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The Plain Janes (2007)

by Cecil Castellucci, Jim Rugg

Series: Plain Janes (1)

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9708018,920 (3.82)50
When Jane moves to the suburbs, she thinks her life is over, but she meets three friends who form a club P.L.A.I.N.E., but can art really save a group of misfits from high school?
  1. 10
    The Guerilla Art Kit by Keri Smith (Anonymous user)

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» See also 50 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
So I am probably never going to jump up and down squealing “the newest graphic novel just came in!” but I will admit that I liked this one far more than the first graphic novel I read. I actually liked it enough to contemplate checking out the rest of the series to see what happens.

In a confusing start, Jane (Main Jane) is injured in a bomb explosion in Metro City. Her parents freak out and move her to Suburbia. Jane’s time in Metro City before they moved (but after the explosion) was spent sitting at the bedside of a man who was injured next to her in the bombing. She has no idea who he is but he had a sketchbook. His art made Jane aware of how art affects people.

When Jane moves to Suburbia she meets the rest of the Janes, all “misfits” but she is clearly drawn to them. They begin creating art in common places, basically guerilla art attacks. The goal of P.L.A.I.N is to encourage the people of Suburbia to look at beauty in all things. In creating, Jane begins to heal. Jane convinces a boy from school to drive her to Metro City so she can go see her John Doe at the hospital. He is gone, but a nurse sees Jane, recognizes her and tells her the man’s name and that he has flown back to Poland, his home country.

Will Jane fly to Poland to see him? Will she finally have a boyfriend? Will P.L.A.I.N. continue or will the police find and shut them down? Well, I guess I will have to read the rest of the series to find out! ( )
  Dawn.Zimmerer | Jan 9, 2023 |
I liked the art, but I'm not sure I loved the main Jane. Seemed like she chose her friends based on who she thought was worthy of her. The worthy outsiders were likable, but rather stereotypical.
( )
  Harks | Dec 17, 2022 |
I just wasnt really into this book. The illustrations are nice, but the characters felt kinda flat and there were a lot of "teen rebellion" stereotypes. I like that this story is about art, but I dont agree with all the books ideas about what art is for and its place in society. Also I found it HORRIFYING that the protagonist took someone elses sketchbook without permission and writes in it. ( )
  mutantpudding | Dec 26, 2021 |
Teenage Jane has a life-altering experience when she is one of many victims of a terrorist bomb attack. Realizing that she and the world are mortal and fragile, she decides to make a positive difference.

Deemed safer than living in the city, Jane is transplanted from Metro City to a quiet, little suburb called Kent Waters. Quickly, Jane conspires with a group of misfits, who are all named Jane, to make Kent Waters happier through random acts of art. (It's like a less violent and destructive Project Mayhem from the book/movie Fight Club.)

The Plain Janes is at once relevant and hopeful. It is a contagious read that will keep you flipping through the pages non-stop. Not often am I motivated to read a book in one sitting, but I could not put The Plain Janes down until I was done. Yes, I sacrficed an hour of sleep but it was worth it. ( )
  RakishaBPL | Sep 24, 2021 |
The premise was interesting, the execution not so much. Other than the main Jane, the others' personalities aren't fleshed out. The writing for the main Jane is good, though, making up for the others to a certain extent. However, it could've benefited from more pages and some more world and character-building. ( )
  bdgamer | Sep 10, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
The characterization is stronger than the plotting, and while the theme of learning to process change as a part of growing up is nothing new, the soul’s need for art isn’t emphasized as often. The end of the book doesn’t live up to the power of the beginning, but that’s true of much entertainment these days.
A funny, spirited little story about a gang of girls named Jane at a strait-laced high-school, rejected by the mainstream, and their art adventures.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (May 22, 2007)

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Castellucci, Cecilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rugg, Jimmain authorall editionsconfirmed

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To all you Dandelions.
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Metro City. Last Spring. When it happened, I fell.
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When Jane moves to the suburbs, she thinks her life is over, but she meets three friends who form a club P.L.A.I.N.E., but can art really save a group of misfits from high school?

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Average: (3.82)
1 3
1.5 3
2 19
2.5 6
3 82
3.5 27
4 157
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