cover image Janes in Love

Janes in Love

Jim Rugg, Cecil Castellucci, . . DC/Minx, $9.99 (151pp) ISBN 978-1-4012-1387-9

The second book of the PLAIN Janes series returns to the four Janes of suburban town Kent Waters and their public art “attacks” as People Loving Art in Neighborhoods (PLAIN). This time the story line is sprinkled with bits of romance as the various Janes struggle to approach their love interests for dates to the school dance and the main Jane applies for an art grant. Castellucci writes with ambition, including threads that pull in issues of terrorism, fear, free art and adolescent anxiety. Unfortunately, the resulting tangle of political overtones sometimes clutters what could have been a clearer story of one girl's artistic aspirations and the underlying theme of friendship. Rugg, whose art and unfettered concepts of femininity soared with Street Angel , is more constrained with the two-dimensional characters he's illustrating. As the second book of the series, a character breakdown or introduction would be helpful to new readers. Otherwise, it's a suitable read for those who enjoyed the first Janes book, but not a good entry point for anyone unfamiliar with the series. (Sept.)