Title: One For the Money
Author: Janet Evanovich
Year of Publication: 1994
Length: 3 hours
First Line: “There are some men who enter a woman’s life and screw it up forever.”
Summary: Janet Evanovich made her spectacular debut with this witty and critically acclaimed crime novel. Meet Stephanie Plum of Trenton, New Jersey. She’s a rookie bail bondswoman who has the awkward habit of leaping first and looking later when she’s out snagging bail jumpers. It’s not a job for the faint at heart, but it’s tailor-made for Plum. In “One for the Money,” rookie Stephanie Plum may be a bit wet behind the ears, but nobody’s going to take it easy on her; especially her first skip, an ex-cop and murder suspect named Morelli.
Review: I read this one because my mother (and maybe my brother but I’m not sure) are fans of this series. I’ve seen them reading it for decades (I feel like I am somehow dating myself there). So I finally borrowed it from my mom and gave it a try.
I really didn’t like it.
This novel was just such a complete waste of my time. The only good part about it was that it was a light, short, fast-paced read.
I felt like I was reading an episode of The Jersey Shore if it had been set in the early 90s and the Snooki (she’s the only girl from the show I know) was a bounty hunter. Lots of New Jersey Italian lifestyle in this book. Not that there is anything wrong about that. It’s just so cheesy and I dunno, lame and fake. Everyone was described as being a ‘sleazy’ or ‘slum bag’.
The main character, Stephanie, worried over her appearance (oh God spandex shorts), money troubles (when she gets money from a bounty she spends it quickly), and going over to her parents house for dinner because they wanted to set her up with a nice man (which made her come off as some sort of lesbian because she kept going on about how she ‘hated’ men and didn’t ‘like’ men). She became a bounty hunter after losing her steady job (her employee had mob-like ties and was caught — really?) and her cousin had a job opening at his establishment and she only got the job because she bribed him with the knowledge that she knew that he liked to woohoo animals like ducks (really?). See right there, who does that? Who, out of the blue, with no prior needs, wants or experience, decides to become a bounty hunter? Stephanie was like ‘oh this job won’t be so hard’. How dim was she? For the majority of the novel she did not even fire her gun because she did not know or care how to use it. When any sort of minor trouble arose she called on her mentor to come and get her out of the situation. The character of Stephanie Plum rivaled the character of Bella Swan on ‘who sucks more’ as a leading heroine.
The ‘evil’ guy of the novel, Benito Ramirez, was lame. Partly due to Evanovich’s writing (see below). He liked to abuse women (mostly hookers and thin girls), left phone messages, jerked off on your front door (yes, yes that happened) and said the word ‘bitch’ at the end of all his sentences. He wasn’t all the intimidating.
Evanovich’s writing was awful. All the characters sounded the same. I honestly couldn’t tell any of the men apart (really if you had Ramirez and Plum’s on again off again boyfriend Morielli in the same scene, I’d be like astonished and confused because I would just then be realizing they were two characters). The plot was bad too. I think Evanovich was more driven for people to be shocked by ‘oh look what silly Plum did now’ or ‘look what crazy Ramirez did now’ to really bother with anything else.
Worst part: One of my top beefs has to be that Stephanie Plum is on the same level of heroism as Bella Swan of Twilight.
Best part: Fast-paced, light read.
Recommend For: Obviously people do enjoy this novels and the loads of sequels that follow it. There is even a movie based on this novel. Perhaps if you are in the mood for a quirky, Jersey Shore, light, read give it a try. Otherwise, maybe skip it.
Other Books by This Author: Two for the Dough and Three to Get Deadly