January 23, 2007

No Plain Jane: Good Girls to the Rescue

Jane Jarvis is kind of ... prickly. She's small and short, whip-smart and cranky about the slow-boat life she leads at St. Teresa's Preparatory School for Girls in Providence, RI. Because she's got that Senior-itis bug (and she's recovering from a broken heart), Jane's gotten a reputation with her teachers for being kind of ...oppositional (That "crypto-fascist"comment to one of the Fathers who teaches religion? Um... maybe a mistake?). But she's got a soft spot for her best friend, Allison Concord, who is a crazy, funny person who sometimes freaks out a bit and comes on too strong. Jane would do anything to protect Ally, and she does, even flagrantly breaking a silly school rule to get people to stop staring at Ally the day she throws up all over a freshman girl. Jane is always in Ally's corner, until one day it seems that Ally doesn't need her. She's got everything -- good posture, good hair, good clothes and a new friend in her "Little;" the freshman who has chosen her to be her Big -- her Senior buddy. Why does she need prickly, cranky Jane - who didn't even score her own Little -- anymore?

Well... it's because she's sold her soul. To this girl at school... who is... um... an agent of evil. Her Little, Lanalee? Is kind of ... er, the devil.
Ally needs Jane's help like never before.

With stalking freshman boys from St. Sebastian's, freak hailstorms, creaky, cranky nuns, completely clueless priests and self-igniting history books Devilish is way creepier that I expected, but hilarious as well in that familiar, well-crafted, snarky Maureen Johnson style. A quick read - but you'll want to leave the lights on!

2 comments:

a. fortis said...

Good God - I'm pretty sure I used to work with a Jane Jarvis at IGN.

Sounds fun--and very different from 13 Little Blue Envelopes.

tanita s. davis said...

Yeah, I think that of all of the Maureen Johnson novels, 13 Envelopes is my least favorite -- though popular and made-for-cinema (I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't optioned already), this one is sharper and funnier.