Planet Janet in Orbit by Dyan Sheldon
|Planet Janet in Orbit by Dyan Sheldon|
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris|
|Summary: Janet Bandry is back with the second instalment of her hilarious diary. Her life's getting more chaotic by the day, and her home is being taken over by a cast of colourful and kooky characters, but a gal like Janet can just take it in her stride.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: April 2007|
|Publisher: Walker Books Ltd|
|External links: Author's website|
When we last met Janet, in the first instalment of her diary Planet Janet , she was just your average teenager with an annoying, embarrassing family and the odd conflict at school, but with a great group of supportive friends to back her up. But oh, don't times change. This diary starts as the summer holidays are just beginning. Through destitution and boredom, Janet is forced to get a JOB, and ends up waitressing in a restaurant whose only high point comes in the form of lovely young Ethan, a fellow member of the waiting staff. But is working life all it's cracked up to be?
This is also the time when her family life starts going haywire. Though her brother and dad have both left home at the start of the book, the house becomes busier than ever when her mum starts moving friends and family in, and Janet is left with barely a moment of peace. Good thing it's coming up to the end of the summer holidays. When school restarts and Janet celebrates her 17th birthday, the obvious thing follows - driving lessons - with some disastrous consequences. At the same time, mate Disha's going loopy for love, and Janet herself is juggling two boys who seem curiously jealous of each other. She has a new role on the school newspaper to contend with too, not to mention the study for her A Levels. Throw in a newly discovered social conscience, an attack at gun point, a rebellious grandmother with a penchant for getting arrested plus a heavily pregnant aunt and her lesbian life partner, and chaos really does start to reign supreme.
She's coming as a belly dancer even though she doesn't actually have a belly. It's a good thing I didn't decide to have a Middle Eastern theme for my party or all the really slim girls would have come as belly dancers and I would've wound up being an aubergine.
Janet is a sensible girl with her head firmly screwed on, but that doesn't make her a goody goody, or boring in any way. She's the kind of girl you'd really want as a close friend because she's warm, funny, witty, entertaining and relatively-trustworthy, aside from the odd white lie, and even they are mainly reserved for the parentals.
I like the diary style of the book, and it really shows you how something that at the time can seem of major importance (boyfriend troubles, fab new gossip, work problems), can be long forgotten a few days later. Try telling that to a teenage girl though.
Though this is a sequel, you could read it on its own or before the other book, though if you plan on reading both it would make sense to start with Planet Janet. If you like the books, you might also like to check out the author's other titles as she's written quite a few. You can find out more at her website and pick up some tips if, like Janet, you're an aspiring writer.
Our thanks to the publishers for sending this book to The Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy Planet Janet in Orbit by Dyan Sheldon at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Planet Janet in Orbit by Dyan Sheldon at Amazon.com.
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