Thursday, January 3, 2013

Notorious Nineteen - Book Review

Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

Format? - Ebook on my Nook
Source? Puchased from Barnes and Noble the day it was released

Why? Because I'm a sucker for a series, and this one in particular has provided some good laughs along the way.

Cover? big deal...same ole, same ole
Title? not sure what's notorious about it, but again, same little tongue teaser as the rest of the series...doesn't affect the reading one way or another

What Now? I'm relieved Evanovich has returned to classic Stephanie Plum.  Things were getting a little silly there for a while.  As always the book ends with a cliffhanger of sorts...this time with a promise for later from Ranger.
**fanning myself here ;)

Golden Lines

My mother made the sign of the cross and belted back half a glass of what looked like ice tea but smelled a lot like Jim Beam. (21 of 204)

Lula almost jumped the curb when she saw Grandma in front of the hair salon.  Grandma was wearing a blond Marilyn Monroe wig, a hot pink tank top, black Pilates pants, and black kitten heels.  She looked like the senior version of an inflatable sex toy doll that needed more air. (34 of 204)

"Is there a point to this?" I asked Morelli.
"No," he said.  "I'm venting.  It scares the crap out of me that I'm in love with you." (63 id 204)

"Oh boy," Lula said.  "You're not gonna have to work with Morelli, are you?  Last time you tried that he had to stop carrying his gun so he wouldn't be tempted to shoot you.  And remember the time he chained you to a pipe in his cellar?" (124 of 204)

Ranger walked to the edge of the grave and jumped in.  He lifted me up into the arms of one of his men, and I was back on solid ground.  The man gave Ranger a hand up, and Ranger was next to me, cutting the tape off my wrists. (185 of 204)

"Nuh-uh.  Lula doesn't dig up dead people.  You get cooties like that." (189 of 204)


Stephanie, Morelli, Ranger, Lula, Connie, Vinnie, Grandma Mazur and Stephanie's parents once again are neck deep in bond skips, pot roast, an albino Yeti, a dwarf, disappearing bodies, a deranged ex-military man, innuendo, exploding cars, a nudie beach, donuts, spandex, and a ton of comic relief.

What I Liked

Morelli - no surprise here...I've been a Morelli gal the entire series.  I like his honesty, his Sicilian background, his job, the way he admits he loves Stephanie even though he doesn't completely understand why, the way he takes care of Bob the dog, his home, the way he respects his mother and grandmother even though both are nuts, and on and on and on.  He's the one for Stephanie...but I'm just not sure exactly how...or when.

Ranger - ahem, ok, so maybe it took me longer than everybody else to see his quiet but dangerous charm...but I really warmed up to him in Notorious Nineteen.  One particularly feverish scene is when Ranger is fitting Stephanie with a listening device.  
Oh my.  
I still don't think he's for Stephanie though...we learn a little more about his background in Notorious Nineteen, and it's just enough to reinforce for me that Ranger is probably more damaged than Stephanie can even imagine...and may never be able to live a normal life. 

I get it.  I've been almost mad a Stephanie for a while bc she won't just marry Morelli...but I get it now.  Morelli and Stephanie are good together as is.  But, I don't see either of them being happy domesticated.  Morelli dealt better with Stephanie's job in Notorious Nineteen than he ever has, which is a good thing if he plans on keeping her.

Lula - by 10 pages in, I was snorting at Lula's sincere but humorous attempts at being a bounty hunter.  

The overall, major mystery was an effective one I that seemed well thought out and put together.  The final resolving of the issue and closure for the wife left behind was a nice touch as well.

FINALLY, Stephanie eats a salad or two instead of donuts and fast food all the time.  

What I Didn't Like

Pretty quick wrap-up of one of the main plotlines - so quick that for the next ten pages or so after it was resolved, I kept thinking Evanovich was going to pull the "the dead villain wasn't dead after all" scenario...but it really was over.  

The "how many cars can Stephanie blow up in a day" thingie is gettin a little old...just sayin'

Overall Recommendations

If you're a fan of the Stephanie Plum series, I think you'll enjoy this installment.  A book that can make you laugh out loud from time to time is very definitely a good thing.  Don't try to overthink it though...just go with the flow and let it entertain you.
If you're not a fan of the series, I definitely say start at the beginning.  I think you need the history of the characters and how their lives intertwine to add to the reading experience.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!!

To say that Layla is not a fan of fireworks would be an understatement.  Our first indication of this was Fourth of July when I literally had to sit on the couch with her as the kids at our house went nuts with fireworks outside.
For the first couple of hours last night she barked at each pop as if it was a terrorist attack :/
(Why, yes, I've been watching Homeland; why do you ask?)
As I've been trained to do with her, I keep my voice steady and act as if there is nothing wrong...except for the wrapping her in the Cubs blanket part.
After an hour or so, my youngest wanted to shoot her own fireworks and managed to rope her daddy into going outside and lighting the fuses. 
Because "her girl" was outside with the loud pops and crazy lights, Layla decided to woman up and take a peek.
We sat in the doorway to the garage and watched the youngest squeal with delight as the husband slowly made his way through our small collection of ammo and gunpowder. 
Slowly but surely Layla decided to get even closer to the action. 
For the last 30 minutes or so, Layla stayed right beside me at the very edge of the garage door and watched the action...I didn't have my phone or I would have taken another picture of my disciplined, never ceases to amaze me with her intellect and controlled GSD who put her fears aside to stand guard over my youngest who was, I'm sure in Layla's opinion, clearly at risk.
She didn't flinch or jump at the sounds and sights...and once I even let her walk out and sniff a random firework that had been left behind. 
She proceeded to eat said firework but thankfully dropped it on command. 
I decided then we were probably safest back inside the garage.
After much hard work outside, here's my youngest and her trusty companion ringing in the New Year
Look who's wrapped in the Cubs blanket now :)
Happy New Year!