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One for the Money (Movie Tie-in) (Stephanie…
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One for the Money (Movie Tie-in) (Stephanie Plum Novels) (original 1994; edition 2011)

by Janet Evanovich

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,182268382 (3.9)153
CaitywithaC's review
A quick, fun, and entertaining read. I enjoyed it but there really wasn't much depth to it. Overall though, I enjoyed it and would read more of her novels. ( )
  CaitywithaC | Apr 28, 2012 |
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I could have sworn I had a review in for this book, but couldn't find it. It's not bad, a candy read about a bail bondsman - woman - trying to make ends meet in NJ. Stephanie is fun & pretty tough in a very believable way. It's a relaxing read, but I quickly got bored with the series. I don't think I finished the 3d book. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
One for the Money is a surprisingly plausible story about Stephanie Plum, a pretty average woman who loses her job and ends up becoming a bounty hunter. Sounds crazy, right? What makes it work is that she’s not instantly good at it. Her bumbling mishaps and witty commentary throughout are both hilarious and believable. Her strong personality and sheer stubbornness – enhanced by the fact that one of her targets, Joe Morelli, is a guy who slept with her once and never looked back – gives her the perseverance she needs to make the job work.

Although it makes sense that Stephanie wouldn’t be an awesome bounty hunter immediately, I didn’t enjoy reading about an incompetent heroine any more than I liked her being interested in the jerk who slept with her then left her. Obviously, I wasn’t too fond of our leading man either. Without having a character to really relate to, what got me into the book was the humor. Stephanie is a little clumsy and very snarky, both traits which lead to some funny moments. And her grandmother is one of the quirkiest characters I’ve read about in a long time!

The plot was surprisingly complex for something I would describe as the book equivalent of a soap opera. There’s a compelling mystery to solve and you’re given enough information that you can work on solving it. There are also a couple of side plots as Stephanie completes odd jobs to make money while pursuing Morelli. Along the way, a decent number of the supporting characters get very well developed personalities. The reason I would categorize this book as mental junk food, despite the quality of the plot, is the writing. Not only is the writing itself nothing special, the information included in the book is often more graphic than necessary. It frequently feels like the author is going out of her way to entertain the reader with unnecessary sex and violence.

However, I’ll admit it – I like junk food and I liked this book, enough that I’ve also read the second one. I did read it hoping for a little bit more though, and all I discovered is that the series seems a bit formulaic. Between the similarity in the plots of the first two books, the unlikable main characters, and the rather crass writing, I won’t be reading another. There are just too many other books for me to spend time re-reading the same only-acceptably-good book over and over again.

Originally posted on Doing Dewey. ( )
  DoingDewey | Jun 29, 2014 |
One for the Money, is the first book in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Laugh out loud funny, the movie did not do this book justice. Trenton, New Jersey is not exactly the mecca of the well bred, but is the home to a hilarious cast of characters and the crazy adventures of Stephanie Plum. Fun summer beach read! ( )
  NicolefromCarmel | Apr 29, 2014 |
I really like the light, humorous tone in these books, coupled with some great action and intrigue. Great light reading. Entertaining. ( )
  linda.temple | Apr 9, 2014 |
first novel in the series, gets off to a rocky start. This introduces characters, but the series doesn't get good til 3. ( )
  ewillse | Mar 23, 2014 |
This book was fun & exciting. I'm looking forward to reading the next one! ( )
  lloyd1175 | Mar 22, 2014 |
Meh. Predictable, easy, beach reading. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
That was pretty good, I'm intrigued enough to continue the series ( )
  Steph1203 | Mar 14, 2014 |
Finding yourself after the loss of a job.. Inventing a new you
series ( )
  TeamDewey | Mar 13, 2014 |
first novel in the series, gets off to a rocky start. This introduces characters, but the series doesn't get good til 3. ( )
  PatienceFortitude | Mar 6, 2014 |
first novel in the series, gets off to a rocky start. This introduces characters, but the series doesn't get good til 3. ( )
  PatienceFortitude | Mar 6, 2014 |
The series of unfortunate events leading to a dismal finale and big reveal of the mystery in this fake cozy mystery book, well, they weren't contributive to the overall sheen of the book. Let me explain. It's very difficult - I've come to that conclusion after reading this book - to make something exciting happen in a non magical world in fiction. Not if your name isn't Margaret Mitchell or Agatha Christie. So you've got limited talent as a writer, and you're writing about a bumbling heroine devoid of luck. It's difficult to transcend that setting. It's like you're fighting against gravity. Jumping can only take you so far. That's what I felt while reading this book. That's why the rating is 2/5. Everything is mundane and the author could not upset the tone of her book by pitching in an unearthly event. She tried momentarily. Her staunchest fans will differ with me if she succeeded, let's leave it at that. ( )
  Jiraiya | Feb 26, 2014 |
One for the money is a page turner that I just couldn't put down...I am ready to goe out and get the whole Stephanie Plum series! ( )
  redheadish | Feb 17, 2014 |
I was disappointed in the reader. (Maybe it was the direction, but there were long pauses between sentences that drove me crazy.) I can kind of see the attraction, but Stephanie Plum is not for me. There were some very funny moments. The story wasn't believable for me. Most mysteries aren't really terribly believable, but they are close enough to reality that I can suspend my disbelief. With this one I kept being jerked out of the story as I thought, "That is ridiculous!"
( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Another entertaining read, disposable but well-written. The ending wrapped things up just a little bit too perfectly, with the villain explaining his nefarious plan in detail while a recording device was present, but... nobody's perfect, y'know? ( )
  unsquare | Feb 6, 2014 |
I have been waiting to read the Stephanie Plum series, and decided to start with the first. I enjoy Janet Evanovich's writing style, a mix of thrills, mystery, and humor. This novel, perhaps because it was the first in a series, started slowly... but once into the meat of the story, it was an enjoyable read. And who can beat reading about Trenton, NJ, in the early 90s. ( )
  Randall.Hansen | Jan 28, 2014 |
How this woman manages to make it through this book without being murdered or raped is beyond me. ( )
  Emelymac | Jan 15, 2014 |
Janet Evanovich is one of the library's most popular authors, so I wanted to read at least one of her books. I'm hesitant to categorize this book as "chick lit," but it does share many of the same characteristics, mainly a young-ish, stubborn woman who gets herself into a semi-ridiculous predicament and stumbles (literally and figuratively) into more and more trouble until she is finally able to extricate herself. I'm not always a fan of chick lit, but surprisingly, this book worked for me.

