Yeah, I’m Reading Janet Evanovich, You Gotta Problem with That?


Fresh off ingesting Jack McDevitt’s Alex Benedict series, I’m in the mood for a little fluff. A bit of chick lit, but even then, I’m learning something about writing.

Evanovich’s long running Stephanie Plum series sets the bar for women out of their depth. Like Sookie Stackhouse, Stephanie’s got money troubles. Both characters have down to earth problems that help ground them in reality despite their outlandish adventures. Money’s a problem for Stephanie, so she stumbles her way into bounty hunting.

I’m more immediately fond of Stephanie: she’s thirty-something, more mature, with an outlandish, though believable, family and a nasty divorce under her belt.
Stephanie doesn’t pick up a gun, go after her bounty, and proceed to blow away the bad guys matrix-style. She comes across realistically: afraid of her weapon, clumsy in her pursuit, and occasionally downright stupid in her mistakes.

Evanovich moves things along with short sentences and unexpected turns of phrase that freshen up clichés. Her descriptive paragraphs have an almost staccato rhythm. Stephanie usually gets her man, but never without threat or setbacks.

A “serious” writer might argue that there’s little value in such a read. At that I stick out my tongue and get back to reading. Good writing reads quick, doesn’t mire the reader, and above all, entertains. I love a deep read, but they really make me smile. Evanovich makes me laugh out loud or cringe with concern. She provokes an emotional response, which not enough science fiction or fantasy do well.

One thought on “Yeah, I’m Reading Janet Evanovich, You Gotta Problem with That?

  1. Jennings says:

    Stephanie, Lulu and Grandma Mazur are my go-to when I need something light and am out of new stuff. Loreli King, who does the audio books from #8 (I think) on, is great, and I listen to them a lot when I’m driving. I don’t care that they’re not literary masterpieces – as an author myself, and as a reader, I want entertainment. Maybe that makes me shallow… but honestly, life’s too short to read a lot of the “literary” books out there. Laughing out loud at a book can’t be a bad thing!

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