about $750,000 so because they have no hope of ever actually being able to pay that, they decide to kidnap him back. Of course on the way they discover that it’s simply more than Vinnie owing his bookie.  And the debt keeps growing until it’s at $1.3m.

Unfortunately for every good bit, or clever or funny bit, there were two or more lame or eye-rolling or just plain ridiculous bits. Someone, somewhere must’ve told Janet Evanovich at some stage that “animals are funny! More crazy animal moments! Fit in as many as you can! People love that shit. Oh and add farting. That’s funny too!”

Well, it mostly isn’t. I’m 28yrs old, and I’m female. If ever I found farting, or fart jokes funny, I was probably still of an age that was a single figure. Most people who find farting and fart jokes funny are teenage boys and let’s face it, they’re not the primary audience of the Stephanie Plum novels. Thankfully this one contains no where near as much farting as Finger Lickin’ Fifteen but it does contain no less than 4 moments involving ridiculous, gratuitous use of animals as a humorous diversion. Well, they weren’t funny. At least not to me anyway.

The Good:

  • There was a plot. It was workable. And for the most part, it was entertaining.
  • Ranger. I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s pretty much the only reason I keep reading. I -love- the character of Ranger. Every time I smiled during this book, it was a scene Ranger and Steph were in together. I’ve given up on the dream of anything more actually happening between them but hey. At least the chemistry was back this book, which was sorely lacking from the previous book.
  • Lula wasn’t as obnoxious in this book as she’s been in previous books. Although she was a continuous presence, in fact barely a scene occurred without her in the first 2/3 of the book, she wasn’t as overbearing as she has been of late in the novels and it didn’t annoy me that she was constantly there.
  • Did I mention Ranger?
  • Ranger.

The Bad:

  • Animals! Animals! Animals!
  • The word farting. Again!
  • Once again, too much build up with Ranger for no actual pay off. Plot contrivances come up to stall the way
  • The excessive amount of junk food. The first third of the book spanned about 2 days and there were 3 stops for donuts, a pizza order and a stop for fried crispy chicken. Jesus! No one can actually eat like that. And then there were many more stops for donuts. It was annoying.
  • Lula’s stupid diets. I’m so over them and they’re not funny.
  • Stink bombs. See farting in lack of how funny they actually are.
  • The ‘heist’. Just…no.
  • Still too much Lula, even if she wasn’t as annoying. She’s gone from being a peripheral character to far, far too much front and centre.
  • The Hobbits. Also no… Just no.

Given that Ranger makes up 3 of the good points about the book, there was really more negative than positive. All in all, this was an improvement on several of the previous books, but it’s definitely not of the calibre of 1-10. I think the time has come for this series to end definitively. Evanovich is clearly busy with several other projects and churning one of these out per year seems to be taking a toll. The quality has been way down with many fans questioning as to whether or not Janet Evanovich is still actually even writing them, or if they’re being ghosted. To be honest, there are several instances in books 11-15 where I have stopped reading and thought ‘where the f*** did that come from?’ It just didn’t sound…right. Sizzling Sixteen at least feels like it was written by Evanovich. But it’s a tired old formula that severely needs some time and some vamping, or to be put to bed. Either take your time with the next novel and make it good or make it the last.

4/10 (3 points for the plot, 3 for Ranger. 2 deducted for unnecessary use of animals)

(Book #40 of my 50 Book Challenge)

****EDIT!!**** PS…I just remembered… What the heck happened to Vinnie running up PPV porn charges in Ranger’s apartment in the book? The back of the book blurb clearly states this and yet…the scene never happens. Vinnie is never kept at Ranger’s apartment or even in his building! That is beyond sloppy. The scene was either edited out/deleted, or it was thought about and never written into it and they just kept the blurb for the back of the book. I’m taking another point off for that. That’s laziness beyond belief.

3/10

(Book #40 of my 50 Book Challenge of 2010)


One response to “Sizzling Sixteen – Janet Evanovich

  1. […]  Book of 2010: Sizzling Sixteen, by Janet Evanovich, The Last Song, by Nicholas Sparks, Road to Paradise, by Paullina […]

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