Antof9's Reviews > Smokin' Seventeen

Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich
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's review
Aug 14, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: 2011-read, americana, forgettable, junk-food, liberry, unfulfilling
Read from August 12 to 13, 2011

** spoiler alert ** These books are getting more and more outlandish every time I read one. And although they are good junk food after a heavy and/or non-fiction book, I'm kind of tired of them. It seems they're getting more over the top and crazier and crazier ideas every time (which doesn't translate to "more interesting").

Seriously, the second Stephanie thought she recognized the guy in the tape, I knew it was Dave. Did anyone reading it think otherwise? No. Evanovich has turned into the literary equivalent of the bad figure skater who telegraphs her jump 10 seconds before she actually does it. Why are these books still going? She needs to pick an ending and write it. The last 5 or so could have been skipped because they are now formulaic and we could write our own version. Stephanie Plum books must contain:
1. Lula in spandex
2. Lula at Cluck-in-a-bucket (or whatever it's called)
3. Stephanie wanting doughnuts
4. Stephanie getting shot at or attached in various doughnut and/or restaurant establishments
5. Sleep w/ Ranger
6. Sleep w/ Morelli
7. Bob the dog eats something that's not dog and/or people food
8. At least one viewing at the funeral home
9. Stephanie ruining her and/or Ranger's car

There's more but I've already bored myself. Just thankful I got this from the library. Oh, and the library copy contains "I <3 Ranger" and "I <3 Morelli" stickers at the back. Although I was something like #236 on the list for the book, both stickers are still in the back. Regardless of how popular Team Snape and/or Team Jacob stickers might be, clearly the Stephanie Plum readers don't even care enough to take the sticker out of the library book.
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 51) (51 new)

message 1: by Cyndy (new)

Cyndy Aleo I just... I cannot. Please post a full review, but I'm so tired of the lack of character development that I can't read them anymore. And I loved them.

Antof9 So funny - I'm about to write my review, which consists of "they used find and replace" :)

message 3: by Shaunesay (new)

Shaunesay Eslanai Aw man, I'm so sad to hear that, I love Stephanie and the gang! :(

message 4: by Cyndy (new)

Cyndy Aleo At what point do you decide that you no longer care as an author and just keep cranking out the same old book time after time? It's like a Mad Lib now: Ranger loans Stephanie a: Range Rover/Porsche/other which gets destroyed by _______ at the funeral parlor/drug house/other. Stephanie is/is not with Morelli. She and Lula do/do not catch skip in house with iguana/macaw/komodo dragon/other unspecified endangered species to be named later.

Antof9 You know what, Shaunesay? I like them too, but I think Cyndy is on the right track -- it was a case of "I can write a few more and make more money and still leave the Stephanie/Ranger/Morelli thing unresolved a little bit longer". I'm assuming her publishers are going by the "Moonlighting" rules -- once the couple get together, the show gets boring. So they must keep them apart as long as possible.

But really, this one was just crazytown. I finished it yesterday morning and have already forgotten almost all of it but that they worked out of Mooner's bus.

message 6: by Shaunesay (new)

Shaunesay Eslanai I understand, and I'm not that far yet but can already agree with the points you guys make.

message 7: by Cyndy (new)

Cyndy Aleo I love that this is on a shelf called "unfulfilling." I think I need a shelf like that.

message 8: by Teotakuu (new)

Teotakuu So I should save my money and wait for the library to have it?

Antof9 @Cyndy -- feel free to copy!
@Teotakuu -- Absolutely :)

Isabel I agree, it has become very formulaic and I know beforehand what I'll get in detail.
But I still like to read them. It's like baking the same lovely chocolate brownie I did last week and enjoyed.

Having said that, believe it or not, I wouldn't mind if the series finally came to a conclusion. Because Evanovich has definitely run out of ideas for Stephanie and the others. Whatever will happen now, is either the same as before just slightly different (and I'm absolutely fine with that!) or outragously different and hence not really in line with the characters (and I'd not like to see that). That's what I think, at least.

