Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1) by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1)
Authors:  Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Publisher:  Vintage, 324 pages
Publication Date:  March 25, 2014

From 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 no 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 am a big Veronica Mars fan.  Loved the TV series and I really enjoyed the movie. The book will definitely please fans for the most part.  Veronica is her smart and sassy self and most of the old gang is in the book.  The dialogue is perfect (which it should be, since Rob Thomas is the author) and the mystery is interesting.  It's fun and fast-paced.

However, I do have one big complaint and two smaller ones.  One is the fact that it's written in third person.  Why?  That makes no sense to me given that both the TV series and the movie had Kristen Bell narrating Veronica's thoughts.  Her voice was such an important part of the series and the character that I was surprised that the authors made this choice and I think they missed a big opportunity by not writing the book in first person.

Also, the book starts pretty much right where things left off in the movie and while I enjoyed the movie, I was a bit sad about where some of the characters ended up and the book continues this.  Veronica is back in Neptune even though she always swore she would get out.  She has a law degree, but she's going to be a private detective.  In Neptune.  So she's pretty much back where she started.  And then Weevil.  In the movie, he's married and has a cute baby and owns his own garage (and doesn't ride his motorcycle anymore).  At the end of the movie, he's framed for attempted carjacking and is back with his old gang, riding around on his motorcycle.  In the book, he makes a brief appearance and he's still back in the gang and I don't think anything is mentioned about his wife or baby and he still has the carjacking charge hanging over his head. Now hopefully that will be part of future books, but still. He's back where he started (for the most part).  And then Mac.  She quits her high powered job and is now working with Veronica.  What????

Finally, Logan is barely in the book.  Need more Logan.

In sum, I enjoyed it, it read like a Veronica Mars TV episode, but I just wanted more.

Posted by:  Pam


  1. So I didn't really read this, because spoilers. I never watched Veronica Mars. I didn't see the movie either. And I'm kind of wondering if I should. Everybody raves about it so... Idk. I think you know my reading tastes pretty well. What do you think? Would I enjoy this?

    1. I knew there was a cult-like following for Veronica Mars but I had never watched the tv series. Then it was on Amazon prime so I watched it and absolutely fell in love. So I saw the movie the day it was released and thought I'd give the book a try. Definitely don't read the book unless you've seen the tv series and the movie, though. The book starts right where the movie left off and I think it would be confusing if you didn't know all of the back stories and history of everyone. But I definitely recommend the tv series (and watch more than just the pilot because it took me a couple of episodes to get hooked). Let me know if you end up watching it! ~Pam

  2. I watched Veronica Mars back when it was on TV but that was like 7 years ago so I don't remember much. And I still haven't seen the movie. It's actually been a topic of some confusion for me when I saw everyone raving over it on twitter (before the movie announcement). Did they re-air the episodes somewhere? I don't know, I feel like I am missing an important piece of the puzzle. Anyway, I plan on watching the movie and if I need more VM in my life, maybe I'll read the books! Sometimes I feel like I am so behind on what is popular (I only just watched Frozen).

    1. The tv series is free for Amazon prime members and some channel (I can't remember which one) was re-airing all three seasons. I never watched it until recently so I was definitely behind on this bandwagon (and I still have yet to see Frozen). Oh well! ~Pam