I love to read. Aside from sleeping and eating, it’s probably my favorite activity. That said, I tend to read some pretty low-brow stuff. During the school year, I blame my uncultured reading habits on the fact that I have to do so much at-home prep for my advanced math and science students that when I can finally sit down with a book, I just want to relax and not think. But that’s just an excuse. The truth is that I like fluffy, easy to read, non-intellectual books. And I’m okay with that. It’s what I enjoy. So, that’s the majority of what you’ll see from me here.
On that note, my first review will be that kind of book. Not book. Books, actually. It’s a series called the “Body Movers” by Stephanie Bond. These books are complete and total fluff. I started reading them right after E was born. I was nursing at all hours of the day and night, and needed something that was easy to pick up and put down without having to try too hard to remember the story line or major plot lines. It needed to be entertaining enough to keep me awake at 3:00 a.m. but not too much so that it was hard to put down when E fell asleep after twenty minutes. These books pretty much fit that bill. (Unlike The Hunger Games trilogy that I also started reading right after E was born. Those books were a little too engrossing and I ended up staying up way too long when I should have been sleeping.)
I really can’t offer a review of each individual book in the series (there are six) because they tend to merge together after reading more than one. The main characters in all of the books are the same. The storyline begins in the first book and continues uninterrupted through each one. In the first book, Body Movers, we meet the heroine, Carlotta Wren. She’s a high-end sales lady for Neiman Marcus who’s wealthy parents abandoned her and her younger brother, Wesley, ten years earlier. Her father was accused of embezzling funds and faced prison time. Instead of facing trial, he and the mom disappeared, leaving spoiled, rich Carlotta to quickly grow up and raise her younger brother. In the first and each subsequent book, we learn of some new catastrophe that has found Carlotta and her brother. Most of these catastrophes lead to Wesley moving a body (his side job when he’s not gambling, being arrested, or doing community service) for the local morgue.
There are a series of other characters that come and go. Several men who either want to/have/or will have sex with Carlotta. Some seedy characters associated with Wesley. Crazed killers who always seem to target Carlotta and those closest to her. None of these characters are particularly memorable, likeable, or believable. As a matter of fact, that pretty much applies to the main characters too.
I’m not even sure why I have read so many of these books. (I just finished the fifth one and have the sixth – and last one – on the shelf to read next.) As I said, the characters aren’t believable. The story lines are incredibly outlandish, but with just enough of a hint of reality embedded deep in them to prevent you from rolling your eyes and putting the book down mid-sentence. It’s very hard to believe that any one person (Carlotta) can attract as much trouble and as many serial killers as she does. Then there’s the matter of Jack, the detective who was charged with reopening her father’s cold case, arresting Wesley, and investigating EVERY crime that involves Carlotta. Seriously, does the Atlanta Police Department consist of this one and only detective?
These books remind me slightly of the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum books. They’re both a series revolving around tough chicks who take control of their own lives. Then there’s the name issue. Stephanie Plum is Evanovich’s heroine. Plum is a bail bondsman. Stephanie Bond is the author of the Body Movers series. Totally confusing, but that’s where the similarity ends. Evanovich’s books are way more believable and fun. Even though there are now eighteen of the Plum series, I have no hesitation in picking up the next one of those and reading it. Whereas with the Body Movers books, I have had to talk myself into reading each one.
And I’m sure I will read the next and last one. If for no other reason than to have some closure in the ongoing saga of these unbelievable, annoying characters’ lives. They are entertaining. I will give them that. And as with any mystery, there is the suspense, even though it’s not done well and there’s not nearly enough of it for it to be called a mystery series. So unlike the Evanovich books, which makes me want to read other things by the same author, these books almost make me wish I’d never found them on the library shelf. Then I wouldn’t have this inner torment as to whether or not to continue reading.