Thursday, August 4, 2011

Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

Smokin' Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum NovelTitle: Smokin' Seventeen

Author: Janet Evanovich

Why I Read It: I've read this entire series.

Where I Got It: Target in Chicago

Rating: 3/5 stars

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and no one knows this better than New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. 
Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves on the empty construction lot of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what is clear is that Stephanie’s name is on the killer’s list.
Short on time to find evidence proving the killer’s identity, Stephanie faces further complications when her family and friends decide that it’s time for her to choose between her longtime off-again-on-again boyfriend, Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and the bad boy in her life, security expert Ranger. Stephanie’s mom is encouraging Stephanie to dump them both and choose a former high school football star who’s just returned to town. Stephanie’s sidekick, Lula, is encouraging Stephanie to have a red-hot boudoir “bake-off.” And Grandma Bella, Morelli’s old-world grandmother, is encouraging Stephanie to move to a new state when she puts “the eye” on Stephanie.
With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot men, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke.

If you've ever read any of Janet's books, you'd know that they are hilarious. Janet has a way of making you literally laugh out loud through out her books. This book was no exception! 

I am just glad that I don't live the life of Stephanie. She has crazy people after her on a day to day basis. People are  trying to kill her, leaving dead bodies in the bonds office empty parking lot with her name on it. Her, as well as her on again, off again boyfriend and Trenton cop Morelli, are trying to figure out who the killer is and why they're doing the killing and leaving the bodies for Stephanie.

While this on going investigation continues, Stephanie has to capture her FTA's for the week. In case you're not aware of the bounty hunter lingo, FTA means Failure To Appear in court. She has to capture these people and take them down to the police station to book them until their next court date. 

This book is a fast paced mystery where there is never a dull moment in Stephanie's life, to say the least. 

For this particular book, I didn't like it quite as much as I did all of her other books. It was still a laugh out loud book, but I felt like it wasn't quite as funny as usual. I also felt like the bizarre things that happen to Stephanie in all of the other books in the series, weren't as good in this book. I found myself disappointed and bored in the book most of the time.

I do, however, suggest you read it if you've read all of the other books in the series. Maybe you will like it a little better than I did.

My Rating: 

Learning by Karen Kingsbury

Learning (Bailey Flanigan Series)Title: Learning

Author: Karen Kingsbury

Where I Got It: Karen sent it to me to review

Why I Read It: I've read all of her books and this is the second book in this series!

Rating: 4/5 stars

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

Bailey Flanigan is growing closer to her dream to be an actress and dancer in New York while Cody coaches a small high school football team ... on and off the field. But neither feels complete without the chance to share their dreams with one other.
Can distance truly make the heart grow fonder? Or will Cody learn to turn to others to share in his happiness? And when tragedy strikes? Who will be there to provide comfort in the face of loss?
As Cody's past catches up with him, he must learn to reach out for help or risk withdrawing permanently inside himself. Both Bailey and Cody find themselves learning significant life lessons in this poignant love story, featuring members from Karen Kingsbury's popular Baxter family.

This is the second book in the Bailey series. Her first book in the series is called Leaving. You can find that review HERE.

I love all of Karen's books. They're inspirational, motivational, and amazing. She has a talent to make her characters come alive so you feel like you actually KNOW these people. It's like you're apart of their family, and/or a friend of their family.

This particular book/series is about following your dreams no matter what. Bailey and Cody were lovers for many years prior, and life has torn them apart. They are both trying to live with out each other, neither of them knowing if they're able to. They've found comfort in other friends, Cheyenne and Brandon Paul. 

While their lives are taking them down different paths, they've got to figure out if their friendship will hold strong, and if they'll stay together or not.

Let me start off by saying what I did like about the book. 

This book teaches you that when life throws you a curve ball, no matter what happens, you can and will get out of that slump. With friends, family and God, your life will be continuing up hill as long as you let it. It also teaches you that when you lose the love of your life due to a break up, you WILL find love again. The book shows you that you just need to have an open heart, not rush into things, and when that person comes into your life, you'll know why they were there. 

I love this series (and all of Karen's books) because she has a way of making dreams a reality. No matter what your dreams or goals are in life, you can achieve them. In this book, Bailey had always wanted to be a Broadway performer, and she did just that. She never gave up, and she continued to fight until the time was right for her. 

I love books that have lessons in them. I love a book where you can get something out of it. A book that makes you FEEL. All of Karen's books will make you laugh, cry, feel sad, mad, angry, upset. You will find yourself routing for characters in her book. She has a way, especially in this book/series, where she makes every character in her book, special. However, it's not too overwhelming where you don't know what's going on with each character.

Now, as you've noticed, I love every  one of her books. However, for some reason, this book didn't seem AS good as her other ones, or the one before this book. Don't get me wrong, it was an amazing book. It just wasn't as good.

I felt like it didn't have enough "drama" in it. It was all a straight, happy story. Which is a good thing, but I would have enjoyed one or two more surprises. Also, the ending was kind of disappointing. Karen has one or two other books coming out in the series, and I felt like the way the book ended, it could have almost been the end of the series. 

But, with that said, I am excited to read the next book in the series, to see what happens with Bailey, Cody and Brandon Paul! 

Have any of you ever read this book, or any other Karen Kingsbury books? What do you think?

My Rating:

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