Becky’s Sixty-Second Book Review: “Wicked Business” by Janet Evanovich

I’ve been a little delayed in writing a review on “Wicked Business” by Janet Evanovich. Go figure, we’re five days away from Christmas. Anyway, I finished this book earlier in the week and was left with the feeling of ‘eh’.

I personally feel that Janet Evanovich is a talent writer. She focuses more on ‘candy’ books rather than anything substantial—which sometimes is exactly what I am in the mood for. I am a big fan of the Stephanie Plum novels, but after finishing the second Lizzy and Diesel book I don’t think I’ll be reading anymore.

Theoretically there should be a total of seven books in the series. I am making this guess based off the fact that the series is about Diesel searching for these special stones that represent the seven deadly sins. Lizzy has the ability to detect ‘magical’ objects and so Diesel recruits her to help. The first book in the series, Wicked Appetite was about the sin gluttony. The second book in the series, Wicked Business is about lust. As with the first book, Diesel and Lizzy are in a race with Diesel’s cousin Wulf and his ‘minion’ Hatchet to see who can get to the stone first. In “Wicked Business” there is a third competitor that comes into play which requires Diesel and Wulf to put aside their differences and come together to take down the psycho who wants the stone to take over the world.

“Wicked Business” does feature the same fun, light, and comedic air that the Stephanie Plum novels offers but to me, it just isn’t the same. I do like the fact that there are some very amusing supporting characters including one of Lizzy’s coworkers who is convinced that she is a witch and carries around ‘Broom’ because he (the broom) is stubborn about flying. Another entertaining character is Carl, a monkey that basically forced Diesel to adopt him.

Would I recommend this book? Meh, maybe…I had trouble keeping interested in it. I think most people would feel the same.

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Becky’s Sixty-First Book Review: “Notorious Nineteen” by Janet Evanovich

Sometimes I like to read serious books that can be defined as true literature and other times I like to read fluff. It is nice to just let your brain relax every once and awhile and one of my favorite authors tends to write just that. I recently finished reading “Notorious Nineteen” by Janet Evanovich which is a Stephanie Plum novel. These books are always good for a laugh and most of the time Evanovich has me guessing how the story will end all the way up to the big reveal. I do feel like writing a review for a book in a series is a difficult thing because you don’t want to give anything away, so I am sorry that this review will be on the short side.

“Notorious Nineteen” stars the same Stephanie Plum, bond enforcement agent. She has her trusty plus-sized former hooker sidekick, Lula constantly keeping things entertaining. There are also the two constant sex symbols in the forms of Ranger and Morelli—both men want to take care of her and look at her like she is dessert. In this book Stephanie is trying to solve a mystery of disappearing patients who happen to be FTA. At the same time, Ranger is receiving threats and hires Stephanie to help work security in a wedding which leads to lots of sexual tension and puffy pink dresses.

I am a big fan of the Stephanie Plum novels and I think that they appeal to a fairly wide audience. I know that both of my parents enjoy reading about Stephanie’s adventures and my mom even went out and bought Bulgari shower gel. The book was a quick read, but it was fun and my hope is that Janet Evanovich will continue the Stephanie Plum novels for a long time.  

Becky’s Sixtieth Book Review: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey

Two days ago I finished reading “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey. I actually saw the movie before reading the book, so I had an idea of what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised by this novel and how quickly I flew through it. Ken Kesey is a very talented author and I cannot wait to read the other books that he has written.

For those who are not familiar with “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, the story is told by a patient in a psychiatric ward whom everyone believes is deaf and dumb. This gives the ‘Chief’ a unique advantage to learn everyone’s dirty secrets. His narrating is focused on a particular time at the psychiatric ward when Randle McMurphy is introduced to the ward. He turns the ward upside down and inside out.

While Randle is the hero in the story, Nurse Ratchet is the villain. McMurphy decides that while he is in the psychiatric hospital that he will see just how far he can push Nurse Ratchet. He comes in as a gambling man and makes bets with all of the guys in the ward for games like blackjack and poker to bets on how flustered he can get ‘Big Nurse’. The Chief who narrates the story shares a room with McMurphy and the two form a bond. This grows into a friendship when McMurphy promises to help the Chief become big again. McMurphy is also the one to first notice that the Chief is faking being deaf and dumb and he gets the Chief to talk again.

Ken Kesey’s novel is well written, as I said before, but it also is disturbing. This is mostly because a lot of what he writes, although it is a fictional tale, it holds a fair amount of truth in it. The novel discusses various treatments for the mentally ill and it is frightening to read about what has been done in the past from over-medicating to electro-shock therapy to lobotomies. The really scary part is that a lot of this does still go on today. I have some experience in this area and I can say that there most definitely are doctors out there who would rather write prescription after prescription until you are so doped up that you barely know up from down. While electro-shock is still done today it is done on a much smaller scale. Lobotomies still happen in the world as well although a large part of society sees the procedure to be cruel.

The story is very well written and moves at a steady pace which is more than I can say for the movie. I am tempted to go back and view the movie again to see if my perspective on it will have changed after having read the book. Would I recommend this novel? Yes, definitely. I believe Ken Kesey’s novel would appeal to a very large audience. I cannot wait to get my hands on his other works.