In Dyan Sheldon’s Planet Janet, we meet 16 year-old Janet, a melodramatic, misunderstood, and self-absorbed teen. Attempting to transcend life’s “mundane crap” Janet, accompanied by best friend, enters her “Dark Phase,” which is marked by dark clothing, thinking about “DEEP AND MEANINGFUL THINGS”, and calculated pursuit of Elvin, an aspiring filmmaker. Meanwhile, life at home in London grows increasingly rocky. At first we only get glimpses of Janet’s family, all seen through her sarcastic teen eyes, so we don’t really know what’s going on in the house. But when her parents’ normal fights erupt into full crisis and her brother’s volitle personal life gets out of control, Janet is forced to step outside her self-absorbed “planet” and confront her family’s painful truths.
Writing in diary form, Janet tells her own story in sarcastically funny, self-centered observations and language sparked with Briticisms, which are defined in a glossary. At times overly melodramtic and self-centered, I found Janet a bit wearying, but the fast-paced, clever writing, similar to Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series, will keep teens engaged and smirking until the end.
- Posted by Cori