Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Janes in Love

Janes in Love, by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg is the second title featuring the P.L.A.I.N. (People Loving Art In Neighborhoods) Jane's. An art-loving high school girl "tribe" living in Metro City, the Janes are once again planning, practicing, and presenting artistic vandalism to the neighborhood. The girls grow weary, or possibly jaded, with the response from local authorities and face growing peer pressure as they try to balance growing social lives with their desire to remain non-conformist. As the girls struggle with issues of high school, friendship, and society, each takes steps to grow as individuals with diverse wants and needs; the central Jane determines to apply for an art grant.

Throughout the book more complicated familial issues are revealed, Jane's mother has become agoraphobic as a result of the terrorist attack in the first novel, and somewhat clutter the ensuing story line. Readers new to the series may not quite grasp the more subtle references to the terrorist attack in the previous novel. Regardless, this is cleanly illustrated and easy to read graphic novel that remains consistent in it's portrayal of adolescents. Those enjoying Janes in Love should treat themselves and read The Plain Janes.

Discussion guides are available for other titles, here's hoping one for Janes in Love is forthcoming. The first book in this series, The PLAIN Janes, was discussed here in May of 2007.

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