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Review of "Planet Janet"

By Dyan Sheldon
Candlewick Press, 2003
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Mar 15th 2003
Planet Janet

Planet Janet is the fictional diary of Janet Bandry, a teen girl in Britain.  Very much in the tradition of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, it tells of a slightly later phase of adolescence.  Janet’s friends have got to the stage of actually having sex, although Janet’s unsettled romantic life is still in its early stages.  For one thing, there’s too much going on in her family, since her parents are having lots of problems.  It’s hard to know exactly what is going on between them, because Janet’s descriptions of her family are rather slanted.  Her psychotherapist father is “Sigmund,” and her mother is the “Mad Cow” or just “MC.”  Her elder brother has a girl stalking him, and her grandmother comes to live with the family, much to Sigmund’s displeasure.  Janet chronicles the madness and misunderstandings of her house with great energy, and the diary is extremely entertaining.  The “Britishisms” have not been translated into American English, which is a good thing, since the greatest charm of the book comes from the inventive use of language.  There is a glossary at the end of the book to help bemused readers who are unfamiliar with terms such as “blokes,” “chuffed,” “ginormous,” “gobsmacked,” “loo,” “knickers,” “lorryload,” and, of course, “snogging.” 


© 2003 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.