By Ashley Huang
Graphic novel lovers, unite! The Plain Janes is a quick read which took me about an hour to finish. Short, sweet, and simple. Jane is forced to move from the city to the suburbs, which turns her universe upside down. Everything she’s ever known – gone. What group will she fit in? The popular girls? The jocks? The nerds? Turns out, Jane finds herself surrounded by the “rejects.” Three other Janes, each with their own unique personality that makes them stick out. Main Jane befriends and convinces the Janes to team up and, and together they begin to express their feelings through art. The Jane tribe begins to “attack” the neighborhood with sculptures, garden plant creations and positive notes. Throughout the journey, the tribe meets a shy guy, a popular girl with a soft side, and the only gay student at school. While the characters were diverse, accepting, and celebrated differences, I found the plot to be generic, and it barely any character development. Every piece of the plot happened before I realized it, which meant to me that nothing actually contributed to the big idea of the book – there was no building up of tension. But, in a quick read like The Plain Janes, the visuals of the graphic novel were most appealing, and I really love the incredibly diverse characters in the story. If you’re in middle-school and you want to find something “finishable” in a day because longer novels take too much commitment, The Plain Janes would be a great read!