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Janes in Love Paperback – September 23, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Janes Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The second book of the PLAIN Janes series returns to the four Janes of suburban town Kent Waters and their public art attacks as People Loving Art in Neighborhoods (PLAIN). This time the story line is sprinkled with bits of romance as the various Janes struggle to approach their love interests for dates to the school dance and the main Jane applies for an art grant. Castellucci writes with ambition, including threads that pull in issues of terrorism, fear, free art and adolescent anxiety. Unfortunately, the resulting tangle of political overtones sometimes clutters what could have been a clearer story of one girl's artistic aspirations and the underlying theme of friendship. Rugg, whose art and unfettered concepts of femininity soared with Street Angel, is more constrained with the two-dimensional characters he's illustrating. As the second book of the series, a character breakdown or introduction would be helpful to new readers. Otherwise, it's a suitable read for those who enjoyed the first Janes book, but not a good entry point for anyone unfamiliar with the series. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 8–10—In this sequel to The Plain Janes (Minx, 2007), the Janes bravely continue to pursue their love of boys and their love of art, facing challenges from the police, their parents, and the community. Castellucci deftly deals with a number of serious issues, including anxiety and depression, mortality, body image, gay relationships, and community activism. Fortunately, they never weigh down the narrative: this is a sweet, quirky story with some uplifting (though never pedantic) messages. Rugg's clean, crisp illustrations are the perfect accompaniment, giving the comic a hip, indie look that resembles Adrian Tomine's work.—Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 8 and up
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Minx; Uncorrected Page Proof edition (September 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401213871
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401213879
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,308,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Janes in Love picks up where the last book left off. Our Janes are still creating wonderful pieces of art to enliven the community. This time around, the Janes are all in love and not sure what to do about it. In the midst of all the hormones, the Janes are deterred in their artistic efforts and P.L.A.I.N. looks to be doomed. But they still have some tricks up their sleeves.

I loved the first book and was equally thrilled with the latest installment. The book has a lot of heart and really touches on our modern-day fears. I truly wish every community had a group like the PLAIN Janes. The world would be a better place. I hope there are more installments of this series to come.
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Format: Paperback
This is the sequel to _Plain Janes_ -- though it doesn’t actually say that anywhere, and if you pick it up thinking it’s a standalone graphic novel, you will have no idea what’s going on. As background, Jane Beckles is a high school student transplanted from the big city to a small suburban town following the detonation of a terrorist bomb that put her in the hospital for awhile. Now she’s running a girl gang that creates public art projects at night, which the town’s cops and managers treat as vandalism. The gang includes another Jane who is heavily into science, Jayne the theater geek, and Polly Jane the athlete. Oh, and James, apparently the only gay student at Buzz Aldrin High, who is very frustrated when Valentine’s Day rolls around.

Because that’s one of the themes this time: The search by each of the Janes for the right boyfriend. Jane the leader is big on Damon, who took the rap for her when a previous art prank was busted and is still doing community service. Polly Jane tells a basketball player he is now her boyfriend and they’re going to go make out (his response is “Yeah”), and the other two have their sights on guys of their own. That part is rather weak, if only because their various choices are all extremely politically correct, and in a way that seems to be deliberately playing to the teen audience by a self-consciously adult author. The other plotline, of course, is the quest for legitimacy for their art, which Jane manages by getting a federal grant, the first ever given to someone her age. (And which isn’t even close to realistic.) Will there be a happy ending? What do you think?

The writing itself isn’t bad, though the plotting isn’t what it was in the first volume. Rugg’s art suits the story well, though. The flap copy calls this the second in a “series,” suggesting there are more volumes to come -- but I honestly can’t imagine where the story could go from here.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The sequel to P.l.a.i.n Janes takes our heroines deeper into their involvement in art, friendship and high school. I love that there is a positive role model for my daughter in this graphic novel, which speaks to her burning desire to create art. I recommend for any girl age 11-18
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Format: Paperback
Again, this is a cute top story with some seriousness underneath. All the Janes are secretly pining after someone, and a girls-ask-the-guys dance prompts them to act on their feelings. Main Jane is crushing on Damon, but afraid to talk to him after his arrest for her art attack. Miroslaw (formerly John Doe) is awake, and he and Jane exchange letters and care packages. He inspires Jane to apply for an art grant to make the P.L.A.I.N. Janes legit. Meanwhile another attack in Metro City scares Jane's mom into never leaving the house. In an effort to get her to come out, Jane's dad refuses to go in. Neither seems to notice that Jane isn't fairing well. And then Jane hears back from the grant people and has to sneak into Metro City to present her portfolio. Da da dum.

In this installment, the Janes are joined by James, the lone gay guy who was a walking stereotype in the last book. He gets to be a much more complete character here with interests beyond being uber-gay. Still, he bemoans the lack of gay guys in Kent Waters as the rest of the Janes set their sights on their dream guys. He doesn't get the happily ever after that some of the Janes do, but he does get to ogle the whole (hot) guys' basketball team. And no one thinks it's gross! James also plays a very important role when Main Jane starts to receive letters from a Secret Admirer. SPOILER: When it turns out that these letters might be from a girl, James has a little talk with Jane about how to let Secret Admirer down easy, emphasizing that Jane should do everything in her power to not make Secret Admirer feel weird for crushing on another girl. This little tidbit is added in without making any kind of a big deal or turning into too much of a "teaching moment." James' concern is genuine and natural. End Spoiler.
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Format: Paperback
This graphic novel continues nearly a year after The P.L.A.I.N. Janes. Where the first in this series dealt with the Janes learning to have confidence in themselves, and doing something they believed in, this one takes place a year later and as Valentine's Day is approaching the Janes realize they want to find love and happiness.

The Janes are:
Jane - DramaticJane
Jayne - BrainJayne
Polly Jane - SportyJane
Jane - MainJane

MainJane is still dealing with the aftermath of being near ground zero of a terrorist attack. She is getting better but her mother is getting worse. All of Janes' art is an attempt to bring her mother back out of her shell. I liked this story but enjoyed the first one more. This one does go into greater depth about relationships and overcoming adversity. It is a good story by a gifted writer. It really is a pity that DC Comic discontinued this MINX line; they were supposed to be heralding in a new era of graphic novels, novels written with girls as the main audience, with strong female characters that could be role models. The line was announced in 2006, with much fanfare, but was cancelled part way into 2008, thus leaving that target audience again under-represented in North America. But the 13 books in the line that were released all look interesting, and like the type of book I will want to share with my daughter as she grows up. This is a shining example of that sentiment.
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