Friday, January 20, 2012

Review: One For the Money

One For the Money
Author: Janet Evanovich
Series: Stephanie Plum #1
Rating: ✮✮✮
Book Depository | Goodreads

Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems (since losing her job as a lingerie buyer for a department store). Stephanie needs cash--fast--but times are tough, and soon she's forced to turn to the last resort of the truly desperate: family.

Stephanie lands a gig at her sleazy cousin Vinnie's bail bonding company. She's got no experience. But that doesn't matter. Neither does the fact that the bail jumper in question is local vice cop Joe Morelli. From the time he first looked up her dress to the time he first got into her pants to the time Steph hit him with her father's Buick, M-o-r-e-l-l-i has spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And now the hot guy is in hot water--wanted for murder.

Abject poverty is a great motivator for learning new skills, but being trained in the school of hard knocks by people like psycho prizefighter Benito Ramirez isn't. Still, if Stephanie can nab Morelli in a week, she'll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight--and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man.

I picked this up because A) I needed a break from all the paranormal/YA I've been reading, B) the movie trailer is cute despite my aversion to Katherine Heigl and C) it was time for a pure popcorn book.

One For the Money totally hit the spot for me; that sort of light, fast read that tends to clear the book-reading part of my mind. I liked Stephanie Plum for her can-do attitude, her sort of adorable bumbling way of doing things, and the slow growth we see in her as a person and a not-so-kickass bounty hunter by the end. Actually, I really liked that she was still dorky and all by the end of the book, despite going through everything Evanovich puts her through.

I enjoyed the secondary cast of characters, especially Grandma Mazur in all her kookiness. I mean, I'll never get the image of her wearing hot pink bike shorts out of my mind any time soon. Joe Morelli is a great romantic foil, one of those guys who would drive me absolutely insane in real life but I love in fiction. Ranger's pretty cool as well, and though I finished the book just yesterday, you'd be hard pressed to get me to remember the names of any other characters.

Oh, and I loved how dated the novel is, considering it was published in 1994. All those bike shorts, the cars, the car phones. It makes me wonder how we'll see the books of 2000-2010 in another ten, twenty or thirty years.

As for the's not negative so much as a personal preference, but ugh, we could have done without the stalker/rapist side plot. I applaud Evanovich for remembering that having her main character be attractive in certain places means she'll be attracting the wrong sort of attention, and nobody understands that sort of fear like other women do, but I felt it was taken a bit too far in this.

Thanks to the Stephanie Plum case files or whatever in the end of the edition I have, I know what happens in books 2-8 and I don't have to read anymore! Woo! (Not that I would have anyway, this was a one-shot kinda deal. I liked Stephanie, but not that much.)

I give my popcorn reads a lot of leeway because I don't expect much of them. They hit the spot when I need them to, and after a while, the effect they had is gone. One For the Money was a perfect popcorn read.


  1. I love this series! I agree, they're not books you treasure and plan on reading again and again, but they're quick and fun and sometimes ridiculous and that makes them worthwhile I think:) They get funnier and more outlandish as they go, especially when Lula starts working with Stephanie - too hilarious:)

    1. OMG, Lulu JOINS HER? That is the best thing I've ever heard. I'd keep reading a series that was just Stephanie and Lulu's Adventures in Bounty Hunting.