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Planet Janet (Planet Janet #1)

3.18  ·  Rating Details ·  403 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
With a Mad Cow for a mother, an eccentric psychotherapist for a father, and a dweeble for an older brother, it's no wonder sixteen-year-old Janet Bandry is ready to enter the Dark Phase of her life. As this determined British teenager sees it, the DP requires dressing in black, listening to jazz when she can find the right radio station, and thinking about Deep and Meaning ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 22nd 2004 by Candlewick Press (first published February 1st 2003)
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R I've read this book many times over, because it's the one of the only funny books I've read (I typically read heavier things) and I've found that…moreI've read this book many times over, because it's the one of the only funny books I've read (I typically read heavier things) and I've found that people tend to criticize for a handful of reasons. The first being, that Janet has all of that lovely teen angst, and she's incredibly privileged (white, young, able-bodied, mostly functional family, middle class, straight, cisgender etc.). Sheldon wrote her to be shallow, but that's partially because of her circumstances. She has no reason not to be shallow, yet. Many people may have not been shallow at this age, because of life circumstances, but I've found that naive/sheltered/privileged teens often come off as "shallow" and "selfish" when in all reality, have they had a chance not to be? Have they had a time where they had to think of someone else? Have they experienced anything other than high school? So, yes Janet is in fact "shallow" and "selfish", but that was done intentionally by Dyan Sheldon. Then, there's also the sexist factor that plays in to it too. If Janet were a man, the criticism of her would more than likely be less, because boys are expected to be selfish, un-mothering, and rebellious. Women on the other hand, are not. I also think that Sheldon expects the reader to understand that Janet will grow with time and experience-that's part of where the humor of the book comes from. I'm sorry for rambling, but in any case your assessment is right. :) (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 13, 2009 Anna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only those who actually liked reading Bridget Jones' Diary
I read 102 pages. I couldn't do anymore. This truly is Bridget Jones' Diary but a teen version of it. Lots of babble and no real point. "Cutesy" observations about the harsh world only they are not cute or entertaining. Not my cup of tea.
Jul 11, 2012 Ruby rated it it was ok
I had a hard time getting through this book because Janet was the type of teen that makes you want to shake some sense into her (more than likely, even many teens would want to slap some sense into her). Sadly, I found her self-absorbed nature too realistic in terms of many of the young people today. The “I’m too deep and intelligent for anyone to understand me” is a common theme, and this was just too “in-your-face” to make Janet a likeable character.
Kaymon Neal
Dec 18, 2012 Kaymon Neal rated it really liked it
"Planet Janet" is an excellent book and I would recommend it to teens like me. The main character Janet is just like any other average teen. Going through a dramatic phase of teenhood with her best friend Disha. The title, I think, fits the book perfectly. She's alone and nobody understands her. It's like she's on her own little planet that orbits Earth trying to communicate but the Earthlings don't understand. Janet's parents were a spot on representation of parents dealing with teens. Her mot ...more
Jun 06, 2016 Ariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two places I've been very suprized to find books are the local dollar store and just about any thrift shop (Such as Goodwill). Going to a Goodwill one day, I happened to see this book and decided to get it, thinking it would be a simple kids or super early teens book I could finish in a few days, I was wrong. This book is not for kids, or early teens even, it's for more mature teens or even slight twenties. I was happily suprized at this book, and I auctualy enjoyed reading it. The best part was ...more
Feb 14, 2014 Janine rated it it was ok
I'm not the target market for this book but I read it for research purposes on YA fiction. I found Planet Janet to be mildly amusing with a few standout lines that were very funny. What I felt the book lacked was a coherent narrative drive and enough character development to make me feel it was worthwhile to slog right through to the end. Janet's self-obsession is not overly endearing or easy to stomach and some of the plot developments were too OTT for my taste (eg. who puts up with a stalker l ...more
Sarah Crawford
Feb 10, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it did not like it
This is a book about a British girl, Janet Foley, who is 16 and going through a dark phase. She calls her mother the Mad Cow, and she has a psychotherapist for a father. The book is also written in an unusual style in which certain words will appear in bold print and in different, usually fancy fonts.

Unfortunately, that's about all I can say good about the book. It is very rare when a book proves so boring to me that I don't bother to finish it, but this is one of those cases. After reading arou
Feb 20, 2016 Marie added it
Shelves: reth
Good book for teachers to use as an example of an unreliable narrator and for learning to read between the lines. Also a handy glossary in the back for young American readers to learn some English dialect.

