Customer Reviews


32 Reviews
5 star:
 (14)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (7)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Art is important!
I just got--and read--Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg's graphic novel THE PLAIN JANES yesterday afternoon. What a wonderful book. I loved the characters and the ideas. I loved the art. I liked how clean the pages felt, and how so much of the story seemed to be told in the pictures. I kept flipping back in the pictures to gather more information.

Art is...
Published on May 15, 2007 by Mette Ivie Harrison

versus
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not substansial
First off, I'll give you a little disclaimer. I'm a 21 year old male, so this book really wasn't written for me at all, but as a writer and fan of comics, I decided to give it a try.

The story is interesting, but Castellucci has a bit of a problem with dialog. The characters really sound like they were written, not how they would talk. It all just has a bit of...
Published on July 26, 2007 by Sean May


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not substansial, July 26, 2007
By 
Sean May (Muncie, IN USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Plain Janes (Minx) (Paperback)
First off, I'll give you a little disclaimer. I'm a 21 year old male, so this book really wasn't written for me at all, but as a writer and fan of comics, I decided to give it a try.

The story is interesting, but Castellucci has a bit of a problem with dialog. The characters really sound like they were written, not how they would talk. It all just has a bit of an exposition feel to it the entire way through.

Rugg's art is effective here, but not all that impressive. It doesn't detract from the story being told, but I also thought it didn't really enhance it

Now, onto the characters. This is where I had the biggest problem with things. The main character of Jane is pretty well nuanced and rounded, but every other character in the book is just a stereotypical cardboard cutout of a cliched character type. The police officer is always screaming, the gay male character is always being so incredibly effeminate it's off-putting, the drama crazed Jane is constantly speaking as if here words were pulled directly from Shakespeare. This is an OK template to build a character off of, but absolutely nobody acts like this in real life. I could understand the use of character types like this in a book designed for children, but I would think that teenagers would desire something a little more dynamic

One other criticism here, and this just really smacks of a first time comic book writer. How in the world does Jane get a phone that automatically picks up and broadcasts in speakerphone without any input from the user? This is absolutely ridiculous, and I really think that it's a very visible crutch that Castellucci uses more than once in the story

All in all though, despite all of my critiques, I mildly enjoyed the book...it's not nearly the worst thing I've ever read, but it just didn't resonate for me. I would like to see what Castellucci can do in the future, but she's going to have to improve over her debut.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Read the rest of the "Minx" line, but skip over this one., August 31, 2008
This review is from: The Plain Janes (Minx) (Paperback)
I'm a 25-year-old female comics fan, and I've been impressed with the "Minx" line [I've read "Re-Gifters", "Kimmie66", "Confessions of a Blabbermouth", "Good as Lily", and "Clubbing"]. I was really looking forward to "The Plain Janes", given my previous enjoyment of the rest of the line. I was sadly mistaken.

The biggest issue with "The Plain Janes" is that every character who is not the central character is completely one-dimensional. All of the adults are cardboard cut-outs who scream, freak out, and are otherwise completely unreasonable. The other students each have one particular trait [sporty, nerdy, theater geek, gay, good-looking, popular] and that's about it. Even the main character isn't terribly well-rounded, as all she seems to do is freak out, not freak out, and talk about how awesome it is that she's brought art to the obviously lacking suburb which she lives.

The pseudo-9/11 plot does nothing for this book except drag it down. It's overused to the point of being boring, and all it does is set up a couple of ridiculous scenes where Jane's mother yells at her, and then Jane acts surprised when she's grounded for sneaking out of the house and hitchhiking nine hours to check on a John Doe she writes to at the hospital.

This book needed a better writer. Mike Carey, who wrote "Confessions of a Blabbermouth" and "Re-Gifters" should have been given this book. He writes teenagers much more realistically than Cecil Castellucci and does so in a way that doesn't make the adults come off as horrible, useless things that are just out to stop the teenagers from having a good time.

