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The Plain Janes

(Janes #1-2 + Janes Attack Back)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  276 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Meet the Plain Janes--teenage artist activists on a mission to wake up their sleepy suburban town in this graphic novel bind up, perfect for fans of This One Summer and Awkward.

After getting caught in the midst of a terrorist attack on Metro City, artsy misfit Jane Beckles is forced to leave her beloved bustling metropolis for the boring suburb of Kent Waters. At first Jan
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Jane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëWhat Ever Happened to Baby Jane? by Henry FarrellJane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny BrittMy Lady Jane by Cynthia HandThe Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  276 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Cristina Monica
3.5 stars. This graphic novel makes the following claim, supported by multiple events, throughout its story: that art saves. That without it, we can easily drown underwater and lose sight of the beauty that surrounds us even in bleak times.

Jane Beckles is the new girl in school. She suffers from PTSD after being at the wrong place at the wrong time and is now doing her best to put the past behind. But it is haunting her. One way she found to cope, somehow, was to create an art collective called
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An artist must be a reactionary.
Evelyn Waugh

& so to tenderness I add my action.
Aracelis Girmay

Art is a form of communication with the world, an expression of ideas, a reaction to the world around you. The PLAIN Janes b Cecil Castelucci and illustrated by Jim Rugg is a fantastic discussion on the importance of art in our lives and of the conversations that occur around it. It is also very dear to me on a number of levels. Just a quick flip through this book told me I needed to read it: street art
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book for free from The NOVL in exchange for an honest review.

Please note that since this is an ARC, it only includes the first 2 installments and a sneak peek at the third installment. Therefore, my review is based only on these parts.

I really liked this graphic novel and the story it told. The book deals with many relevant topics such as terrorism and PTSD. I was happy that the book didn’t shy away with showing the mental effects that terrorism has on people. Jane’s m
Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

This was so unexpectedly good and it warmed my heart in a way that a book hasn't in a long time. THE PLAIN JANES is one of those books that manages to be hip and empowering without feeling like it's being too heavy-handed, which is a rarity in this day and age. Jane Beckles is a cool, artsy girl suffering from PTSD from a bombing. She feels the world is going crazy, spinning out of control to dark forces, and it's made her jaded.

She and
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I was so bored, the characters are incredibly one-dimensional, and the main character is fairly unbearable most of the time. Pass.

Thank you so much to the Amazon Vine reviewer program for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Lizzy // The Bookish Unicorn
Actual Rating 3.5 Stars
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-rewind
Cecil is an auto-buy around these parts so to receive an early copy of the recently updated Plain Janes was such a treat! I was so engrossed I couldn’t put it down on a plane ride.

After tragedy strikes, Jane moves to a new community and turns to art as a way to bring herself back to stability and process her feelings. To do this, she recruits a few other Janes and they start a rebellion.

What I love most is the sensitive way that Cecil manages the emotions that Jane goes through as she is faced w
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Arc provided by HBG Canada. Definitely not for me. This one read as a sad moppy story about misfits who changes the school with art.
I got this through Vine to review. Before that I had not heard of the series. The review copy is black and white and only has the two previously published stories, not the third new one.

That said, I loved this enough I’ll be reading the actual release copy to finish the third story.

Jane was the survivor of a terrorist attack. She saved a young man’s life. She’s been visiting him regularly at the hospital as he’s in a coma as a John Doe. Then her parents decide the best course of action is to l
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Amazing!! This story made me want to go out and yarn-bomb something...even though I neither knit or crochet (tried to learn both, but everything unraveled into a mess and I literally ended up tangled up in yarn).

Anyway... Great story and very inspiring how the Janes motivated an entire town to love art, from the Quiet Kid to the resident Queen Bee. Well...almost everyone. Officer Sanchez... WTF was that Piggy's problem with art and kids being creative? And why did he go out of his way to be so
Steven R. McEvoy
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been waiting years for the third Janes story. It is now coming out in an incredible 3 in 1 volume. A great conclusion to the series. Full review below.
This is a book nearly a decade in the making. Cecil and Jim collaborated on the first two Janes stores in 2007 and 2008. And had a third planned. And it never happened. I interviewed Cecil in 2010 and the working title of a third story at that point was Janes Go Summer. In this finally released three in one edition the title of the third
I had a hard time connecting with these characters. The first part was a lot more compelling than the second and third parts, as the same themes and issues are explored repeatedly for 450 pages. It got a bit repetitive and dull. This was a labor of love, but just not my cup of tea.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: other-reviews
THE PLAIN JANES is a YA graphic novel that celebrates friendship and art. The book is in two parts for the first two graphic novels originally published years ago. THE PLAIN JANES tells of how Jane came to Kent Waters, a small town, found a group she wanted to call her own and began the PLAIN movement (People Loving Art In Neighborhoods). The second, JANES IN LOVE, continues this storyline as well as goes into the romances that the Janes have, centered around the Ides of March dance, where girls ...more
Andria Sedig
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
I received a copy of this from the Novl via Goodreads and am so glad that I did. I don't keep up with graphic novel releases and this book was so cute. I loved the exploration of grief and overcoming trauma. I loved the role that art played in these stories. The art style was really cute as well. Highly recommend these graphic novels!
What an interesting book about art and friendship. I really enjoyed this story. It was unique and cute. I thought it also had a great look on PTSD. The relationship with the mother was also complicated and I appreciated that element as well.

My only complaint is that it felt a little unrealistic. I don't know what it was about the whole thing but it just seemed like something that couldn't really happen. The teens were great and I loved the symbolism of the whole "Art Saves". But it just didn't s
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it
There were things I loved about this book and there things that made me go...”eh”, “hmmm”, and “ugh”.

