Lori brought home W is for Wasted (Completed/Review) and Takedown Twenty from the library at the same time and asked which one I wanted to read first. I took one look at the size of W is for Wasted and grabbed that one first. I'm glad I did.
So here's the deal... both are about female protagonists, both are formulaic series, both are meant to entertain. 23 in for Grafton and 20 in for Evanovich, one of them still understands this, one of them doesn't. And as you can tell from my review last week, Grafton doesn't.
In the latest outing, Stephanie Plum and her gang of cohorts haunt their usual hangouts in Trenton, the Burg and Stark Street. All the predictable elements are there... Joe and Ranger trying to seduce her, Lula makes bad life choices, crazy grandma is crazy, things happen to cars, Stephanie's got money problems and foiling her attempts at bond enforcement. But you know what? The characters have also grown and developed. While Stephanie still has some embarrassing failures, you'd like her to be better by now, she's a little better. She does a few things right, even though she still screws up plenty. She's also taken a much more mature stance towards the men in her life. The adult love-triangle is still there, but the author's toned it down and there's hints that Stephanie might be starting to be more respectful of the men in her life and possibly even close to making a choice. (Read: it's less tawdry than some past books.)
While this one also violates Pixar #19, it's more acceptable because the subject matter doesn't ask you to set the bar as high - it's not a serious tome like W, it's still a light-hearted romp, you're much more willing to forgive a little deux ex machina in the name of a guilty pleasure.
Complete with a giraffe roaming the streets that no one seems to notice.
Takedown Twenty (Amazon.com)