27 May 2014

Books: Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line By Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham (2014)

While waiting for the Library to notify me that the next book I ordered has arrived, I picked up Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham that was sitting on my shelf. 

Media tie-ins are always tricky. Mostly because what happens in them is not canon to the TV or movie franchise they’re based on. So they sort of exist in a parallel universe, even as this title picks up some two month after the events of the movie. If Thomas can produce another movie, however, there is no obligation to follow what happens in this breezy, easy to read novel. 

Its spring break, which means Neptune is crawling with co-eds, so when a girl goes missing while on vacation with some of her girlfriends, Veronica Mars takes on her first case after the events of the movie. But like the TV series, nothing is quite as it seems and Veronica soon finds herself dealing with people far more dangerous than she had originally planned. But when a development in the case brings someone important back into her life, Veronica must do something even more challenging: confront her past.

The book is able to give more time to characters that got to little screen time in the film (Wallace and Mac), and a few lingering questions about some of the individuals answered almost immediately after they’re introduced in the book -like how Keith got his new detective digs (though no real explanation of the house he lives in now, considering in the series they lived in a crappy apartment {though realistically, that crappy apartment was on the ocean and there should’ve been no way Mars could afford that place as well}). We see almost every character from the show, with the exception of Piz –and I’m assuming they’ll explore that issue in further novels or another movie if Rob Thomas gets a chance to do one. 

The best part is the novel progresses much like the TV series; a few red herrings and the usual plot twist/game-changer that occurs towards the end. Like I said, this book is so easy to read, you feel like your watch the show!

While the mystery itself isn’t quite up to par with some of the best Veronica Mars episode, it’s entertaining. Strangely, though, the book is told in third-person point of view, while the movie and TV series always seemed to be told from Veronica’s point of view. First POV usually works better for these whodunits, but here that different style actually works better –we get a better insight I think into what Veronica is feeling.

Again, with this tie-in, none of what happens can actually be called canon –even if there are no other movies (which I doubt). But it was a nice cleansing pallet after the last two Donaldson books that I can look pass some of its shortcomings and enjoy these wonderful characters.

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