Friday, September 26, 2008

Graphic Novel Review: The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci

After a terrorist attack in Metro City, Jane’s family moves with her to a “safe” suburb. She starts a new school, makes friends with three girls who are also named Jane and inspires the kids at her school to celebrate art and creativity.

The Plain Janes is a short graphic novel that is quick to read but also explores some weighty themes such as healing after trauma and the importance of civil liberties and freedom of expression.




Jane is very atypical in that she rejects the cool crowd and chooses to hang out with “misfits” because she doesn’t want to be sucked into living a cookie cutter existence. The Main Jane had personality to spare (especially considering the format) but the other Janes (Science Nerd Jane, Mono-brow Jock Jane, and Pudgy Drama Geek Jane) were very stereotypical and kind of got on my nerves. Still, I have high hopes that they’ll come into their own in the sequel, Janes in Love. It came out this week, and I’m looking forward to picking it up.

10 comments:

bermudaonion said...

This is a genre I need to investigate. I've read one graphic memoir and loved it, so I think I would enjoy a graphic novel as well.

Alea said...

How funny! I bought Janes in Love yesterday! I love the whole idea about spreading art through their community!

Lisa said...

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Khyrinthia said...

I bought both of these a few days ago! I can't wait to read them, since I adored Cecil Castellucci's Boy Proof.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I really want to read both of these as well. I think it sounds good, and i like the idea of being creative and doing your own thing.

-lauren

Carol said...

I've heard so much about this graphic novel. I'll have to check it out.

Steph said...

On a scale of 1-10, how necessary is it that I buy these? I keep seeing them around!

Steph

Alea said...

Steph- Do you like graphic novels? I'd say if you haven't read any this might be a fun place to start! I'd say 6 or 7.

Lenore said...

Steph - well I can't speak for the second book since I don't yet have it, but I would say probably 7-8 on your scale.

It's not like "sell your lung to buy it" urgent (like Dust of 100 Dogs!), but it's a graphic novel with depth, charm and a unique main character.

Melissa Walker said...

Main Jane was a love of mine. I just scarfed down this book. The premise is great and I really enjoyed the format break from regular novels. Glad it worked on some level for you. :)