The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
This story continues where the recent Veronica Mars movie left off. It is ten years after the end of the TV series, and Veronica has returned to Neptune to help her ex-boyfriend Logan Echolls beat murder charges.
Now, after she found the real killer, she has been sticking around Neptune to help her father get back on his feet after his attack. She, with the help of Wallace and Mac, have been keeping up with his cases at Mars Investigations, trying to keep the business afloat.
It’s Spring break season, and hoards of college students have descended upon the hotels, bars, and beaches of Neptune. The scene is rife with alcohol-infused debauchery…and thus the perfect breeding ground for foul play.
When a young co-ed goes missing, Neptune makes the headlines. Some may say no publicity is bad publicity, but when a second girl goes missing as well, suddenly the hotels, bars, and beaches of Neptune have cleared out. Businesses are losing money because Neptune has been deemed unsafe. As the corrupt sheriff’s department scrambles to find the girls, not all in Neptune are satisfied with their efforts. Soon, Veronica Mars is enlisted, and she will follow every lead to find those girls. No matter how dangerous or how close to home it hits.
Fans of Veronica Mars will (likely) enjoy this book! It has all Veronica’s trademark sass and intrigue. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was very excited to find out that it was going to be the first in a two book series.
With Veronica Mars creator, Rob Thomas, in the byline, it shows that the books are officially accepted as a continuance of the Veronica Mars universe after the movie. Although I really enjoyed this book, Veronica Mars enthusiasts might have a few complaints.
First of all, unlike the TV series and the movie, the narrator of the book is not Veronica herself. The story is told in a third-person narrative that I found did not detract from the quality of the story. However, like I said, enthusiasts might take issue with this because Veronica’s narration is a trademark element of the show. It provides a window into the sassy and complex mind of our heroine. Without it, some might find that the novel is lacking.
Second, a certain brooding love interest is surprisingly absent throughout the novel.
Many Marshmallows (fans) are members of team LoVe (Logan and Veronica) and will likely be very disappointed by this. While Veronica and Logan are indeed together in this story, Logan spends the entirety of the book off being a navy pilot. I didn’t find this a huge issue because I was a) just glad they were together, b) glad that Logan got his life together, and c) appreciative of the realism that exists in this distance.
Third, the characters that played such an important role in Veronica’s life—Mac, Wallace, and, most notably, Keith Mars—experience very little character development and/or very little actual attention in the novel. While the novel does a decent job bringing Veronica to life, it falls short where these other characters are concerned.
All that being said, if you’re not a nit-picky enthusiast, and are just looking for the same kind of entertainment the series brought you, this book should do the trick. I absolutely loved it. I wish the book series was going to involve more than two novels, but I am really glad they’re happening at all! If you are not a V. Mars fan, I’m not sure you will like this book. A lot of its appeal lies in its attention to V. Mars loyalists. There will be many things others might not understand or pick up on. However, if you’re not a V. Mars fan, I’m not sure why you would be interested in this book anyway. Also, I’m pretty sure this goes without saying, but if you haven’t seen the movie, you should not read this book. The book continues where the movie left off. So, watch the movie first.
All in all, this is a solid read and I would recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed the TV series and movie.
Beth is the founder and editor of Fuelled by Fiction. She is a twenty-something east coast Canadian girl who loves writing about books and feminism.