Marshmallow Two-for-One: Veronica Mars Book Series Review

Monday, January 12, 2015

 The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars, #1)                                           Mr. Kiss and Tell (Veronica Mars, #2)

First thing I should mention straight off is that I am a huge Veronica Mars fan. My sister got me into the show, and we watched it all the time until it's untimely cancelation. But just as I was beginning to accept it was actually over, a glimmer of hope kickstarted my excitement. (Was that subtle enough?) Marshmallows reemerged from behind well worn VMars DVD sets to discover an amazing movie and now books! Patience sometimes does pay off.

Though it's still years after season 3, the characters are still familiar but have grown in some expected and unexpected ways. Neptune is still full of the haves and the have-nots, but corruption has increased even more than before. The sheriff's department is as incompetent as ever, and there always seems to be someone up to no good. But thank goodness, there is plenty witty banter to go around. Ah, it's good to be back.

Title: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1)

Author: Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Publisher: Vintage Books
Release Date: March 25, 2014

Summary (via Goodreads)

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. 

I don't think I can recommend an audiobook book more than the audiobook of The Thousand Dollar Tan Line, especially to a Veronica Mars fan. I decided to listen to the audiobook because touching my Rob Thomas signed copy (cue subtle bragging) seemed like sacrilege and because I had enough Audible credits lying around, and I am so glad that I did. With Kristen Bell's narration, it is like having another episode of the show to listen to! But one is also 8 hours long

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line picks up where the VMars movie left off. Veronica and Keith are adjusting to being partners, and Keith is still recovering from his injuries. There is a lot of tension between them because Veronica's decision to stay in Neptune and follow in her dad's footsteps as a PI. There father-daughter dynamic is as always amazing, and I loved seeing it again.

The mystery in the book was phenomenal! While it is good just being in the Veronica Mars world again, the mystery was the shining star. There were twists and turns throughout the entire book, and an ending I never saw coming. Also that "shocking connection" that is teased about in the synopsis is really something I never thought we would comeback to, but I was really interested that it did. 

I've heard some complaints about the lack of Logan in this book, but I like how it touched on their long distance relationship and their determination to make it work. With Logan in the Navy instead of being his famous party boy self, it brings a different tension now that they are older. For me, I missed a few of my favorites such as Weevil, but I loved the bits of Wallace, Mac, and Keith that were included. 

Really, the book was amazing. I got my Veronica Mars continuation fix, but also a good story and mystery too. I call that a win!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5. Great mystery and very VMars. Read it!

Title: Mr. Kiss & Tell (Veronica Mars #2)

Author: Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Publisher: Vintage Books
Release Date: January 20, 2015

I received a free e-ARC of Mr. Kiss & Tell from Knoft Doubleday Publishing Group through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Summary (via Goodreads)

The Neptune Grand has always been the seaside town’s ritziest hotel, despite the shady dealings and high-profile scandals that seem to follow its elite guests. When a woman claims that she was brutally assaulted in one of its rooms and left for dead by a staff member, the owners know that they have a potential powder keg on their hands. They turn to Veronica to disprove—or prove—the woman's story. 
The case is a complicated mix of hard facts, mysterious occurrences, and uncooperative witnesses. The hotel refuses to turn over its reservation list and the victim won’t divulge who she was meeting that night. Add in the facts that the attack happened months ago, the victim’s memory is fuzzy, and there are holes in the hotel’s surveillance system, and Veronica has a convoluted mess on her hands. As she works to fill in the missing pieces, it becomes clear that someone is lying—but who? And why?

While I love getting a good eARC, it was hard not having the option to listen to Kristen Bell read this like the last book. But while I read Mr. Kiss & Tell, I couldn't help but read it in her voice anyway! Rob Thomas' vision of Veronica, especially in her well-known snarky attitude and questioning internal thoughts, is distinct in his writing style that it is just as if Veronica was giving her voiceover. Book or audiobook, both are still very much Veronica.

An interesting aspect of Mr. Kiss & Tell is the parts told from Keith's point of view. It's hard not to compare the books to the show. So I'm just not going to pretend that I am doing otherwise because as a huge fan the show is ingrained in me. In some of the episodes, we got glimpses and subplots from Keith's point of view. In this book, it is even more apparent. Though I am definitely more used to Veronica's voice, Keith's is still familiar, but it does take some getting used to. That being said, I enjoyed his story line and his point of view on this, i.e. his thoughts on Veronica following in his shoes, his past with Marcia Langdon, his almost fatherly friendship with Weevil.

The first book's mystery was a lot more engaging than this one's. The first book focused on the mystery; whereas this new book focused more on character growth and relationships. There is a lot happening and quite a bit of pausing between leads and action in the main mystery. This difference is not bad though. This book included more minor characters that I really missed like Weevil, Leo, and even more insight on Mac, Wallace, and especially Logan. We got to see a whole lot of maturity entering into Veronica and Logan's relationship as they faced their new relationship after years of being apart and in different circumstances. There was also so much more happening in this book with the tension with the Sheriff's department that I felt like Lamb was just a ticking time bomb the whole book. And Weevil's story. Well, I could talk about his character growth all day. As you can see in just this short paragraph, it seems to just be sort of disjointed when you put it all together.

Also Pony is the most adorable and an excellent play off a running joke. Well played, writers. Well played.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5. The disjointedness makes 
Mr. Kiss & Tell a bit stop and go, but it is definitely worth reading.

Leave a Comment

Post a Comment