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Mary Jane (Marvel Comics prose)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  529 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews

Written by the award-winning romance and young adult novelist Judith O'Brien, this traditional prose novel is a high school romance updated for today's teens! The new girl at Midtown High, Mary Jane Watson juggles and struggles with her parents' divorce, her love of ballet, and her burgeoning new bond with class nerd Peter Parker - who's about to undergo a stunning transfo

Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Marvel Comics Group (first published June 25th 2003)
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Mar 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, novel
Believe it or not, this is a great novel!


This is a book that many readers may not giving importance and it's a shame, since it's indeed a great novel.

This book is centered in the "Ultimate" version of Mary Jane Watson, the girlfriend of Peter Parker a.k.a. the Ultimate Spider-Man.

This book was published in the middle of the run of the original Ultimate Spider-Man comic book, when that title was one of the hottest comic books that you can be reading back then.

Since the beg
Dec 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, 2016, ya
I've always loved Mary-Jane Watson. It doesn't matter if its the comic MJ, the cartoon show MJ or Kirsten Dunst movie version MJ (OH & I'm SO excited for Zendaya to play MJ in the next movie version). So I was super pumped to read this because Mary-Jane is the protagonist. I was less pumped when I was reading it.

It's kind of an immature book. Sure, MJ is still in High School but it's definitely a book for younger readers. It doesn't have a lot of depth and it certainly doesn't deal with iss
I love the idea of telling the Spiderman story from Mary Jane's perspective—of giving her more of a story and a personality than the love interest is usually afforded in superhero tales—but the execution felt a bit lackluster here. It hews closely enough to the original Superman story that there isn't actually that much room for Mary Jane's end of things...almost everything comes right back to Peter Parker. (Meanwhile, I don't even like him much; he becomes something of an arrogant jerk as soon ...more
Literary Strawberry
This book is basically bad Spider-Man fan fiction. Like, really bad. I remembered reading it ages ago, and when I saw it at the library I was at with some friends I picked it up to flip through just for the heck of it, and it was /unbelievable/. I wish I still had a copy so I could show you at least the scene when she discovers Peter's six-pack. It's. I can't begin to explain. Maybe I'll try to get it from my library so I can type up some excerpts because I was crying with laughter at some parts ...more
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I was being too generous with my first initial rating of 3 stars, simply for EXISTING, and as a desperate sweaty nerd, wanting to like this more than I actually do. After some thought and really breaking down my likes/dislikes about this novel, Mary Jane isn't really that great, it's just an "OK" read and you're not missing out on much.

I didn't completely dislike the novel; I'd say the second half was more enjoyable than the first, but the results were very underwhelming. I feel like
Lauren Sandico
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lauren Sandico
Literature 7b


Did you ever want to be a superhero? This paperback book called Mary Jane written by Judith O’Brien is a fiction novel about boy meets girl. You would clearly love it because it's interesting from the start to the end and you can't stop reading the book if you already started it. This book is fantastic, fascinating, happy/sad situation and everything a book should have.

Mary Jane is about romance and drama.The main characters are Mary Jane, Peter Par
This book sparked my interest for a very good reason—it told about the distaff side to the Peter Parker-Mary Jane relationship. How would it show me Mary Jane Watson, before she became Mrs. Peter Parker?

Here we meet her as a teenaged girl, still reeling from the abandonment of her drunken father and her mother’s new dependence on a creepy boyfriend. She’s dealing with the move to yet another high school and the uncertainty of new faces…and the reappearance of a certain bespectacled nerd she kne
Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Story of Mary Janes Life

