Up For Discussion: Dear Janet Evanovich ~ Smokin’ Seventeen ~ A plum terrible novel.

You don’t know me.  I’m a fan of your work, have been for years.  I have gotten many friends and family hooked on Stephanie, Joe, Ranger and Lula.  I had every one of your books.  I love your work with Charlotte Hughes and the Full Series.  I have laughed and teared up, I have giggled and gasped for years, but it’s time I stand up and shout.

Your last three Stephanie Plum Novels have left me feeling cheated.  With each new installment I hope for more.  But I get the same old antics.  I read a recent interview with you, in which you say that when an author finds a winning formula, to stick with it and milk it for all it’s worth.  I take issue with this.  How can an author expect their fans to keep buying a novel with the same plots, same games, same lines, same everything? The books seem to be getting shorter, the font larger, and the quality poorer, all with a hardcover price. I used to recommend your books to all who would listen, but now?  I shy away and that sucks!


In your latest installment of the Stephanie Plum Series,  Stephanie turns into a whore.  I’m sorry to say it.  I don’t like the word, I don’t like the meaning, but it’s what you turned her into.  I didn’t mind so much previously when she would steal a few kisses here and there between Ranger and Joe (and hell Diesel) but having her sleep with both men, in the same book, on back to back nights is just shameful.  Gramma Bella SHOULD put the eye on her!  Joe SHOULD dump her, so should Ranger.  So what, now that Joe and Stephanie have an ‘open’ relationship they can sleep with whomever they want, whenever they want, and each other?  Yuck.  I was a Joe fan in the beginning of the series, but then he turned rather chauvinistic, spouting how she should be barefoot and pregnant and not working, and that got my feminist hackles all up and pissy.  I’ve always been a Ranger girl, but I can’t understand how he can still be around playing for scraps.  Is her vagina magic?  Are you gearing up to make her like Anita Blake?  Because if So, please for the love of books don’t!!!

Characters need growth in a series.  Stephanie has not grown, in fact I could argue that she has regressed.  After seventeen books, she STILL can’t shoot her gun, she can’t use handcuffs, she blows up cars, and has no desire to learn self defense.  I’m sorry, but she’s an idiot.  And not a funny one anymore.

To me, and I know that I am not alone, Stephanie used to be a source of comic relief.  She made me laugh and took me out of the seriousness of my life or other more suspenseful books I was reading at the time.  But she’s no longer funny, she’s a joke.

  • If you are tired of writing her, then please stop.
  • If you think your fans will stop reading if she chooses to stay with ONE of the men, they won’t.
  • If you are doing this for the money, I’m sorry.
  • I won’t be buying anymore of your novels.

If this alienates me in the book blogging world, so be it. I can’t stand it anymore.  I’ve held my council for the last three books and I can’t do it anymore.  It’s my opinion, but I am not alone.  I implore you to see reason.  Please go back to writing meaningfully.  Make Stephanie grow up a bit.  Make her see that she has to learn.

I hate to see her the way she is.  I hope you have a plan.  I pray to the editors that you have a plan. Please don’t string us along.  Don’t make us hate her.  We fans, and Stephanie as well, deserve better than what you are giving us.



© 2011 – 2013, Badass Book Reviews. All rights reserved.

Comments 19

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  • I am all done. I can't take any more. I'll probably go the library to skim through to see if she has an Ranger epiphanies, but that's it.

  • Glad to know that I am not alone. I am very sad that my favorite series is now a shadow of it's former self. I like others used to laugh outloud while reading the books and now…..I finished 17 just to get it over with.

  • Thanks for so eloquently putting into words the way that I've felt for the last 4 books, although to be honest I've yet to read anything past 13. As far as I'm concerned, the series ended with 12.
    Thirteen disappointed me immensely – so much so that I was leery of buying any more until the reviews came in for the next in the series. I'm sorry to say that the reviews for 14-17 so turned me off that I never even sought to read them, much less purchase them. Reviews of monkeys, flatulence jokes and the like showed me I'd be wasting my time as well as my money.
    Sorry J.E., but I refuse to give money for nothing, and that's what you seem to be providing.
    Fan Fiction become my addiction of choice, and through it I found some unbelievably talented writers that not only wrote stories with depth and emotion, as well as developing the characters to the point that we actually knew and understood them, but also surpassed the past 5 books, IMHO, to the point that I'd rather pay THEM for their stories. They're THAT good.
    Unfortunately I don't hold out much hope that 18 will be any better, and that saddens me. What used to be a funny and sometimes touching series has regressed past that of a bad comic book to pure idiocy, I don't think you could PAY me enough to read the crap that's been published under the pseudonym of literature.
    Random House/Bantam, I hope you're reading these reviews, because you've lost thousands of fans and money on an author that just doesn't give a rat's butt anymore, and neither do I.

    • Thank you for commenting. I knew I wasn't alone. It's so sad to see one of my favorite series go down this way.
      Reminds me of another cool series that just took a nose dive *cough* LKH *cough*

      • Just a side note…I stopped reading LKH years ago when she received ardeur (sp?)…that was just a convenient excuse for her to sex it up with every tom dick and harry around…

  • Amen! You nailed it all. I can only pray that someone at her publishing house can see the discontent out there, and more importantly, actually CARE that her fans are so frustrated. Of course, they probably only see the $$$. They see us still buying books and think it's because we WANT to, when really a lot of us just feel COMPELLED to, because we're hoping for change or a resolution. So sad.

    Be sure to post questions at the "ask Janet" Goodreads forum so that she can and her team can see what we want! http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/597961-ask-ja

  • I fell in love with the Plum Characters a couple of years ago, and read the books back-to-back. I became a Ranger/babe early on. Joe was just too self-centered. Ranger isn't perfect, but there seems to be more to work with there.

    I felt that in 17 the characters lost most of their personality and seemed to be less than even shells of their former selves. There was plenty of possibility for all of them to grow a little, but none did. I was mostly disappointed in how empty Ranger's character seemed to be; not even much banter. I'll read 18 because I am hoping that maybe JE will have realized the missed opportunities and will make up for them somehow.

    This is why I turned to fan-fiction to feed my Plum addiction. There are some great authors there that give full shape and life to all of the characters. (And most are Ranger-fans).

  • I agree with everything you have said. I also read and loved all her books until the last three Plum books. I bought 15 in hard back and was mad at myself for spending the money when it was done. I got sixteen at the library and could not finish it. I decided to wait for reviews on 17 and you have confirmed my suspicion. I had hoped someone had stepped in since the last book and put things on track but it doesn't sound like it. I am sad for that because I miss Joe and Ranger(Well, everyone else too).

  • It's sad that it has come to this. I thought for sure things would have changed, even a little bit by now. God, at least get her to the firing range? Something. Anything to show that she is adapting, learning, growing. God. I am so mad. lol

  • Damn….I hoped after the last debacle that this one would be better. Obviously not. I think I'll give me this a miss.

    Thanks for the review 😀