Read the rest of the "Minx" line, or buy it for the teenage girl in your life, but let this one rot on the shelf.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Art is important!, May 15, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Plain Janes (Minx) (Paperback)
I just got--and read--Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg's graphic novel THE PLAIN JANES yesterday afternoon. What a wonderful book. I loved the characters and the ideas. I loved the art. I liked how clean the pages felt, and how so much of the story seemed to be told in the pictures. I kept flipping back in the pictures to gather more information.

Art is important. I think sometimes about how millenia ago, when survival was far more difficult and people spent most of every day trying to get food and shelter, but still, they created art. It is a need, to do more than survive, to leave a mark in the world, to do something that is just for the beauty of it. Sometimes we forget that, but it seems the most extreme experiences help us remember.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Trip Down Memory Lane, May 19, 2007
By 
This review is from: The Plain Janes (Minx) (Paperback)
I'm a 27-year-old male, but I could relate to the characters in The Plain Janes. I could especially relate to the protagonist, Jane. Or should I say Main Jane?

Art was an outlet of expression, an outlet of relaxation, for me during high school. Seeing the Janes create art everywhere, as an escapsim from the world, was very interesting. I wish I would have thought of that.

I want to commend the creators of this graphic novel. It was 45-minute read that was better than any television show I saw this week and well worth my money.

Pick up this book if you're interested in fun literature -- and be glad to be P.L.A.I.N.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great debut for the Minx line, May 23, 2007
This review is from: The Plain Janes (Minx) (Paperback)
This is the first book from the new Minx line of DC Comics.

As a debut, it is something fairly promising for the line. The previews in the back give me the feeling that much better stuff is coming up as well.

As a comic, the story works and the art is clean and coherent. While the story works, it is far from perfect, there is something missing from most of the story elements. By the standards of other graphic novels, this serves as a breath of fresh air (and hopefully the DC association will get some superhero comic readers to check it out). The author, on her first graphic novel, has an excellent sense of the comic medium, better then some of the higher profile talent that the Big Two have hired.

This gets a recommend from me. If you have the extra time and money then its a good thing to read over an hour or so. But I wouldn't go to the ends of the Earth to hunt it down.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Empowering, February 5, 2008
This review is from: The Plain Janes (Minx) (Paperback)
A friend of mine gave me this book; he thought I would really enjoy the different personalities of the girls with the same name. I wasn't so sure. I really don't like teen angst or girls who are into cliques and fitting in, but boy was I wrong. I was immediately sucked into the story. The lead character, Jane, has to leave her home in Metro City due to a terrorist attack and finds her self in a small suburb of the city all alone. I loved watching Jane find her niche in the small town. She finally finds where she wanted to be: with the other Janes. It was interesting to see how determined she was to make friends with these girls even though they didn't want anything to do with her or each other for that matter. Each of the girls had something they wanted to do, none of them were a like, which eventually brought them all together. The girls decide to form a group called P.L.A.I.N. (people loving art in neighborhoods) and jazz up their suburb by making objects throughout the town into large pieces of art. This causes many of the adults in town to think that the kids are destroying their simple, small town life and impose strict rules for all teenagers. Now that all that is said, there is a whole side story with the main Jane, which I didn't see coming and it really exposed me to what teens go through when they have been involved in a major disaster and how they deal with other teens and adults. It really is a book about growing older, dealing with boys and real world problems. Some of the dialogue bothered me, it was boring at times and I didn't necessarily have to be told some of things that they said. But I guess that comes with the graphic novel territory. I highly recommend this book for girls around 13-16; these girls deal with things that most teenage girls can relate to. Overall I really enjoyed reading this book, it was a quick and easy read and for a person who doesn't read all that often it's a miracle! This book definitely got me in touch with my inner PLAIN Jane.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've read all year, October 9, 2007
By 
Ellen Etc. "Garret Books" (Northern California, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Plain Janes (Minx) (Paperback)
After terrorism strikes Metro City, Jane's parents move the family to the suburbs, but Jane can't seem to make friends with the few people who interest her. Eventually she enlists these "losers" in a bold guerilla art project that could bring to life both the conformist suburban town and Jane's own adrift self. This moving graphic novel layers meanings into both the drawings and the text, and, like Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl (Readers Circle), celebrates art, creative nonconformity, and risk-taking.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Art Saves?, August 31, 2007
This review is from: The Plain Janes (Minx) (Paperback)
Art saves and art heals are the themes of The Plain Janes a graphic novel created in the MINX imprint, a new line of graphic novels that uses the popular media to tell stories that traditionally would be done in written format.