      Do you know what happened in Mary Janes life and before she had meet Spider- Man? Well, I have read about her life in a book called Mary Jane. The book Mary Jane was a fiction and paper back book, which was written by Judith O' Brien. What I thought of the book was that it was a romantic, yet exciting novel. After reading the first part of the book, it made me want to continue the second part of the book. This book was kind of a mysterious and romantic n
This book left me a little underwhelmed. I think it's a great idea to tell the story of Peter Parker and his beginnings from a different point of view, and there was a TON of potential for this story. That being said, the story jumps around a little too much, and I just found MJ to be a bit...annoying. I think there were some themes in this story that, if explored, could have really enhanced the entire book. I know that O'Brien was using the comics as a basis, but there was room for more develop ...more
L. Ransom
I am a superhero fan, married to an even bigger superhero fan. Peter Parker, AKA the Amazing and Spectacular Spider-Man, is my husband's favorite Marvel Comics hero. Because of that, I've gotten to be a pretty big Parker fan myself, and a fan of his girlfriend/wife, Mary Jane Watson. This book has been out a while, and only recently did I run across it again and picked it up to read.
The book is all about Mary Jane, with Peter Parker playing second-fiddle to this pretty redhead who loves balle
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet retelling of the relationship between young Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson from her point of view with some present day hurdles thrown in for good measure.
Sophie Luján-Bear
I'll admit to the fact that I really only checked out and then read this book because of my love of comics and attachment to Spiderman.

And that's why I liked this book. it definitely isn't deserving of five stars, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. I liked it because it was just a fun thing to read. It wasn't overly intellectual, it dealt with some more serious issues, but not really in depth, so it was just a quick, entertaining book.

It's a romance novel focused around Peter Parker's fir
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Female Spider-Man Fans
Honestly, I adored this book and I really want to go out and buy my own copy [I borrowed it from the library =) ]. I am a HUGE fan of Spider-Man and Marvel in general. Spider-Man is the greatest superhero hands down.

A lot of my friends have said that they absolutely hate mary jane and think she's a whore.....I beg to differ. I have always had a certain admiration towards Mary Jane. She comes from a relatively broken family, her starter relationships are kinda shallow, and her final boyfriend/sp
Apr 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
The superhero elements are tangential to the teen's personal problems-her absent father, self-centered mother, financial woes, and struggle with anorexia. The novel begins with Mary Jane and Peter Parker as nine-year-olds working on a science project together. Peter may be nerdy, but Mary Jane warms to him and his loving parents, so different from her own.

