Thursday, February 19, 2015

Veronica Mars: Book Review Edition

Today's the day when we take a break from regularly scheduled programming and talk about something extremely important: Veronica Mars. (Complete with some VMars gifs because why not?)

If you haven't watched this gem of a television show, I beg you to stop immediately reading this post and go watch the show. There is a movie and now two books, but the show comes first, and it's only three seasons long, so you'll fly through it.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I'm going to talk about the first of the two books that have recently been published.


The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham
Release Date: March 5, 2014
Publisher: Vintage
Pages: 324
Keywords: mystery, murder, marshmallows
Format Read: paperback purchased (hell yeah!)
Goodreads | IndieBound
Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She's traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case.
Now it's spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is not a simple missing person's case. The house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica is plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica's past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined.

The book picks up about two months (?) after where the movie leaves off. I was looking forward to getting a snarky, first-person noir narrative like we were so used to with the show, but it's written in third-person. Still, it's told from Veronica's point of view, and even though it's in third-person, it still feels so familiar, and I love the voice it was in. I could hear Kristen Bell sometimes when I was reading the book, and that truly made me happy.

The mystery was a good one, and I've heard that this was one of the plot lines Thomas wanted to explore had the show not met its untimely demise (damn you, cancelling gods). I'm not sure how true that is, but that's what I've heard. I was definitely into the plot line, and though VMars being able to show up to a high school/college party unnoticed in her own town (come on, everyone knows everyone, and it's 10 years later. How is she not picked out?), I loved seeing some of the classic character, like one who puts on 3 different personas through the night to get what she wants, and the girl who argues with the sheriff (still not her dad, it's Lamb's brother? I think brother). 

Okay, let's talk about my favorite guy. There was not enough Wallace in this book for me. I mean, yes, he was there in several scenes, but it wasn't the classic sidekick I came to love. There's never been a fictional platonic relationship I love more than VMars and Wallace. They're the greatest, and I just wish we could have seen a little more of it (I'm holding out hope for book 2!)
I know a lot of people say that Logan was the character they wanted to see more of, and I agree that he was not in the book as much as I thought he would be, but he never really won me over on the show (GASP, I know, I'm sorry, but it's true). I know there was probably supposed to be a lot more due to the abrupt cancellation, but as it stands, he's not my fav. So his lack of appearance didn't bother me.
As far as the others (MAC! She's the best), we see pretty much everyone, so it was happy and nostalgic to read about those that just didn't give us enough info in the movie (Weevil shows up too, don't worry), and it was horrible (the good kind) to see the characters we hate again (um, Lianne anyone?).

For the most part, I was incredibly happy with how this worked out. And as a book, it was pretty great. Solid plot, quick pace to the stories, and very readable dialogue. I didn't feel like I already knew what was happening (the mystery is a totally new plot line, so that helped get a fresh start to everything). I am ready to read the second installment, and I'm hoping it won't be the last, because I've enjoyed what I've read so far!

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