Friday, August 14, 2009

Breaking out the vintage Evanovich

So do you ever do this? You sort of save a book that you know you will completely love for a just-right time?

I was saving Janet Evanovich's FOUR TO SCORE like that. I've been reading this series a bit out of order, but I've heard FOUR is one of the best ones, and also, it's the one where Morelli and Stephanie finally get together.

Anyway, it's hot as hell here in Minnesota, I'm a bit more busy than I like to be, and crabby coughpmscough. And so I broke out this book. OMG. This is such a lighthearted, even silly series in a way, but I was blown away all over again by what a true master of fiction Evanovich is.

I was marveling at her descriptions last night:
If people were cars, Lula would be a big, black '53 Packard with a high-gloss chrome grille, oversized headlights, and a growl like a junkyard dog. Lots of muscle. Never fit in a compact space.
Like, the car thing? It's so smart and perfect! Her straightforward descriptions, too:

She'd been a fat kid with a terrible overbite. The overbite had been minimalized by braces, and by the time Joyce was fifteen she'd trimmed down to look like Barbie on steroids. She had chemically enhanced red hair done up in big teased curls. Her nails were long and painted, her lips were high gloss, her eyes were rimmed in navy liquid liner, her lashes gunked up with blue-black mascara. She was an inch shorter than me, five pounds heavier and had me beat by two cup sizes. She had three ex-husbands and no children. It was rumored she had sex with dogs.
Or this bit:
...he was slender and totally hairless, like a bald Chihuahua, with soft brown eyes hidden behind thick glasses...
I also happen to own Evanovich's Writing book, entitled HOW I WRITE. I was reading it over before this post, thinking I'd be like a real journalist and pull in a quote of hers on this issue of description, but then I just started reading it again and remembering why I loved it. It's got lots of super basic stuff, but also some brilliant nerdy tricks she uses, like how to get your place and weather descriptions not to boringly stick out by shoving them into the experience of the character.

Oh, Janet, you rock!

Other News:
Rebecca over at Dirty Sexy Books, a fun and hugely action-packed blog lately, featured yours truly in A Few of my Favorite Blogs post. Thanks!!

Also, she has a big monthly drawing that ends tomorrow (and as she notes in her very entertaining fine print: "If you think your odds of winning are bad, think again. My list of subscribers is minuscule, so your odds of winning something are stellar, and furthermore, I’ve guaranteed it so that everyone will win a book before prior winners have another shot. Also, you only need to enter once, and I’ll keep your name for each month’s drawing going forward."

What's more, on MONDAY the 17th, she starts a group chat/book club about Wicked Game by Jeri Smith Ready, a book I greatly enjoyed (my ramblings about it here).


Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

OMG I think I had hair that high in high school.
I love my Stephanie Plum books. I like Steph with Joe but then there is Ranger! Too bad Evanovich doesn't write erotica, then we would have a Stephanie sandwich with Joe and Ranger in every book!

Serena said...

I love these books...and MAN! That photo of her hair! that's what you think she looks like.

Rebecca Baumann said...

Greetings CJ - Thanks for the plug. When someone tells me "you've got so much stuff" at DSB, I always wonder if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Is it like, going to Disneyworld, and saying there's so much stuff!! (*squeal* with delight)


Is it like showing up to help a friend move, and saying "You've got so much stuff!" (*groan* in despair)

Carolyn Crane (aka CJ) said...

KB: Oh, that would be quite the scene! Wow. Though, I can't see the guys going for it.

Serena: Well, I think it's what she looks like when she does herself up.

Rebecca: Oh, I hope that didn't sound insulting! I really like your blog!! It's sort of like a party.

Tumperkin said...

I am just about to read One for The Money, my first Evanovich. Are you telling me I'm gonna have to wait till BOOK FOUR for any action????

And KB - can I join your 80s hair support group? I'm sure I used to get high on all the hairspray. CJ should also join. She once mentioned on my blog that she had hair like Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran.