The one part I loved about this book was the in-depth detail of Mary Jane and Peter's relationship, which isn't exactly shown in comics and mo
Jan 18, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jackie by: Cara Warkentien
Mary Jane is headed off to yet another new school after her father has deserted her and her mom. But, much to her surprise Mary Jane finds her old fourth grade friend, Peter Parker, at this new school. Six years later, Mary Jane is tall, blonde,thin and gorgeous. Peter is as dorky as ever. When Peter is bitten by a chemically engineered spider, life for Mary Jane and Peter does a 360. As Mary Jane struggles with anorexia, Mom’s new creepy boyfriend, and Peter’s sudden metamorphic life as a jock, ...more
May 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I remember reading this book when it first came out -- back during the height of my obsession with the Sam Raimi film adaptations of Spider-Man (although only the first film had come out at that time.) While the book was a lot simpler in plot than I remember it being (granted, I'm over a decade older now), I still found it a fun adventure. I like that they gave Mary Jane some clear life struggles outside of the fact that her friend Peter is acting weird and she suspects him of being Spider-Man. ...more
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
A quick read, however, the characters were really undeveloped - to the extent that, if I hadn't read the comics or seen the films, I would have known next to nothing about them. The plot didn't really pick up until the last third or so either. I had higher hopes for this one, to be honest - the telling of a superhero narrative, but from Mary Jane's p.o.v, had the potential to be really interesting. As a fan of both Spiderman and YA fiction generally... this failed to hit the mark as either type ...more
I think the important thing to do while reading the Mary Jane books by O'Brien is to take them as their own entity. Do they follow the backstory from the Spiderman comics exactly? Absolutely not. Are they fun chapter books for the female Marvel reader making Mary Jane a believable character and not just Peter Parker's hot love interest? Totally. Just accept it to be so that O'Brien is going to change some things around and give Mary Jane a bit more then a "Go Get em Tiger!" attitude, and there i ...more
My knowledge of Spiderman is limited to what I saw in the Spiderman movies. I'm not even talking about the version with Andrew Garfield, either. (Although it's lame to say the Tobey McGuire movies are SOOOOOOOOOOO old.) It was nice to see Mary Jane's point of view! I actually like the character more. It was sad to see her struggle with an eating disorder for, you know, a few weeks. BUTBUTBUTBUT. I enjoyed the book! It felt like fanfiction, though. ALTHOUGH... I guess that's what you can call thi ...more
Jun 02, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I never really liked Mary Jane as a character in the Spiderman series. Since this was a book for teens with pictures in it I thought it would be cute, sweet and make me appreciate her more and get a sense of who she REALLY is. Seeing the story of Spiderman unfold through her eyes seemed interesting. The book really let me down though. It was pretty depressing and when not dragging me through the dirt with death and eating disorders it was mindlessly bubbling with confused teenage love. Blech, no ...more
Aleck Tirado
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy this novel and it is a quick read. The story is about Mary Jane and her life and before she knows that Peter is Spider-Man. This story takes place in the Ultimate world so O'Brien had more liberty with the story. I have to admit that I came into this book just because of Spider-Man but enjoyed the parts with just Mary Jane more then with Peter. The only thing is that is the story there is a OZ sports drink thing that really didn't seem liked it matter and was just thrown in there ...more
Sydney L
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book pretty good, considering I've never read or watched anything about Spiderman before. Except for the cartoon, "Spiderman and his Amazing Friends," which I don't think really counts? It was interesting to see how it unfolded, and the illustrations in the book were very realistic too.
Elizabeth Puckett
I wanted to like this I really did. But man Marvel let me down. It tried to hard to appeal to teen girls and give Mary Jane something to triumph over they chose being too pretty and having a Comos. case of anorexia. That she magically gets over to help Peter
Dec 28, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stan Lee so that he could see what he's allowed.
Recommended to David by: Idiocy
This is what happens when you let someone who isn't a fan of comics write a book based off a secondary female character just so that little girls out there will have a fictional role model. Lame. Nobody gives a crap about popular high school girls or what they're going through, especially when the author changes Peter Parker's character to a popular jock. She tried to ruin Spider-Man.
Jonathan Staples
Apr 21, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As a lover of comics (particularly Spiderman) and of young adult novels this book should offend me on all levels. It's not particularly well written, and reads like a list of after-school special tropes with a pasted-on Spiderman theme, but you know what? For all its flaws (I can't, in good conscience give it a rating of more than one star. It has MANY flaws.) I genuinely enjoyed this book
Callie Stuck
Dec 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved every bit of this book! It was very well written and could be read quickly and gives you a closer look at one of Marvel's most popular female character.

Apr 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Danielle
Recommended to Julie by: Jesse
Shelves: young-adult, 2008
Jesse bought me this for Christmas. I wasn't sure what to expect from it but I ended up really liking it. O'Brien's MJ is believable, although... I am pretty sure this is the first time MJ's dealt with some of these particular issues. Still, it was a solid first novel for the series, and I'd like to read the others.
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is called Mary Jane. It is written by Judith O'Brien. It is a story about the life of Mary Jane from the movie Spider-Man, it's isn't focused on superman though, it is focused on the life of Mary Jane Peter Parker's friend. She moved away when she was really little, but then she comes back and everything has changed, people are older and everything. Over all it is a really good book.
Aug 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not usually a fiction kind of person, but I liked Mary Jane 1 and 2. It's the story from MJ's point of view. She never finds out that Peter Parker is Spiderman, and you see things from her side. She has real life problems (father leaving the family, battling an eating disorder, her mother loosing her job, etc). Both books were very well written, I thought. :)
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
This retelling of the Spider-Man story from Mary Jane's perspective was fresh and unique. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and the voice. Though it's not great literature, it's fun and a great intro to graphic novels through text-based literature.
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Writing romance novels has got to be the way to make a living in the world. What other career allows you to send the kids off to school, walk the dog, and vanish into the most fascinating of historical times and places, with the most glorious of men, to escape danger and find everlasting love for the rest of the day?

Like most writers, I knew early on that I wanted to be a writer. Well, almost. Act
More about Judith O'Brien...

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