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Book Review: Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau is a coming of age novel taking place in Baltimore, Maryland. During the 1970's, fourteen year old Mary Jane is caught in the middle of her family's conservative ideals and the progressive ideals of the Cone family where she is a summer nanny. Mary Jane is a sheltered teen who enjoys cooking with her mother, listening to Broadway Show Tunes, and singing in the church choir. On the first day of work, she is shocked at the mess in the Cone's home and introduces them to home cooked meals and keeping the house clean. In return, Mary Jane gets a front row seat to sex, drugs, and rock & roll. This novel was the selected for the book club I belong to. Again, this is a novel that I likely wouldn't have chosen to read on my own, but I was glad I did. Mary Jane is the first novel I've read by Jessica Anya Blau, and I was impressed with her storytelling.  Touching on race, class, and stereotypes, along with drugs and infidelity, it reminded

Book Review: Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum, #22) by Janet Evanovich

book review tricky twenty two janet evanovich stephanie plum

Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum, #22) by Janet Evanovich opens with Stephanie Plum needing to apprehend Ken "Gobbles" Globovic, who is a fraternity called Zeta at Kiltman College, but he has gone into hiding. On top of that, Doug Linken, who has hired Rangeman to protect him, has been killed. What is the connection between Gobbles and Doug, and how is Stephanie going to solve this mystery?

When I first started reading this installment of the Stephanie Plum book series, I thought I was going to end up disliking Tricky Twenty-Two because of what happened in the beginning of the story. However, I ended up absolutely loving it. The story felt a little different the previous stories, and Stephanie didn't seem quite so inept at her job as a bounty hunter. 

Lula cracked me up with her bedazzling and wearing of flea collars . . . you'll have to read the book to find out why she does this and thinks she's going to be the next Martha Stewart. I think this was one of the first times in several books that she doesn't absolutely get on my last nerve, so that was extremely refreshing. There was no Randy Biggs in this story line, so my worries of him being in every book from now on were for naught . . . yay!

And, Stephanie's mom, Ellen, has had some major character development in this installment. I actually am beginning to like her, which is surprising. I think readers will be just as pleasantly delighted as I was by this character growth. 

The ending of Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum, #22) has gotten my hopes up that Stephanie will finally settle down, get married, and have kids. However, I'm trying not to get too excited by the ending. All in all, it was a great read, even with it not being as fast paced as previous books in the series, and I gave it five out of five stars.

 

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