Book Review: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line

The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line
Veronica Mars #1
by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham
read by Kristen Bell

My rating: 4.5 / 5
Genre: Mystery

Picking up soon after the Veronica Mars movie, which in turn is set about 10 years after the same-name television show, we have a brand new, stand-alone mystery. During Spring Break in Neptune, two young women go missing from the same house, on different nights. Veronica is hired to look for them, but she doesn’t expect to be confronted with a face from the past. With the help of some old friends, Veronica is determined to find the missing women. But will she be too late?

As one who has seen the show several times, this is just about everything I’d want from a book continuation. The only real downside is that a book can’t span as long of a time as an episodic show does, and so the mystery, characters involved, and side plots can’t be developed like they were in the show, which is what made each larger mystery (i.e. each season) have such a big punch at the end. However, the rest of what I love about the show is here–Veronica’s wit and sass, Keith’s very existence, a twisty plot with a dangerous conclusion, and a whole cast of friends and frenemies to help or hinder Veronica.

For Veronica Mars fans, I would say this is definitely worth a read. And I highly recommend the audiobook, as it is narrated by Kristen Bell herself, which notches the whole thing up to as close to a life-action show/movie as you can get, especially considering that the show is narrated by Veronica along the way too (though this is in 3rd-person, a minor detail). And Kristen Bell does a spectacular job with the voices of her once-co-workers. For one who has seen the show a lot, it’s so easy to hear Wallace, Keith, Mac, even Cliff coming out of the “pages.”

If you haven’t watched any Veronica Mars but are interested in this book, I would first ask why you’re not just starting with the show. But as for whether or not you’d enjoy this book or if you’d be lost, it’s hard to say from my perspective. Things that happened in the movie months before that affect the book are explained well enough, I think, but that also means the movie is spoiled in some parts. I do think that some of the larger characters are represented well enough for a newbie to get a feel for them, but smaller ones, like Weevil, definitely shine more if you already know them. That’s not a fault with the book, though, because he’s simply a smaller character in this story. So if you’re interested at all, I’d recommend the show first (the first 3 seasons), then the movie, then this book and its follow-up, which I haven’t read yet but will. And then maybe the 4th season…maybe.

Find out more about The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line

See what I’m reading next.

If you’ve read this book, or read it in the future, feel free to let me know what you think!

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line

  1. I am definitely going to try the audiobook. I didn’t realize that Bell read it herself. I think I tried to read it many years ago before watching the show and it didn’t really grab me. Now that I am familiar with the characters and general plot style, I think I’ll enjoy it a lot. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do figure that it’s not really meant for someone who hasn’t at least seen the show, and overall, I don’t know why someone who hasn’t watched any of it would bother to read the book. But it’s a great continuation for fans who miss the show, and I wonder now if any of what was in this book, or the one that follows, is carried into the 4th season. I didn’t even know these books existed until last year, after I’d already watched the new season.
      Thanks for stopping by; I hope you enjoy the audiobook as much as I did!

      Liked by 1 person

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