The main character is an English teenager who fancies herself a deep, intellectual person and sees her family as shallow idiots, when the opposite is true. It's fun piecing together the clues from Janet's anecdotes to figure out what's really going on. However, Janet's constant cluelessness ma
Jan 25, 2012 Anastasia rated it liked it
This review was originally published at Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog on January 25, 2012!

Diaries-as-books are some of my favorite things, and I especially like reading teenage diaries. Maybe because I find them so funny nowadays? Teenagers can be melodramatic and selfish and very silly-- and Janet's all those things. In a funny way, of course! Well, mostly funny.

The funny bits stem primarily from Janet's complete inability to understand what's going on around her. She's 16, convinced she needs to go
Dalam beberapa minggu terakhir ini, gue menghabiskan sebagian besar waktu gue untuk membaca buku-bukunya Dyan Sheldon.
Bukan karena gue ngefans banget sama tulisannya, tapi karena buku-buku itulah yang lagi diobral dengan harga yang sangat murah di bazar buku Gramedia kemarin. Dengan alasan yang cukup jelas: bahwa ceritanya ngga ada yang bagus.

Dari segi ide cerita, buat gue sebenernya ide ceritanya begitu menarik.
Sebagai contoh, Planet Janet ini. Buku ini menceritakan tentang anak yang sebegitu f
Jun 01, 2014 Lea rated it liked it
Janet Bandry is definitely on her own teenage planet and is quite oblivious to everything going on around her. This is precisely what makes this book such a fun read. As a middle aged adult reading this YA book, I was put off at first by how self-centered the main character is, but it doesn't take long to indulge one's inner teen and watch the events unfold as Janet documents them in her diary. Pretty fun read.
Aug 17, 2013 Jennifer rated it did not like it
Basically the main character tries to alter herself just to get close to her crush. Whatever she does always ends up making her feel like life is always against her. To top it all off, with a dysfunctional family it makes her situation more or less annoying—the lack of communication and respect sort of triggers this small behavior of "Just LEAVE me ALONE!"

Again this was a filler for time and this was definitely something that I would not pick up twice. I personally thought this book had to do wi
Kristine Shahverdyan
Nov 01, 2011 Kristine Shahverdyan rated it really liked it
The book Planet Janet, took you deep in Janet’s thoughts and emotions. Janet She is in a crucial time in her life and thinks she should express her feelings. However, she describes her mother as a mad cow. Her father is an eccentric psychotherapist. Janet is finally turning seventeen and she decides to go into a dark phase. During the dark phase she will dress in all black, and think more about deep and meaningful thought. She will write in her diary when she’s not to busy thinking about guys an ...more
Tasia Bass
Jun 25, 2016 Tasia Bass rated it liked it
I know most people complain that Janet is a whiny, self centered brat, but I feel the need to point out that she's a teenager. She's like most self absorbed teenagers who claim that no one understands them. I mean the book isn't the most spectacular thing I've ever read, but it is pretty decent.
Jan 05, 2013 Potassium rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Beware! You are reading Janet's diary as she enters the "Dark Phase" (or DP) of her life/high school career.
All I could think about during this book was "Wow... teenage girls are dramatic! Was I that dramatic?" Heh... Probably. Anyway, Janet is definitely over the top dramatic most of the time but she does point out some common feelings that I know I experienced as a teenager. Mostly those of self centeredness and being completely oblivious to the rest of the world. Janet also acts like she is
Oct 07, 2012 Kricket rated it liked it
aaaand yet another book i felt sorry for and took home (my bedside table is piled with them.) this was cute and funny, and also british, which made it less cutesy cute and more lots-of-hilarious-british-slang cute. janet is a ridiculously self-absorbed teenager exploring her "dark phase" by thinking intellectual thoughts, wearing black clothing, and seeking the company of mature older men. meanwhile she is completely oblivious to the problems of her family & friends. this was amusing at time ...more
Aug 28, 2016 Marna rated it really liked it
Love the dark phase! I remember being 'deep' but broke. No five hundred dollar leather jeans for me. Nope. I had a polymix blend mid calf skirt with a stretch waistband and, maybe some black tank tops. Also I still don't have the concentration most 'dark phase activities' require. Though not sure I agree with the yoga thing. Yoga does not help you to feel alienated.

