It’s never easy for the novelization of a film or show world to live up to the expectations built by the original work it is based on. But when it comes to Veronica Mars, I am pretty much willing to take what I can get to stay with the title character.
Picking up months after the events of the recent film, Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line occurs during the following Spring Break in which Neptune is bursting with college kids looking to let loose after midterms. During all the drinking and partying, a girl goes missing. Then another. That’s when Mars Investigations steps in.
Honestly I have no idea why this book was stamped with the subtitle that it has considering that it has nothing to do with a rather expensive bronzing experience, but if that’s the first complaint that comes to mind when looking back over the first Veronica Mars novel then I’d say we’re pretty lucky. More often than not, books of this genre are simply satisfactory experiences that fall short of the film, show, or whatever it is they’re based on. I can say the same for this novel, but that really has nothing to do with the level of writing skill or story building within these pages. It’s simply because I love all of the actors from the show so much, which is still fresh in my mind since I recently drove down memory lane by marathoning all three seasons, and my mind is incapable of living up to their performances when reading their characters.
Everything that the Marshmallows of the world have come to expect from Veronica Mars makes it into the first book of the upcoming series. The local sheriff is incompetent, there are red herrings all over the place, as well as cameos, Veronica still has her witty sarcasm, she still has her friends and family, and she still has a knack for getting in much deeper than she should. Other than the title, the one legitimate complaint I have is that Veronica Mars hasn’t seemed to learn anything from her experiences as we once again are treated to another scene in which Veronica is shown to be a scared girl overpowered by the situation she’s in. This is an honest representation of the average female of her size and stature, I’m sure, but it is really starting to bother me that Veronica hasn’t taken any self defense classes as of yet considering all she went through during high school and college. We’re used to her bringing her taser out to save the day seeing as it has happened on more than one occasion, but just once I would love for her to have a bad-A moment that shows that she has learned from all the crime fighting she has been a part of. She doesn’t have to become Batman or anything, I just want her to have a little more strength to back up that attitude and assuredness she exudes (punching Madison Sinclair in the face during the film does not count).
Long story short, fans of Veronica Mars will be glad to have another means of venturing back into the mysteries and crimes of Neptune, but I doubt The Thousand Dollar Tan Line will be enough for those not familiar with the TV show. Good thing I am a big ol’ Marshmallow.
Final Grade: 3.5 out of 5 Follow @BewareOfTrees