I'm not going to do my usual plot summary here, because in this case the plot has little to do with why someone might read the book. All the reader needs to know is that Stephanie Plum has taken a job as a bounty hunter in order to get some quick cash, and she is most definitely not cut out for the job.

Stephanie's personality is the main reason why people keep coming back to these books. She's off beat, stubborn, scrappy, a little flighty, determined, and funny - the kind of person a lot of us wish we could have as a best friend.

I knew that a lot of readers have responded to the sense of humor that pervades the series but I was a little surprised at how effectively this worked. Stephanie's sarcastic and dry sense of humor kept things from becoming too serious (or silly). There are romantic elements to the story as well, but the humor kept these scenes from being too melodramatic. And since I'm not a fan of romance in most contexts, I appreciated the humor a great deal.

But despite the humor, there was a surprising dark streak that ran through the book. One of Stephanie’s adversaries is a sexually deviant local wrestler who refuses to take “no” for an answer and who repeatedly makes violent and sexual threats against Stephanie. Normally, I’d say that the humor alleviates the tension, but in this case, the tension kept the book from becoming too silly and allowed me to become more invested in the story, knowing that it’s not just a bumbling amateur detective novel.

Since I’m not much of a series reader, I don’t know how many Stephanie Plum novels I’ll end up reading. But I enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected, and if I ever fall into a similar reading mood in the future, I’ll know exactly where to turn. And now I finally understand why these books are so insanely popular.

Readalikes:

Other series featuring stubborn female detectives, quirky secondary characters, and healthy doses of humor:

Bubbles Yablonsky series – Sarah Strohmeyer
Spellman Files – Lisa Lutz
Heather Wells series – Meg Cabot ( )
  coloradogirl14 | Jan 5, 2014 |
Good book and fast to read. Grandma Mazur was my favorite character. ( )
  Sonkku | Dec 20, 2013 |
I didn't like this one as much as Two for the Dough. Honestly, if I had read this one first, I don't think I would have read any more in the series at all.

It's mostly based on my personal history, and not at all on the writing. The side plot with Ramirez was way too much for me. Other than that, it was a really good intro to a series: it explains about how Stephanie became a skip tracer and bounty hunter, and deals a lot with the, um, steep learning curve for that particular job. It introduces all the characters that are an integral part of the series (at least the first 2 books), and Evanovich does an amazing job of character development.

But at least one of the characters was a huge trigger for me, so I'll be taking a break from this series for a while. ( )
  KarenM61 | Nov 28, 2013 |
I didn't like this one as much as Two for the Dough. Honestly, if I had read this one first, I don't think I would have read any more in the series at all.

