Whatever Happened to Janie?

Whatever Happened to Janie?

This week Danielle brings more of the Caroline B. Cooney Janie series with the 1993 novel Whatever Happened to Janie? Jenny/Janie has contacted the Spring family, which she was taken from, and they demand that Janie sever ties with her current family and friends for at least three months and come live with them in New Jersey. It has to be one of the single worst decisions we’ve ever encountered in any media for this podcast. Janie, naturally, has a hard time adjusting to life with the new family, new school, and no friends. It doesn’t help that her new siblings alternate between pitying and resenting her, and sometimes blaming her for not thwarting her kidnapping as—and this can’t be stressed this enough—a three-year-old child. It’s criminal that no one in this family is receiving the therapy they all so desperately need. Janie eventually wears her new parents down enough that they let her call her previous parents, which at least seems to help a little. Also helping is that her hunky former neighbor Reeve is still all aboard the Janie train and drives down to take her out on a date. The plot to this book is about as thin as the previous book, but Sam still gets plenty upset at all the characters behaving abominably in a situation that requires way more empathy and kindness than is on offer. It also doesn’t help that the end of this book is so inconsequential that it feels like half the pages are missing. So enjoy as Sam continues to be mad at very slowly learning Janie’s story.


Theme: Earning Happiness by John Bartmann.

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