CJ: you did.

Carolyn Crane (aka CJ) said...

T: Snort. I did not! But I did briefly sport one 80's hair feature so embarrassing I will not reveal it even on this blog!!!

Mostly, my hair idol was Stevie Nicks.

Carolyn Crane (aka CJ) said...

Wait, did I say that?

Renee said...

Please don't say you had a girl-mullet, CJ!

I always pictured someone like actress Debi Mazar, whom I think even narrated some early abridged Stephanie Plum audiobooks.

JE definitely knows how to paint a strong picture with her words!

Jill D. said...

I can't remember, but is this the one with Sally Sweet? That has been my favorite so far. Although I did just read To the Nines, and Steph and Lula go to Vegas. That one was really awesome too.

LOL, reading out of order? So very daring of you. I am sticking strictly to the proper reading order. (You skip one book and low and behold the sister turns up nine months pregnant!) I hate it when that happens :)

Taja said...

I've never read Evanovich but when I saw the hair pic...I just had to stop and say: I love the pic! OMG

Anonymous said...

Although I am in awe of the photo, I never had big hair in high school. As the goalie on the field hockey team, it didn't work with the helmet.

I'm reading OFTM with Tumperkin, can't wait!

Blodeuedd said...

I do love Evanovcih so much, I am waiting for book 15 at the moment, and I know the minute I get it I will be all over it

Darla D said...

I love this review! So often when I read reviews of Stephanie Plum series books, the reviewers take an almost apologetic tone, pointing out that they read them when they're up for some light, fluffy reading, as a break from more literary reading. Evanovich is a master storyteller and really does a great job with these books. Just because they're funny doesn't mean they shouldn't be taken seriously. Funny is hard to write! And her characters, well, I feel as if I've known them for years. I love this series.

Carolyn Crane (aka CJ) said...

Renee: Wow, she would be great to narrate. Or, who is that woman in My Cousin Vinnie?

Jill: Yes, it's the one with Sally. And usually I read in order. IDK!

Taja: LOL.

Jessica: that will be really fun to see what you guys think. TOMBOY!

BLD: wow, you are really up on the series!

Darla: Thanks for saying that. I totally agree with you. On the level of the sentence, JE really is one of the best.

Sarah said...

You've given me the re read disease. I think she started to really hit stride round books 4, 5 and 6. Absolutely wept with laughter at some of Stephanie's antics and was consequently banned from reading Evanovich in bed. Ever.

That picture. So on the money. It's the hair.

Lea said...

I've often saved a book I know I will love and pulled it out for a read at a particular time and not been disappointed. Great therapy and fun!!

Great review and comments, CJ.

Yeah, it's hot as hell here too, so not fun.


Tumperkin said...

you did. sort of.

Carolyn Crane said...

Sarah: Oh, funny! Banned from reading JE in bed!

Lea: Thanks. ANd today our heat wave broke. Yay!

TUMPERKIN: Gasp! I did say that! And reviewing the photos, okay, okay, yes, I strived for that look, I did! SOOOo guilty!

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) said...

OMG!!!! I know I had that hair! So funny to look back now and realize how big it was, when back then I thought that hairstyle rocked. LOL!

Great post!

RachaelfromNJ said...

I bought Finger Lickin Fifteen recently and I read a little bit but had to put it down to read my review books. I can' wait to read it. I tried to hold off and get it super cheap, but I couldn't wait anymore!

I can't remember what happens in each book really. They all blend together to me. LOL I know there was one I really loved alot. But I can't remember what number it was.

RachaelfromNJ said...

Ok I just said can't WAY too many times! LOL

Chris said...

When her Stephanie Plum books are good, they are very good indeed! Alas, I think the last few have just been dialed in...

orannia said...

So do you ever do this? You sort of save a book that you know you will completely love for a just-right time?

*nods* I have some Susan ELizabeth Phillips I keep saving and saving!

And that photo...that hair! *blinks*