The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1) by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham.
What? I said it was going to be a lot lighter! I meant it!
So, some backstory: Our cousin, who knows our tastes really well but is also way better tapped in to pop culture than we are, gave us Veronica Mars season 1 on DVD for Christmas many years ago. We loved it, and picked up watching season 2 as it aired. Loved it as well, though maybe not as much. We stuck with it through season 3, despite the mess of storylines (seriously, who would even go to the college where there’s a rapist running loose and the dean gets murdered and all these other horrible things happen?). And when we saw the promo for the never-actually-happened season 4, we were sad that it never actually happened. We continue to watch anything that Kristin Bell acts in (yes, even “Pulse” and “The Getaway”), and we try to do the same for Enrico Colantoni (I especially like when he’s a bad guy) and Tina Majorino (who makes everything she’s in better, but somehow keeps getting killed off!).
Enter the “Veronica Mars” movie Kickstarter thingy. I know lots of people who did back it. But I was basically like… huh? You rich Hollywood people want to put on a show. You want me to fund it. And then you want me to pay to go see it? If you believe so strongly in this project, then you all fund it out of your own (not insubstantial) bank accounts. I promise I will go see it. I did not donate.
Given that (as far as I can tell) the movie never even opened in my state, I’m not at all regretting that decision. But, yes, we did get it on Netflix as soon as it was available. And prior to doing that, we re-watched the entire series, all three seasons, to remind ourselves of all the back story. It was lots of fun to see the old crowd again in the movie, though I don’t think the Veronica / Logan chemistry was quite what it had been. It was a satisfying conclusion.
Sometime in the midst of our season 2 re-watch, I saw the Veronica Mars book at an airport bookstore, and I seriously almost bought it. But in the timeline of this fictional world, the book comes after the movie, and I probably would have devoured the whole thing on that single flight. I didn’t want the spoilers, so I passed it by. After I told the husband about it, he found the book on his office’s book-swap table and brought it home for me. So I finally dug in and read it in a couple of days.
What can I say? It was a fun little read, if you’re already into the Veronica Mars world, but I think the movie was a more satisfying conclusion to the series. I don’t think the book really adds much for fans, and I can’t imagine anyone else would have very much fun with it.
The mystery itself was pretty satisfying, like a single season big mystery arc without all of the episode-by-episode side tracks. Some pieces of the world were captured beautifully, like the Veronica / Keith interactions. Logan’s (non) presence seemed weird and unnecessary. And seriously (spoiler), I don’t think movie Mac would have quit her high-paying job at Kane software… that seemed like a convenient but not believable ploy to have her be part of the storyline.
I vaguely wonder if there will be a Veronica Mars #n for any n > 1. I’ll probably read them if so… but I don’t necessarily encourage Rob Thomas to spend his time on that. Party Down movie instead? Anyone? (But no, I won’t be funding that one either.)