I’d prefer to focus on what I liked!

* The overall message and theme of these stories are positive! Art is therapeutic and truly can save lives.

* The artwork is very cute. Love the character designs and color schemes used for the stories.

* It’s easy reading. I teach 4th grade and at the moment I have about five students I know are going to adore this book.
Paige Green
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received this book from TheNovl! Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Plain Janes

Author: Cecil Castellucci

Book Series: Janes Book 1-2 and Janes Attack Back

Rating: 5/5

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: January 7, 2020

Genre: Graphic Novel Contemporary

Recommended Age: 15+ (bombing TW, terroristic threats mention TW, hijinks and law breaking behavior in the name of art!)

Pages: 336

Amazon Link

Synopsis: Meet the Plain Janes--teenage artist activists on
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this high school graphic novel about a city girl named Jane, injured in a terrorist attack, whose parents move to the safety of a suburb. Jane doesn't like the blandness of the burbs but quickly finds her crowd in a group of girls all named Jane. City Jane inspires the group to start a spontaneous (yet planned out) community art movement, sparking community fears of unknown people defacing property. Meanwhile, there are the trials and tribulations of high school romance or lack thereof ...more
Mar 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
This book was a meh for me. I give it three stars. I really wanted to love this more, but after a while it just got boring and hard to follow. I liked it for the first story, but soon after I lost interest. Also, color of the pages made it a little bit harder to read it. Overall, I think other people might like this book, but I didn't. Sad.
Rania T
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
When teen girls try to do a "Banksy" and get caught instead. An insight into how art can challenge social norms, shape thought and eventually save lives.
Belle Ellrich
Jan 28, 2020 rated it liked it

I'm always looking for new graphic novels to read. However, it takes a lot for me to *actually* be interested enough in them.

This novel was okay to me.

I liked the idea of a group of entirely different girls coming together to boost up and create something interesting and exciting for their community, but I felt like it was majorly lacking in some aspects.

For that, I rate it 3 stars.
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
It had been awhile, and it forgotten how much I loved book 1.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC from TheNovl for an honest review.

This book is a graphic novel bind-up of volumes 1-3, but the ARC only has volumes 1-2 ("The Plain Janes" and "Janes in Love") with a sneak peek of volume 3, "Janes Attack Back" and is in grayscale while the finished copy will have color. The novel mainly follows Jane Beckles, who moves from a big city to a suburban area after being in the midst of a terrorist attack in the city. She suffers from PTSD and struggles with seeing the good and beaut
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read the first volume of The Plain Janes when it came out a whole bunch of years ago, but never got around to reading the second. Now it has a third volume out and they bundled all three into one big, awesome read.

I really love the art activism and the heart they put into it. Love. It. I only deducted a star because for some reason in the third volume Theater Jane only talks in literary quotes and I was frustrated that they took away her voice.

Otherwise, love.
Bill O'driscoll
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This fine graphic novel about a group of high school girls who form a guerilla-art club in their suburban town actually compiles the first two installments, from 2007 and 2008, respectively, with a new, third book whose completion was delayed over a decade ago when the publishing imprint abruptly folded. It's fun to watch the four "Janes" go on their respective journeys through all four years of high school, even as other key characters -- the "main Jane"'s parents, assorted friends, love intere ...more
Dani (Paperback Wishes)
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this book. It definitely makes me wish for a different time, different world even. I really loved the merging of mental health with art along side a more modern conversation on the state of the world. The comic is both incredibly smart and fun.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
A cute, thought provoking graphic novel about dealing with trauma, finding yourself and finding your tribe of people. Art is a huge focal point for the characters in the book and it was fun to see this group of seemingly different people bond and forge friendships over art and what it means to them.
Mari Johnston
Dec 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a (Book) Girl.

Content Warnings: terrorist attacks (bombing, anthrax poisoning), PTSD, anxiety, paranoia, depression, agoraphobia, hospitals, homophobia, bullying, sexism

The Plain Janes have been around for over ten years but this is the first time the installments are be all together in one binding. This was also my first experience with these characters and the story.

When it comes to the characters, I wasn’t in love with any other than
Dec 08, 2019 rated it liked it
This was such an inspiring read. I’m not a huge graphic novel fan, but this one had such a good message. The exploration of art and its impact on both creator and viewer is done in a beautiful way. There is also discussion of modern-day controversies that impacted Jane and her reasoning and motivations; these were done really well too. The illustrations throughout were amazing and supported the story so well. Because of my inexperience with graphic novels and familiarity with novels, I felt like ...more
Christina  G.
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
I really loved The Plain Janes. I don’t typically read graphic novels so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly the book pulled me in. This is a heartfelt story with fantastic artwork that adds another level to the emotions and plot. The Janes are all very different but work so well together. I really loved that it has such a strong message about hope, standing up for what you believe in and finding your tribe.

I was gifted a free copy
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Goodreads Librari...: The PLAIN Janes omnibus 3 217 Dec 05, 2019 11:45AM  

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Cecil Castellucci is an author of young adult novels and comic books. Titles include Boy Proof, The Year of the Beasts (illustrated by Nate Powell), First Day on Earth, Rose Sees Red, Beige, The Queen of Cool The Plain Janes and Janes in Love (illustrated by Jim Rugg), Tin Star Stone in the Sky, Odd Duck (illustrated by Sara Varon) and Star Wars: Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure.

Her short

Other books in the series

Janes (2 books)
  • The Plain Janes (Janes, #1)
  • Janes in Love (Janes, #2)

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