Janet Evanovich seems to have gotten a bit of her mo-jo back with Sizzling Sixteen. I’ve been a huge fan of Ms. Evanovich for a decade and stood in line for hours when she was in Seattle for a book signing. She was gracious and funny and seemed to genuinely enjoy meeting her fans.
However, her Stephanie Plum series seems to be running out of gas. Like many best-selling authors, she has succumbed to the pressure to keep cranking them out. Sometimes it seems authors shuffle a deck of proven plot twists, characters, and belly laughs to keep a series alive.
I thought Sizzling Sixteen was better than the last few installments in this series. But, I’ll wait to read the on-line reviews before I buy Seventeen. This book got blasted by Amazon reviewers.
Uncle Pip’s lucky bottle was a dud as was my favorite character Grandma Mazur. The whole Hobbit line had only slightly more bounce. I think the book might have been more exciting if Blutto’s role had been amplified and leveraged more.
My favorite whacky character in this book is Mr. Jingles, a pet alligator who is more effective than any alarm system in protecting a drug dealer’s stash. I enjoyed the competition between Ranger and Morelli ~ Stephanie kept them both at bay. Ranger dropped the “L” word!
I also enjoyed karma landing on Vinnie and Lucille using her shotgun to shoot a rat. I was greatly relieved there were no tedious family dinners and recycled romantic scenes with Morelli and Ranger.
But, I’m sick and tired of Stephanie always needing to be rescued by Ranger and Morelli. Her penchant for destroying cars is beyond boring as are the fast food runs and Lulu’s ‘ho outfits. If this series is going to survive, Stephanie’s going to have to grow up and take charge of her life.
My recommendation would be to borrow Sizzling Sixteen from the library. There isn’t enough sizzle in the book to pay for it.
If you are looking for a similar read, I highly recommend Sophie Littlefield. A Bad Day for Sorry is available in paperback, and A Bad Day for Pretty was released earlier this month. Stella Hardesty, the series’ central character, is a domestic violence survivor and a bitch with a very bad attitude about abusive men! I’m hoping Ms. Littlefield won’t allow her publisher to drain her dry.
Thank you for your review. I loved 12, thought 13 was OK but crapped out at the end, and detested 14. I don’t know if I read 15 or not. Maybe I tried and couldn’t. I was curious about this book, because the excerpts on Evanovich’s site were so Ranger-heavy. I gave it a go and … well, it started off sweet and then turned bitter. I’m about 75 pages away from the end and I don’t want to finish it. Stephanie feels depressed and desperate, and Morelli…well, if anyone ever talked to me like that, he wouldn’t have to worry about his “boys” missing anyone ever again, if you know what I mean. I don’t know what Evanovich is up to, but this book was a real bummer.
Thanks, Liz, for your comment. The ending is OK ~ interesting spin. My sense is that Ranger is going to win out. . .he dropped the “L” word.
I never got the attraction to Morelli. He certainly wouldn’t jingle my bells.
I used to think Ranger was a sure bet, especially with Morelli as his only competition. But…a lot of women like men who are outrageously chauvinistic. And she did grow up in the June Cleaver era. So who knows?
I hear you, Liz. And, he’s so boring on top of it. IMHO, any woman who hooks up with a man because he makes her family happy is asking for trouble down the road.
Now, I’m trying to remember when the two of them ever had a serious conversation about anything. It seems like Morelli only shows up when he wants action or he heard on the police scanner that Stephanie was involved in the destruction of another car.
Ranger’s always the guy protecting her. . .helping her out. Morelli, on the other hand, seems to be the first one to remind her she screwed up again.
The whole plot line is boring.