It's mostly based on my personal history, and not at all on the writing. The side plot with Ramirez was way too much for me. Other than that, it was a really good intro to a series: it explains about how Stephanie became a skip tracer and bounty hunter, and deals a lot with the, um, steep learning curve for that particular job. It introduces all the characters that are an integral part of the series (at least the first 2 books), and Evanovich does an amazing job of character development.

But at least one of the characters was a huge trigger for me, so I'll be taking a break from this series for a while. ( )
  KarenM61 | Nov 28, 2013 |
This really was a laugh out loud story, and I loved Stephanie's dialogue with Morelli.
Top notch likeable characters in an entertaining but suspenseful tale. ( )
  gogglemiss | Oct 17, 2013 |
I adored this book. Usually I gravitate towards scary books, crime books, or mystery books, etc. I picked this one up simply because I saw the seventeenth book come out, and I wanted to read a really long series. I absolutely fell in love with it. The perfect amount of comedy to make me laugh without trying too hard, and the perfect amount of mystery.
Basically the story centers around a woman named Stephanie Plum. She's in desperate need of some quick cash, so she starts working at her uncle's (I think her uncle, I haven't read this in about 4 years) bail bonds service. She gets a big job, and has to go hunt down her ex hook up Joe. He ends up being a little harder to catch then she thinks. They end up working together for an even bigger job, and rekindle some old feelings.
The writing style in this book is so great. You get a sense of who all the characters are, and their individual personalities. I was skeptical because usually books like this can't keep me interested, but this one did. It was wonderful. ( )
  ArielMarie | Oct 15, 2013 |
Probably, [getting shot at is] like driving the turnpike. Probably you get used to it. The way I see it, living in New Jersey is a challenge, what with the toxic waste and the eighteenwheelers and the armed schizophrenics. I mean what’s one more lunatic shooting at you.” That about sums up the attitude of Stephanie Plum, laid-off cheap lingerie buyer for a department store chain. She’s the creation of Janet Evanovich in One for the Money, whose books are a delight. In desperation, Stephanie takes a job working for her cousin Vinnie — having another dinner at her mother’s is less preferable than running a needle through her eye — as a recovery agent, i.e., bounty hunter. She thinks it will be easy to find Joe Morelli, an old grade school chum who initiated her into the game of tunnel (he was the train) in their garage during the sixth grade. Soon she’s finding him all over the place — or rather he keeps showing up, often bailing her out of difficult circumstances — but she can’t seem to figure out how to get him in so she can collect the substantial fee for his return. In the meantime, her grandmother, while ogling Stephanie’s .38, blows away the hind end of a chicken at the dinner table while entertaining a young man Stephanie’s mother wants her to date. Beginning to get the picture? Some sample dialogue: “ ‘You seen Shirley lately?’ Connie asked, ‘She’s big as a horse. Must have gained a hundred pounds since high school. Saw her at Marge Manusco’s shower. She took up three folding chairs when she sat down, and she had her pocketbook filled with Ding-Dongs. I guess they were for an emergency. . . like in case someone beat her to the potato salad.’ ‘Shirely Gallo? Fat? She was a rail in high school.’ ‘The Lord moves in mysterious ways.’ Connie said.” ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
This is the first in the Stephanie Plum series about an ex-lingerie saleswoman turned bounty hunter. To be honest the premise did not give me have high hopes for this book. Many mystery novels that I read tend to feel very similar and the “smart mouth, strong willed armature bounty hunter” did not hold a lot of promise for me. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this book.

For me the first and most important part of a mystery the quality of the mystery itself. Is it a good chase with enough clues sprinkled in so you can figure out what is “really” happening but not so many clues that it is simple to guess the ending? It really is a hard balancing act and in all honesty “One for the Money” does only an ok job at it. The main reason for that is this book falls into one of the big mystery novel traps. Evanovich just does not give you enough information to be able to figure out who the real bad guy is and what might happen. Any conclusions you come up with before the end of the book would just be a guess. That being said the mystery is interesting on its own and once you know all the reveals it is possible to look back over the story and see that the pieces do indeed fit together.

Rather than being a straight up mystery, which in my experience tends to be more procedural in nature, the story in “One for the Money” is more of a narrative about Stephanie’s life and adventures wrapped in a “who done it”. What really makes this book work is what makes it unique among other mystery novels, the comedy. The story itself and the characters are legitimately funny. There were sections of the book where I actually laughed out loud, which doesn’t happen often when I am reading most books and less so when it’s a mystery novel.

Read Full Review ( )
  TStarnes | Sep 25, 2013 |
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