The Plain Janes
written by Cecil Castellucci
First things first: I went into this without a clue that it was a graphic novel. So that was a bit of a shock when I opened it up before class and saw pictures and not as many words as I expected. The dialogue and situations (minus the Jane/Jane/Jayne/Polly Jane name coincidence) were extremely realistic and very refreshing to read. I found myself at times absolutely cheering the various Janes on and just loving the crazy situations they managed to get themselves into. The whole idea behind P.L.A.I.N. is pure genius, and I love that Castellucci was creative enough to come up with such an intriguing plot. After the initial shock, I realized that this would simply not have worked as a regular novel, and was thankful that it was presented in a graphic format. This book provides a great discussion on censorship and how pointless it can be oftentimes. The characters were very complex and well-developed for such a short book. I have two minor complaints, and that is that the plot itself was not very complex, and the love subplot was the most pathetic loveplot ever. Other than those slight issues, I thoroughly enjoyed this amazing book, and would be glad to read more YA graphic novels that don't necessary appeal to the adventure/fantasy crowd, and are just regular YA novels.