"I find Veronica’s dream before graduation to be one of the most bittersweet moments on the show. On one hand, her subconscious has decided that she is best with Logan and not with Duncan (yay!); but on the other hand she doesn’t even know Wallace (sob!). In my heart, I love LoVe; but if I had to pick between Veronica and Logan being a couple or Veronica and Wallace being BFF’s, I think I might have to pick Wallace."
I think one of the things that most impress me about this book series is the way they absolutely nail Veronica’s voice, the way it was in the series. To be fair, Rob Thomas was the creator of the show and co-author of the book, so there is continuity there, but nevertheless, I enjoy how seamless the transition from show to book has been. It’s Veronica, but all grown up - a little less prickly, a little more jaded, but still as determined, feisty, smart and kickass as ever.
And this second instalment doesn’t disappoint. In Mr Kiss and Tell, Veronica is on the trail of a serial rapist and abuser, whose case was brought to her attention after a woman is assaulted in the glitzy Neptune Grand hotel, and left for dead in a trash field, with no memory of how she got there.
The book pulls no punches - it makes it very clear how the justice system only works for some, particularly in the cases of rape or sexual assault - if you’re in any way involved in the sex industry, then pssshaw, it’s not rape, it’s shoplifting, right? *fumes* Not to mention, do you have a history, what were you wearing, why were you meeting a strange man… It takes a critical look and makes some rather pointed comments, which make my liberal heart sing with glee.
This criticism of the justice system extends to the American system of policing as well - and couldn’t be more timely, considering all that’s going on in the states at the moment. (And always has been, who are we kidding?) On the heels of the case of Eli (Weevil)’s court case, with him being falsely charged due to planted evidence, we’re once again reminded how the system works for those with money and power in Neptune, while those less fortunate are either completely abandoned by the system, or become victims of it. This culminates in Keith and Cliff deciding that something has to give, and fighting back against Sheriff Lamb, the epitomy of police corruption.
Quite apart from her pressing case, running a business with her father and all the other goings-on in Neptune, Veronica is also juggling to spend time with Logan, back from shore leave. Now I will admit - I was never a Veronica/Logan shipper. *ducks for cover* Nevertheless, it’s great to see Logan a changed man, albeit one who still goes on bromance dates with Dick Casablancas.
Finally, I love how the books do service to the hardcore fans of the series by dropping in mentions of previous characters, cases and incidents from the show. And it serves as a recap for those who haven’t watched the series (WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!) but have started the books.
Mr Kiss and Tell was more about the journey than the destination - we find out who the perpetrator is around halfway through, but it’s getting him proven guilty that’s the problem. The case also wasn’t as front and centre as it was in the previous book, what with everything else going on, but I found I was so invested in all the betrayals, tensions and Neptune politics that it didn’t bother me.
All in all, another strong instalment in the Veronica Mars series. Live long and prosper, I say!
ARC received from Edelweiss in return for an honest review.
Veronica Mars — Cedar and dragon heartstring. Ten and a half inches. Fairly bendy.
“Whenever I meet one who carries a cedar wand, I find strength of character and unusual loyalty. My father, Gervaise Ollivander, used always to say, ‘you will never fool the cedar carrier,’ and I agree: the cedar wand finds its perfect home where there is perspicacity and perception. I would go further than my father, however, in saying that I have never yet met the owner of a cedar wand whom I would care to cross, especially if harm is done to those of whom they are fond. The witch or wizard who is well-matched with cedar carries the potential to be a frightening adversary, which often comes as a shock to those who have thoughtlessly challenged them.” [x]