I think actually, it was my mother who bought me 'The Stranger.' She was sort of great. feeling depressed this year? Here's some Ca
Srbuhi Terityan
Mar 30, 2012 Srbuhi Terityan rated it liked it
The book Planet Janet was about a teenage girl named Janet going through a hard time in her life. Her parents are constantly fighting until they get to a point where her mother leaves. She is planing on going through a dark phase which is trying to get to know who you really are and have deep and meaningful thoughts. Her and her friend,Disha, dress in all dark clothes and start thinking of their inner self. This book isn't what I'm used to and I honestly didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I wo ...more
Mar 03, 2011 Debrarian rated it liked it
Janet’s diary, recounting how everyone and everything irritates her, and inadvertently (on her part, not on the author’s) revealing what a selfish, obtuse twit she is. Reasonably enjoyable nonetheless. Very British in flavor. For mid-teens—14 and 15 maybe—or those who won’t be shocked by frequent references to sex and sometimes drugs (she and her pal try hash once, and an acquaintance has sex with a stranger while drunk, but the core group is basically clean). Oh, and her aunt’s a feminist vegan ...more
Taylor Marshall
Jan 20, 2010 Taylor Marshall rated it really liked it
Planet Janet by Dyan Sheldon is about a sixteen year old girl whos family is driving her crazy. She decides it is time to enter the Dark Phase. While in the Dark Phase, she thinks deep thoughts and wears mainly black and purple. her best friend Disha has entered the Dark Phase as well. They go throughout the Dark Phase together. janet is trying to be grown up and do things about her family but just can't seem do it. Will she eventually conquer her family or the Dark Phase, or will she just stay ...more
Symphony Griffin
Dec 01, 2009 Symphony Griffin rated it it was amazing
In Planet Janet the writing is quick, clever and witty. Janet is the main character, it discusses how a teenager in London, England deals with life. When I was reading , I could relate to alot of the things she would talk about. The book is in diary form. A lot of the book she converses about boys, friends, enemies, dealing with parents and brothers. At the end she discovers a balance and learns to appreciate her life and the hardships that come with it.
Dec 12, 2013 Sophie rated it liked it
Tout au long du livre je n'arrêtais pas de penser "cette fille agit comme une gamine de douze ans alors qu'elle est censée en avoir 16... c'est un monstre d'égoisme qui ne vit que pour elle". Alors ok c'est certainement voulu mais cet égoisme est tout de même poussé au point que même dans les denrières pages on a l'impression que Janet se croit toujours le centre du monde... bref au bout d'un moment j'ai trouvé ça déplaisant et passablement énervant...
Nov 18, 2008 Christine rated it really liked it
Okay, in some cases, her parents were RIDICULOUS. I just want to get that out there.
I think the biggest irony in this story was how she kept going on about how everyone only cared about themselves, when she was obviously guilty of the same thing, though she never realized this, in typical teenage girl fashion.
Realistic story line (I felt like I really was reading a journal). Very good!
Dec 23, 2010 Fiona rated it liked it
This might be perhaps because this was a reread, but I was not significantly impressed with this book. It's cute, but it is nothing significantly spectacular. In my opinion, the most interesting parts was towards the very end. I do, however, plan to read the next one.
Nov 01, 2015 Kassandra rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this in a diary form but Janet is a bit annoying she was very unreliable. I feel bad that Janet's family will not take her seriously but it was funny reading things. For instance, she calls her mom the mad cow.
Jessababes Tolop
Aug 26, 2013 Jessababes Tolop rated it liked it
well, i put a lot of my expectation on this book because the author is well known for her works.. I find it somehow boring (im sorry) but on some point it really is funny. But the story is such a cliche' for me not so special.
Mar 25, 2009 Saikkussu rated it liked it
It was better than most books I read- but I had to keep reminding myself that it was a diary of a young teen who dosen't have as much insight as she claims to have. honestly I'd rather watch bbc than read this again.
this book is very fun and the writng is clever.. when you have
nothing to do and need to be entertained this is perfect. this
novel will captivate you and you wont be able to put it down
Jul 19, 2010 Courtney rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is my favorite young adult book. It's delightfully Britishy and incredibly humorous. This book inspired me to write in my journal every day while I was in high school.
Stephanie A.
Jul 19, 2012 Stephanie A. rated it liked it
A fun diversion, if you are looking to read what sounds like a moody British girl's blog, which I was at the time. But not in a way where I ever read any further books about it.
Jun 21, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books
Witty and funny! Inspired me to devote more time to writing in my diary. Makes me think of when I was that age. A light read that will leave you with a broad smile
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Dyan Sheldon is the author of many novels for young adult readers, including the #1 New York Times bestseller CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN, which was made into a major motion picture. American by birth, she lives in North London.
More about Dyan Sheldon...

Other Books in the Series

Planet Janet (2 books)
  • Planet Janet in Orbit (Planet Janet, #2)

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“I'm beginning to think that if you're going to have a role model you should probably pick someone who's already dead so they can't disappoint you.” 1 likes
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