When I read the The Plain Janes, I totally fell in love! The story was so interesting and different, and the characters were people I knew. I liked it so much, that I sought out Jim Rugg, the Plain Janes artist (he lives in Pittsburgh too!), about a Schell Games project. We've been working together quite a bit, and he was kind enough to give me an advance copy of the sequel, Janes in Love. And I think that it is even better than the first one! The character development goes further, and Castellucci's writing seems even more beautiful. One piece of narration really stayed with me:
For some, trying on dresses is like being a fairy princess. For others, it's plain torture. What are we hoping the dress will do? It's just a piece of fabric. We wear clothes all the time. But finding the right dress is like finding a secret part of ourselves that's shiny.
Here's hoping that Jim Rugg and Cecil Castellucci collaborate on many more Plain Jane books! Janes in Love is scheduled to be out in September. Art saves!