Thoughts on the First Veronica Mars Book: THE THOUSAND-DOLLAR TAN LINE

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Kit Steinkellner

Staff Writer

Kit Steinkellner is a playwright, screenwriter, and creative writing teacher. She also writes about books and reading  at Books Are My Boyfriends. Follow her onTwitter: @BooksAreMyBFs

Kit Steinkellner

Staff Writer

Kit Steinkellner is a playwright, screenwriter, and creative writing teacher. She also writes about books and reading  at Books Are My Boyfriends. Follow her onTwitter: @BooksAreMyBFs

thousand-dollar-tan-line-rob-thomas-jennifer-graham-veronica-mars-novel-e1393110929789(I will try my best not to spoiler up this post [I’m not dumb, I know when you’re writing about a mystery novel, you can’t big mouth the big twists, I KNOW THIS FACT ABOUT MYSTERIES YOU GUYS] but that said, if you haven’t seen the series and watched the movie by now, you probably don’t want to read this post. But why would you be interested in this post if you hadn’t seen the series, and if you had seen the series, how could you not have already seen the movie?)

– THEY DIDN’T DO THE NOVEL IN FIRST PERSON! This was like, the number one thing on my wish list, the series (and film) make such gorgeous use of voice over and the book is just written in limited third? I liked the book, I did, but I think I would have liked it more had it been done in first.

-I’m still pissed about this first-person thing, but I listened to this book on audiobook, and all is (almost) forgiven because Kristen Bell is the narrator and she does the voices of everyone we know and love and she is SO GOOD at the voices. Like, Jim Dale good. Her Mac is off the charts, her Keith Mars is aces, her Wallace is pretty good, she’s a little eh on Logan, but honestly I’m a little eh on Logan at this moment in time which brings me to my next point.

-Logan’s character has a limited function in the novel, but I kind of didn’t want him to have any function in the novel. I’m done with this character. I don’t think he belongs in Veronica’s adult life. And I LOVED him on the series. But I’m just done now. Can the next mystery be who killed Logan?

-Veronica and Mac basically do all the heavy-lifting solving this mystery with Wallace being charming and helping sometimes, and it’s great to see the gang back together again, but I also feel really bad for everybody because they’re all almost thirty and doing the exact same thing they were doing in high school. Wallace is fine, he’s coaching high school basketball, but V and M? They were the two most brilliant girls at their high school (also, possibly in recorded history) and now Veronica’s given up her fancy lawyer job and Mac’s given up her fancy Kane Software doing-things-with computers job and they’re struggling to make ends meet in the PI business? I really am glad the gang’s back together but I like these girls and I just want more for them.

– Rob Thomas co-wrote this book with another author, Jennifer Graham, and I’m really curious about what their co-writing process was like and who I can blame for the limited third. Also, I have a really good idea that for the next Veronica book, Thomas brings back the writing staff from season one and they write the book together as a writers room, I know royalties would be a mess but it would be SO COOL and I WANT IT

– The mystery starts out a little slow (the first chapter doesn’t even HAVE Veronica in it, I almost threw my iPhone out my car window, but then I remembered how much I like my phone and I didn’t do this) but it gets better and better and better. The plot thickens, the stakes raise, even the quips get awesomer. The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line definitely has a case of the Gone Girls, the second half is SO superior to the first, but the first half is still pretty good!

– There’s a character from the series (did not appear in the movie) that comes back about halfway through the novel (part of the reason why the second half is so awesome) and I LOVED this storyline. You’ll know this character when you see this character, I promise.

-Any fan of the show knows that Veronica’s hometown Neptune, the SoCal beach town defined by their haves and have-nots, is as much a character as any of the flesh-and-blood people that populate the world. One of the best things about this book is all the Neptune shenanigans. It’s a big college spring break destination, of course it is! The Chamber of Commerce is basically just a bunch of human Scrooge McDucks, of course they are! Neptune is basically my favorite fictional place tied with Hogwarts, I know this is a big statement, but I’m going there.

-Weevil and Veronica don’t make out. He has a wife and a kid now. But he shouldn’t have a wife and kid. He should have a smoochfest with Veronica. I was always Team Weevil and Veronica. Weeveronica?  Maybe in the second book when Logan’s dead they can solve the mystery together and make out along the way.

Those were my big takeaways. What about you guys? Anyone else read (please say it was the audiobook, that’s the only way to fly with this story)? What did you think?