Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sate Your Wicked Appetite

So, I was looking for a book that would be a nice quick read this week.  I wanted to post on something other than the October Daye series, lest you guys get bored. I figured, "I'll go with a nice mystery, something by Janet Evanovich," who I've been meaning to read for a while now.  I darted over to the shelf while there were no patrons around and snatched up a copy of Wicked Appetite, because I'd heard its a) good and b) the start of a new series (you know I like my series).  While I succeeded in locating a quick read (we're talking under 24 hours here), I'm afraid I did not completely avoid the supernatural (sorry! *dodges tomatoes*).

The Basics
Evanovich, Janet. Wicked Appetite. New York: St. Martin's, 2010. Print.

Janet Evanovich began her authorial life writing romance novels under the pseudonym Steffie Hall.  However, she quickly realized the full force of her awesomeness and began writing under her own name. After a (pretty decent) number of romances, Evanovich transitioned into mystery writing, and aren't we all glad she did?  This move resulted in the creation of the light-hearted and ever-popular Stephanie Plum (keep her away from your car. No, really) a good 18 novels, and movie deal.

Wicked Appetite is one of Evanovich's more recent novels and is the first installment in her new Wicked series.  The book introduces a new heroine, Lizzy Tucker, and features an old friend, Diesel (who appeared in the Stephanie Plum between the numbers novellas).  The book continues Evanovich's trademark style mix of light-hearted chick-lit, mystery, kooky sidekicks, and outrageous humor as Lizzy and Diesel work together to track down the 7 SALAGIA stones that correspond with the seven deadly sins (and that's every bit as delightfully ridiculous as it sounds).

The Book
I loved this book and I have no difficulty in pinning down why: it was hilarious.  This novel was literally laugh-out-loud funny, something I rarely come across in my reading life.  I liked that it took me outside of my normal range of amusement, too; rather than the witty sarcasm I typically gravitate towards, Evanovich leans more toward straightforward and blatantly hilarious.  I can't begin to count the number of times she had me practically cackling aloud with glee (and incidentally, my boyfriend looking at me like I was a crazy person). I think a few examples are in order, yesh? To start, the opening of the novel and Lizzy's comparison of life to lumpy gravy (cause, you know, it's not all smooth) had me at hello. How can I resist a good food metaphor? (I can't, just fyi). Another favorite part: when Lizzy's Dad drops in for a visit and tells the monkey to "be a man... eat your potatoes!" Hilarious! (and I swear, it makes total sense when your reading the book).  This novel was a farcical bit of fun that had me grinning throughout and laughing through much.

And then, of course, there's Lizzy.  I love her.  She makes cupcakes. The end. Just kidding (about the end part, anyway; you're not getting rid of me that easy).  In addition to being a superb cook with a fabulous cookbook idea, Lizzy manages to be funny without being ditzy, which I love. I'd hate her if I thought she was stupid.  Instead she comes off as intelligent and relatable, and carries off the weirder moments with a grace and humor most ladies I know would kill to have.  And really, what's not to love about a girl who can laugh about falling off a toilet and breaking her nose by pointing out the bright side of getting a perfect schnoz out of the resulting corrective procedures? Another, favorite character: Lizzy's sidekick with witchy aspirations, Glo. She's a hoot.

I also enjoyed how speedy this read was. This is not because the book is overly simple, but rather due to Evanovich's snappy writing style.  She grabs readers' attention and doesn't let go; the book is so action packed and fast paced that you can't fail to be caught up in the whirlwind. I also think a lot of my absorption was due to the farcical style of the mystery; even the serious bits poke fun at themselves. There's an entire group of people that call themselves "Unmentionables" for crying out loud. I think if readers aren't expecting that or (worse) if that style of humor doesn't appeal, then they won't like the book at all, but I sure loved it.  There's so much to prasie, a blog post just can't contain it; I can't wait for the sequel.

  • As always, I must point you to the author's website (gotta show the authors plenty of love. It's a rule. I know these things), including her nice bio.
  • Don't forget her page for Wicked Appetite, which includes a link to read the first chapter if you want a taste ahead of time.
  • For a glimpse at the sequel (see it's awesome cover!?), try the Wicked Business page. There's not much there yet, but there will be. Out June 19, 2012! (what? Excited? Me?).

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