2018 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge

Four to Score (Stephanie Plum, #4) by Janet Evanovich

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This is actually only the second Stephanie Plum novel I’ve read. My husband has read the whole series but I always end up finding something else to read before I get to them. I don’t know why I always leave them behind because they are really funny.

This story focuses on the apprehension of  Maxine, who failed to show for a court appearance for stealing her boyfriend’s car. As Stephanie begins her investigation, the people she starts talking to end up with fingers missing…or worse. Maxine decides she wants to lead her ex-boyfriend on a wild goose chase to collect some ‘love letters’. Trying to break the codes in Maxine’s clue letters to her ex-boyfriend, Stephanie meets Sally Sweet, the nephew of one of the elderly ladies in Stephanie’s apartment building. Sally is transvestite singer who has some local popularity and is hilarious to read about in the book. Coupled with Lula, the retired prostitute turned bounty-hunter helper and file clerk, Ranger, Joe Morelli, and Grandma Mazur, the book is one hilarious calamity after the other. Blown up cars, fire bombs, dead old ladies who aren’t really dead, and bodies in the cellar are a few of the funny situations Stephanie gets herself into in this book.

The characters are well developed throughout the entire series. Most of the characters you know from previous books, but the author does a good job of giving/refreshing some background on each character you run into. The new characters like Sally, Maxine, and Eddie (Maxine’s ex-boyfriend) feel like full fledged characters you’ve known for a while and are easy to think of someone they relate to. The story line moves quickly, there is very little drag, and comedy is around every turn, even the sad turns.

If you’re looking for a good laugh, I’d recommend the book. It’s light-hearted and entertaining, most of the books in this series are. This is one is pretty much about a jealous lover and a crazy ex-girlfriend with crime thrown in. There are others that focus on different comedic topics, but that is the focus of this particular book. I gave it a three because it was mostly just for laughs. The story is thought out and well-developed but I can’t say it’s something I’ll pick up again.

My rating:

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2017 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge

Penelope (Fairweather Sisters #1) by Anya Wylde

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I picked this book up because it said it was a clean historical romantic comedy, which I am finding I like greatly. I have to say it is exactly as advertised. It takes place in the early 1800s and is a really good historical romance. I have to say it is one of the few books that has made me laugh out loud while I was reading multiple times. I really is worth the read.

The story follows Penelope, a country bumpkin from a small town in the rural country. Penelope’s mother died when she was very young, but not before extracting a promise from a Duchess to look after her daughter. The dowager takes Penelope under her wing and brings Penelope to her son’s,the Duke’s, London home. The hilarity starts as soon as Penelope arrives, hours late, soaking wet, and in the company of her pet goat. Mishap after mistake after accident follow as the young girl tries to bloom into a young woman. She annoys and angers the duke at every turn, embarrasses her friend, and has run-ins with thieves and highwaymen. Throw in a few more interesting characters and you have a wonderful, light-hearted read that is worth the time.

The characters are well-developed and completely relateable. My biggest complaint is the grammar issues, of which there are several. The storyline was smooth and didn’t drag.  It was predictable but definitely has enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. The love story could have used a little more work, but it added to the comedy in places. The length was good and fit well with the story. The story was only told from Penelope’s point of view except for a couple places that are from the Duke’s. Having more of the Duke’s perspective could have helped, but for this story it wasn’t necessary. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes historical romance.

My rating:

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2015 Pop Sugar Book Challenge, Book Reviews

Hard Eight (Stephanie Plum #8) by Janet Evanovich

I have only read one other Stephanie Plum novel and that was number 18. I was told the earlier ones were even funnier. I happened to come across this one as a free audio book so I took the opportunity to read it.

The story follows Stephanie as she looks for a missing child and her mother. Stephanie’s parents’ neighbor asks Stephanie to look for her grand and great-grand daughter after she was informed they had taken off and were in violation of a child custody bond. The granddaughter’s ex-husband and the little girls father gets involved and ends up being killed and left on Stephanie’s couch. As Stephanie looks into it, she ticks off a couple of the wrong people and ends up getting stalked. The stalking gets pretty bad, especially as she is constantly moving houses since hers is a crime scene. During all this, she is also trying to pick up a failure-to-appear suspect that causes her all kinds of problems. She attempts the first three times, but he keeps getting away. Through all of this, Morelli and Ranger pop in and out. Morelli shows up anytime she ends up interacting with the police, which is frequent, and Ranger comes whenever she calls. Her penchant for getting cars blown up also sets a new record LOL.

The story is full of the random, crazy occurrence humor that peppers all of the Stephanie Plum books. Witty, outrageous comebacks are also an additional comedic relief. The antics of Stephanie and Lula are hilarious. Also, the interactions with Ranger and Morelli keeps things spicy and entertaining as well. Like I was told, the earlier books are definitely more funny. I think the most interesting part is when her mother hits the rabbit – believe it’s important to the story HAHA.

I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys comedy or a mystery. It could be good for a wide variety of readers. While your reading it, it never feels like a heavy or deep read but plays off as light hearted and fun with some serious points and situations.

My rating:

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