Antof9 I think you are spot on, Isa. Sadly, I wish this had been as good as a lovely chocolate brownie. It was more like a store-bought pastry that tastes mostly of lard.

Maybe she'll end the series so that they can make a couple movies and then end them too. At least, that's what I assume might happen.

Isabel Yes, I wouldn't mind that. Just don't have Katherine Heigl as Stephanie!

Antof9 I'm SO NOT HAPPY about that! How can she possibly be Stephanie? Clearly the casting director has never read a single description of the intrepid Stephanie Plum.

Isabel Yeah, how can they even consider someone like her?!


Antof9 I have absolutely no idea. Really, none. And that's why I won't bother to see it in the theatre. I'll wait for Netflix.

Isabel I'll probably have to wait for the DVD as I don't think they are that popular here. I know a few German BCers who love them but I might have a slightly biased fan-base here. ;) So no idea if and when it'll appear here in Germany.
I guess I should ask google to see when it comes out in the USA.

message 17: by Cyndy (new)

Cyndy Aleo Because we haven't had a decent Italian-American actress cast in ANYTHING since Marissa Tomei who has obviously aged out of the part?

Isabel It's a shame. Really, it is.
Imdb tells me release will be in January 2012 in the USA.

Antof9 I blame Snooki and the Jersey Shore for much of this mess.

Isabel I don't think I ubnderstand. I googled Sooki and Jersey Shore but did not get enlightment.

Antof9 It's a horrible "reality" TV show that's been on MTV for a few seasons now. Some of them are actual Italian-Americans, but mostly they're just obnoxious, orange-or-real-tanned slacker partiers. They're disgusting, and America is watching their every move. Their moves? Getting drunk and in fights and hooking up. It's a sad, sad, situation. One of the most popular characters on the show is a girl named "Snooki". I blame her for most everything that's wrong in America :)

Isabel I see.
That probably explains why there is no search for decent Italian-American actress.

Antof9 Egg. Zackly.

message 24: by Shaunesay (new)

Shaunesay Eslanai I wondered who Snooki was, I kept hearing her name, not in connection with anything good. From now on, I think I should all my news from Ant! ;) As I didn't know they were making Stephanie Plum movies either!

Antof9 Stick with me, kid - I'll keep you abreast of useless information :)

Rebekkila This is the first year I haven't sought out the newest book in the series. I guess I will skip this one.

Antof9 I'm ok waiting for the 300 people in front of me waiting for the library copy :) At least, that's how I got this one, and I was just checking my library account -- there are another 300 in front of me in line for #18 (I don't even know if it's out yet!).

No rush :)

message 28: by Cyndy (new)

Cyndy Aleo It will be out next July, I'm sure. With the same plot. And #19 the year after that. I vote for #20 to be called "Thumb-twiddling Twenty!"

Antof9 Seconded!

message 30: by Isabel (last edited Aug 16, 2011 02:46PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Isabel I think at #17's end it said that #18 will be out in Nocvember.
I don't remember who told me but apparently Evanovich herself once said in an interview (I'm paraphrasing here:) that once you have a winning formula, stick to it and don't change it. I don't suppose anybody needs to think hard about whether she sticks to this herself or not. ;)

Antof9 Too funny! I do wish she'd aim a little higher, though :)

Isabel Yes, I agree. Too obviously formulaic.

It's so formulaic that I, yes I!, have had the idea that I might be able to write her stories for her. And I'mm a self-proclaimed non-writer! :-D

Antof9 BWA HA HA HA HA HA I'm sure I could, too :) Just use the find-and-replace function in Microsoft Word!

Isabel LOL! Yes!

