Guest Post: Venting about Stephanie Plum

Posted October 15, 2012 by jus_de_fruit in Guest Posts / 0 Comments

Outside of the fantasy genre, I’m not sure if there are many series of books that have last as long as Stephanie Plum by Janet Evanovich. Currently at 18 books, I assume there is more to come.

I found this series after high school sometime. I don’t remember how I first got into it, but I started at Hot Six.  I loved Stephanie and quickly sought out the beginning of the series, and bought the rest as they became available.

Stephanie Plum was fun and witty. She was trying to find her place in the world amidst her troubles with work, her well-meaning family and trying to decide which man was right for her. She felt like someone I could relate to, because she wasn’t that different to me, except that her car was blown up and her life was a bit more interesting because of that.

The series started in 1995 with One for the Money, so the series has now spanned 17 years. Perhaps Stephanie is in some sort of time warp where she doesn’t age. Perhaps it’s like the Simpsons; when that show first started I was the same age as Bart, and as I’ve grown up, he hasn’t. Maybe that’s what happened with Stephanie. Perhaps she’s still in her early 20s. I’m not sure. I don’t know if there have been any mention of birthdays.

I just finished Smokin’ Seventeen. I no longer feel the need to race out as soon as the book is released and devour it the day I buy it. This one has been sitting in my house for over a year and I just never got around to it. Explosive Eighteen has also been out for a while, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever read it.

Since I started reading the series, I have suffered through a few disappointing jobs before finding my dream job; had my fair share of relationship drama before getting married; had a continually changing relationship with my parents as they begin to respect me more as an adult and not just as their child.  I don’t think my life is any less boring because of that, and I don’t think it would hurt to see something like that happen in this series.

Stephanie is still in the same place. Still in the same love triangle, still in the same job despite all her complaints, still causing her parents stress as she continually has her life threatened.  Maybe she doesn’t like being a bounty hunter, but surely at some point, she could get some firearm training so she isn’t so afraid to take her gun out of the cookie jar.  As interesting a choice Morelli and Ranger make, surely at some point her friends have to let her know to stop playing them. If it takes this long for you to choose who you want, perhaps neither of them are for you.

I defended the series for too long. So many people said that it had become boring, but I stuck at it for a while. Now it feels like I’m saying goodbye to an old friend whose life is just taking a different path to me.  She’s stuck in a place that I’ve long moved on from. It used to be charming, but now it’s tiresome.

I would love to see some growth from Stephanie Plum, and if Janet Evanovich was to write it, I’d probably be drawn back into the series, but for now, I think I’m done.

This is a guest post by Mary; not only is she my wonderful wife, she is also my editor and helps moderate the Literary Exploration group on Goodreads. Big thanks to her for this post and everything she does to help me with this blog.

0 responses to “Guest Post: Venting about Stephanie Plum

  1. Great guest post. I’ve never read this series and don’t plan to so many other books and all but I do understand outgrowing a series. Sometimes you just have to move on and leave it behind

  2. BookNymphoBlog

    What a great guest post! I recently read the first book and already felt that I didn’t connect with Stephanie because I’m at a different place in life. Plus I tend to be suspect of never-ending series like this. And many reviews I’ve read confirmed that the other books just recycle the same plots and characters. So this post confirmed that I wouldn’t continue with the series but you wrote it better than I could. It is like growing apart from a friend because you’re just in different places. Very well put! 🙂

  3. sally906

    I am a Stephanie fan as well, rushed out and purchased every copy on release day. But I do agree with you Mary – in all these years there has been no real growth in Stephanie. Other characters have learned and adapted but not Stephanie. I did read 18 and there appears to be a slight change in the triangle – nothing in your face, just a hint of finally changes in the wind! I won’t rush out and buy 19 but it is earmarked for perfect light and fluffy reading for the long haul to Europe next year. I hope Stephanie sorts herself out because if I was a man in her life I’d be walking 🙂

    • If I ever have to fly to Europe, I might read the rest in the series too.
      There could still be good stories if she just picked a guy. Like doesn’t end when you get a functional relationship. Tell me if anything good happens in the next book after your Europe trip

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