Thursday, August 13, 2009

Janes in Love...random thoughts


Janes in Love by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg.

It's always a bit hard to talk about a sequel, isn't it? Or that could just be me, I suppose. But Janes in Love pretty much picks up where The Plain Janes left off. We're still following the exploits of P.L.A.I.N. (People Loving Art In Neighborhoods), a group of somewhat misfit high school students who perpetrate "art installations" in their town.

As I sat reading this last evening, Rich interrupted and said, "That sounds like quite the amusing book." Until then, I hadn't realized how often it had me giggling. And yes, humor does play a part. But really this book is so much more than that. It's about so many things, really. Dealing with fear. Taking chances. Following your dreams. The difference that art, and creativity, and beauty can make. Falling in love. Sticking with those you love. And friendship. The ups, the downs, and real gift that friendship is.

The thing about having a good, true friend is that it's ok if you cry so hard that snot runs down your face. Because their arms are strong and their heartbeat is loud...and you can be your smallest and ugliest in front of them.
I loved this book! I'm tempted to say that I enjoyed it even more than the first, but I'm not sure that's quite true. I think it might be truer to say that I loved the first book even more than I did previously because of this one. Honestly, I think you need to read both. They really belong together.

*****
For more opinions:
--Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings (The Plain Janes)
--Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings (Janes in Love)
--Dewey at The Hidden Side of a Leaf (The Plain Janes)
--Eva at A Striped Armchair (The Plain Janes)
--Amanda at Zen Leaf (The Plain Janes)
--Amanda at Zen Leaf (Janes in Love)
--Susan at You Can Never Have Too Many Books (The Plain Janes and Janes in Love)
--Kailana at The Written World (The Plain Janes)
--Lenore at Presenting Lenore (The Plain Janes)
--Alison at So Many Books, So Little Time (The Plain Janes)
--Alison at So Many Books, So Little Time (Janes in Love)
(If I missed your review, please feel free to leave a link in the comments and I'll add it here. Thanks.)

11 comments:

Amy said...

Wow, sounds like a lot a fun book! I'm not sure I had heard of it before! Now I"ll be checking it out ;)

Amanda said...

Hey Debi! I actually had to go out and get the sequel right after finishing the PLAIN Janes. It was too good. I loved them both. My review of the second one is here: http://zenleaf.blogspot.com/2009/03/janes-in-love-by-cecil-castellucci-and.html

Nymeth said...

It's a travesty that I haven't read these yet, isn't it? And no, it's not just you...I had a hard time writing about sequels too.

Debi said...

Amy,
They really are fun...I think you'd enjoy them!

Amanda,
I wish I didn't have to wait so long between reading them, but our library just now got the second one. Oh well...I'm just thankful they finally did!
Sorry I missed your second review! Don't know how I did that, but I've got it up now. Thanks!

Nymeth,
I really think you'll love them. They're very feel-good. But really say a lot, you know.

alisonwonderland said...

I read Janes in Love during Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-thon last October. I loved it, as I did The Plain Janes. I like your thought that you loved the first book even more because of the second.

Susan said...

Gee, I had no idea this many people had read them already, when I did my post on them! I'm so glad you read them, Debi! And loved them. I had them out from the library, and I'm going to be buying a copy of each just so I have them to turn to. I think that they will be among my books I turn to when I am feeling blue or low. Lovely post too, and I agree - the second book makes the first one better, and they go together. Although I did love that first one so much too! Don't you wish you could be a Jane too?

Carl V. said...

They do very much belong together and the two books tell such a lovely, inspiring story without being too preachy or saccharine. And the art is fantastic. The whole package amounts to some of the most satisfying graphic novel reading that I have done in a very long time. I'm so glad you picked these up and that you found similar enjoyment in them. This is a series that I would love to gift to all my friends who either are creative or, more importantly, want to be creative and are not taking the time to do so. Love them! Great review Debi!

Staci said...

You've got me on this one!! I must read it!!!

Kailana said...

The library bought this for me. I am just waiting for it to come in!

And, yes, you should buy Annie the Dramacon book. I haven't seen a bad review of it anywhere and she really liked the first book.

You going to do a buddy review with me when you get back from vacation?

christina said...

I loved Plain Janes and did not know there was a sequel until Amanda mentioned it. Every review I have read has been encouraging. I have to get my hands on this one!

fuzzycricket said...

I love finding new reading blogs because then I find new books. I'm just now discovering graphic novels and will definitely be tracking these down. Thanks for the review!