Just find another guy who once had a slight grudge on Stephanie, add a handful meetings with Ranger, a few fights with Morelli, a funeral viewing or two with her grandma, a bombed car or two, a lunatic but essentially harmless stalker at her front door and you already have 270 pages filled. Another 30 for the bit of novelity and ta-da, you got yourself a book written. ;)

Isabel Oh, how could I forget the FTAs?! Add 3 or 4 weirdo/hard criminal FTAs and you're 290 pages into the book.

message 36: by Cyndy (new)

Cyndy Aleo You can also dredge up some characters she's forgotten about, like her sister, the not-quite-a-drag queen, Joyce Barnhardt or whatever her name is...

Antof9 Done, and done. Dear publisher, WHERE IS OUR MONEY?

Oh wait - you forgot Lula and animal-printed spandex :)

Isabel So true. Joyce Bernhardt, Lula, Vinnie the Weasel, Mooner and we're at page 301.

Antof9 And how could I have forgotten her sister? Valerie? And the kids -- one of whom thinks she's a horse. Hey -- this book is actually getting interesting :)

message 40: by Cyndy (new)

Cyndy Aleo How could you have? EVANOVICH HAS AND THEY ARE HER CHARACTERS!!!!!! I wish people would stop buying these. If they would stop buying them she would stop writing them.

Antof9 What you said. All of it :)

Isabel I think it is hard for some of us (me!) to stop buying them, even if it's always a slight variation of the same. Because, essentially, I like the predictable stuff that happens to Stephanie.

It's slightly like my relationship with the House, M.D. series: I always love to watch them but I wouldn't mind for the mt to end for good so I can finally buy the complete 8 or more seasons box. :-D

By the way, I just happened to watch "The Ugly Truth" with Katherine Heigl.
I realised I never watched anything with her before and had only ever seen trailers of her films (for obvious reasons, I guess). And I'm not pleased at all at the thought that *she* is going to be Stephanie. So, so, SO not Stephanie material. Just forget about the looks. She's not even the type! Either she has to be a far better actress than the one she was in that film I watched or she'll make an awful Stephanie. :-O

Antof9 I've seen that one, too. Wasn't it awful? And sadly, everything else I've seen her in was painful to watch, too. She's a horrible actress, IMO. I'm with you - forget about the looks, but she's not even close to Stephanie. However, Sherri Shepherd as Lula will be HILARIOUS.

Isabel I don't know where to begin with al the things I find awful in this movie. Most of all Heigls ABSOLUTELY unconvincing performance of a woman who is looking for the man of her dreams. There is nothing, I repeat: NOTHING! that is convincing in her performance. Really, nothing. This scares me with regard to her role as Stephanie. The lead character, too!

As to the other characters, as far as I can see, they fit. As you say, Lula is perfect! :-D

Antof9 Yup. What you said. I'm actually looking forward to Sherri as Lula, but possibly not enough to pay extra to see it in the theatre. Maybe for the $5.00 matinee, but that's about as far as I'd go. Sad that they chose Heigl for this role - there are at least 10 girls with comedic chops who could do it better, especially since they're totally disregarding the "looks" description given by Evanovich ...

Isabel To be honest, ever since I watched Heigl in The Ugly Truth, I don't much care about the mismatching looks. I absolutely have moved my fear priorities to her awful performance.

I'll have to see what I'll do with the film...

Antof9 "fear priorities" FTW! BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Isabel Don't laugh. This is serious! When I heard the first time about making the film I was so enchanted and happy and all that. Until I read who was going to play Stephanie. At first my worries were only for her looks. But then I saw a couple of trailers for Heigl films and my fear changed slightly. Now they have moved entirely and while I still worry because of the looks, it's the abysmal acting that have made me not only not looking forward to the film but actually fearing for the entire thing.

Aaaahh, I wonder who Heigl has in her pocket to be able to work in Hollywood.

Antof9 And she keeps making movies! ACK.

Isabel She's not getting my money. IOf I spend some at the cinema, then it is for a film or actress that is worth its while.

Just saying.

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