Janes in Love

by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg

         It’s hard enough being a teenager trying to figure out who you are and how you fit in this world. The last thing you want you need is something coming along to complicate things. Usually that’s when love enters the picture. Never has there been something so complicated and great as being a teenager in love. Cecil Castellucci captures that mixed bag of emotions in Janes in Love (Minx).

Janes in Love, by Cecil Castellucci (Minx)

          In this sequel to The Plain Janes , the four Janes return and are dealing with the aftermath of an art attack that caused trouble for someone close to them.  Tensions over the art attacks are running high in the girls’ small town of Kent Water with their number one enemy Officer Sanchez leading the march. If all this wasn’t enough, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and the girls have bitten by the love bug. P.l.a.i.n’s fearless leader isn’t letting anything stand in her group’s way of creating their community artwork as she applies for a grant from the National Foundation for the Arts.

           While The Plain Janes (Minx 2007), focused on the blossoming friendship between the girls, Janes in Love takes a look at the girls dealing with that crazy little thing called love. The subject of teens dealing with day-to-day life while falling in love has been done many times, however Cecil Castellucci makes it something I still want to read about. Castellucci doesn’t ignore the fact that teens go through a lot during those difficult high school years. Even with those added elements Castellucci still manages highlight that wonderful anxiety ridden feeling of being young and in love. Complementing Castellucci’s story, Rugg’s artwork has a crisp, clean feel to it that gives it an indie comic book look.