Jane was walking the streets of New York when a bomb went off near her. Her parents freak out and move the family to the suburbs to protect their darling Jane. But Jane wants to stay in the city so she can keep visiting her comatose friend, a man she calls John Doe. He has been in a coma since the day of the bombing. She visits him in the hospital and has taken up sketching to honor him, since he was carrying and dropped a sketchbook that day. For whatever reason, she takes a major interest in him and feels devastated that she won't be able to continue her frequent visits.

Now she is trying to start a new life. Interestingly enough, she is determined NOT to be in the popular crowd. Instead, she finds paradise in the reject lunch table, at which sits three girls named Jane: a drama geek, a jock, and a whiz kid. Our main Jane doggedly finds ways to connect with these girls until they call her a friend. She wants to use art as therapy for her sadness. During the accident, she found a small dandelion, a thing of beauty that made a different to her in the moment. Now she wants to be a living incarnation of that dandelion, a thing of beauty in the middle of chaos. She and the Janes start an underground group that installs art in the middle of the night. The art is treated maliciously, as if it was gang graffiti instead of whimsically fun. What type of projects do they create? They hang bottles from a tree that give people instructions like sing, play sports, or give someone a hug. They put bubbles in the city fountain. And my personal favorite, they spread stuffed animals over the lawn of an animal shelter.

Her home life conflicts continue, due to her mother, who is convinced she will die if she leaves the suburbs. Her midnight trysts with the Janes are the one shining light in her life.

I like how Jane became friends with the other Janes. She just went after them, trying the activities they liked in order to get close to them. I like how she resisted becoming a popular kid. The concept of this story was very intriguing. But the ending was weak and disappointing. There was no closure, although I don't think there will be sequel. And Jane lets a good friend take a hit for her and tries little to correct the mistake. It felt like a huge buildup with little payoff. Still, the Plain Janes will be enjoyed by girls that long to rail against the system.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Mean Girls, The Graphic Novel, May 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Plain Janes (Minx) (Paperback)
A good story. Well... Just OK. I like the whole idea of what was happening here, but I couldn't help but wonder if 'Mean Girls' did it slightly better. I think girls who like the movie will like this similar story. The heart of this book is good, it just missed that special something. With all that said, I will keep it on my shelf.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Bursting With Stereotypes, February 11, 2014
This review is from: The Plain Janes (Minx) (Paperback)
When teenager Jane is a bystander to a terrorist bombing in Metro City (aka New York), her parents freak out and decide to move way out to the suburbs, where life is supposedly safe. Unfortunately for her, this is some kind of mythical suburbia where there are almost no freaks and geeks, and apparently no one into interesting art or music or anything cool like they have in Metro City. Yeah.... right...

Unfortunately for the reader, Jane is a classic big city cultural snob, which makes her pretty annoying. This is balanced somewhat by her obsession with an unidentified victim of the bombing, a young man who lies in a coma in a hospital, to whom she writes journal-like letters describing her new home and her loneliness. Eventually, she befriends three other supposedly outsiderish girls at school named Jane -- I say supposedly because each is a stereotype. One is the jock, one is the thespian, and one is the academic - and pretty much every high school school has packs of each, so it's hard to buy the premise that they'd all be outsiders as well.

In any event, the plot requires them to team up, so they do. And they do so in order to secretly artbomb the town with various installations and provocations. For some reason, this suburb is a kind of Reagan-era '80s throwback, because the media, cops, and authorities freak out as if there were commies hiding under the beds. What could have been an interesting idea, especially with the introduction of a brooding romantic interest, ends up being too obvious and over-the-top and most of the potential is wasted.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Plain Janes (Minx)
The Plain Janes (Minx) by Cecil Castellucci (Paperback - May 2, 2007)
$9.99 $8.80
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.