I read these three book in the space of a week. The series is still amazing, finally delivering on the drama it spent books 1-3 promising.
Four to Score gets 5/5 stars
High Five gets 4/5 stars
Hot Six gets 5/5 stars.
(Follow the links to get to the amazon descriptions of the plots of the books.)
In my review of books 2-3, I complained that the series was promising a lot of drama and wasn’t delivering.
Books 4-6 solved that issue. And it is awesome.
Something actually happens in her semi-love-triangle with Morelli and Ranger. Her grandmother gets crazier. She wrecks more cars.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that makes me laugh out loud this often. I looked like an idiot in the middle of chemistry while reading book four. My sister is ready to kill me for laughing while she was doing homework. But these books are so funny.
Though some plot lines carry over, each book’s plot is separate from the rest. I didn’t love the mystery in book four, but Sally was probably the funniest character of the entire series. Book five’s plot was a lot more put-together and ended up being pretty fascinating. Book six’s was perfect, finally making Ranger be more than a mysterious character with basically no personality.
I like how the romance in these books is almost completely autonomous from the main plot of the book. In YA books, I’m used to the romance being an integral part of the plot, driving it forward and contributing a major portion of the drama. In these books, the case Stephanie is working on and her love life remain fairly separate, joining at key moments. It is a nice break from YA, but I also miss my familiar age range, so I don’t know if I’ll read book seven.
The writing in these books is great. The descriptions and characterization aren’t overdone, but still convey powerful imagery and bring the story to life. The plots are fast-paced and hard to put down–enough that I’m definitely not doing as much homework as I should be. The second and third books had some slow moments, but I didn’t have that problem with any of the next three. The ending of each book leaves you no choice but to read the next one–especially the ending of book five. I seriously hadn’t planned to read book six this weekend, but I had to. (Ugh.)
You can definitely see Stephanie evolve as a character, though it is subtle. I like that she doesn’t have any major character shifts, just slight ones that over the course of the series significantly change her as a person. She also breaks down into hysterics less in these books, which was getting a little old in the first three books. Her life feels real, and the changes her character experiences make sense.
I’m really glad I picked this series up. It’s not that inappropriate (except for a few scenes in book four), so I’d say YA readers should totally look into it. The humor alone is reason enough to keep reading them, and the plots are a nice change of pace from the intensity of most YA books.