Sunday, November 18, 2012

Plain Janes

I continue to enjoy my journey through all the Minx graphic novels, an imprint from DC Comics that was sadly discontinued, but was meant to appeal particularly to female teens.  This is one of my favorites.  It is about Jane, a teenager who is injured in a random terrorist attack, whose family moves to a small town in order to recover and to feel safe again.  Her mother is particularly affected by the incident, and becomes increasingly fearful and worried, even though they have moved.

Jane is not at all happy about the move, having to leave her school, friends, and all the places she loves behind. She is a city girl at heart, and most of all she regrets having to leave "John Doe," a young man who was also injured in the attack, and who has been in a coma at the hospital.  Jane had been sitting by his side, speaking to him, hoping she'd be there when he awoke. She has no idea who he is, but she feels a connection to him, having survived a horrific experience, and she is inspired by a journal that John Doe had with him, on which is written "Art saves."

Jane makes friends with some other Janes at the school, a disparate group of girls on the fringes of the school's social groups, and together they form an art initiative that soon has the town divided and the authorities furious.

I enjoyed this one very much, although I did find the artwork to be a bit stiff and wooden, not conveying the characters' emotions as much as I would have liked. There is a lot more depth here than might be expected in a simple story told through the graphic novel format, definitely a lot of food for thought.  Readers who enjoyed the art themes in Page by Paige will be sure to love this one, too.  I was pleased to learn there is a sequel to Plain Janes called Janes in Love.  

Also by Cecil Castellucci: Boy Proof

Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci; illustrated by Jim Rugg (Minx, 2007)

Also reviewed at:

Beyond Books: "Fresh, though slightly slow at times for my hyperactive brain, I think this is one book I shall forever cherish sitting on my shelf."
One Literature Nut: "an interesting read, with what felt like a heartier theme than I've felt from other graphic novels I've read in awhile."


  1. I like the sound of this! And I'm a Jane too; its my middle name ;-D

  2. It was discontinued? That's sad... I read this at some point and quite enjoyed it. :)

  3. Nicola - When you read it, you'll have to let me know your Jane name. Book Jane? Blogging Jane? :-)

    Kailana - Yes, it's too bad, isn't it? Have you read the sequel? I thought it was pretty good. It continued the story in a good way without taking anything away from the first one, which can be tricky.


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