What I liked:
– The device of writing to Miroslaw allows Main Jane to meditate on a series of important questions: What is art? What is the purpose of art? What is the price of art? I thought this was very well done.
– Although the story ostensibly focuses on the Janes’ search for love, friendship is portrayed as being just as important as romantic love.
– My favourite two-page spread in either book follows the two pages pictured below: I really felt like I was there, peeking over Main Jane’s shoulder (and sharing her excitement) as she opened her package.
Click on photo to enlarge
What I liked less:
– The plot point left hanging at the end of The Plain Janes is glossed over in this book.
– I felt like I was missing something with respect to Theater Jane’s crush. Where did he come from?
– The secret admirer subplot seemed contrived and didn’t really go anywhere—I didn’t see the point of it.*
– The focus on love and the Janes’ quest for legitimacy made the story and their art less edgy.
If you’ve read and enjoyed The Plain Janes, you must read this book, which provides a satisfying ending to the story. I just wish there were more in this series to read!
To read other reviews of this book, visit these blogs:
bildungsroman (review of both The Plain Janes and Janes in Love) • FOB Comics • Hypothetically Speaking • Kids Lit • The Zen Leaf
Read an interview with author Cecil Castellucci:
Girls Read Comics
I read a library copy of this book.
*And, as it turns out, I may not have understood this subplot at all—my sister Brogan, who also read the book, was left with the impression that the secret admirer was someone other than who I thought it was. (If you’ve read the book, please don’t reveal this person’s identity in the comments, but feel free to email me and let me know who you think it was.)