Nice Try, Jane Sinner

Nice Try, Jane Sinner

The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity. After a personal crisis and her subsequent expulsion from high school, she’s going nowhere fast. Jane’s well-meaning parents push her to attend a high school completion program at the nearby Elbow River Community College, and she agrees, on one condition: she gets to move out.   Jane tackles her housin...

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Title:Nice Try, Jane Sinner
Author:Lianne Oelke
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Nice Try, Jane Sinner Reviews

  • Trin

    Read in one sitting (with a short food break, because there is a lot of food in this book and it made me hungry. I had scallion pancakes, thanks for asking). Fantastic, hilarious, authentic voice. The choice to do the dialogue in script format is a brilliant example of form = content in a book about reality TV. And if reality TV really contained as many complicated, engaging characters as this book -- well, I would watch more of it. (I really only do cooking shows. I like food, you guys.)

  • julianna ➹

    + hilarious main character. so much dry humor and I LOVE IT

    + interesting talks about psychology

    + written in a journal format and v unique!

    + delves into sensitive topics and discovering yourself

    + in a college setting! i love college even though i've never been!

    full review to come.

  • Emma Giordano

    Shout out to HMHTeen for letting me read this one so early!

    I REEEAAAALLLLYYYY loved this book!! I feel like we don't get much YA in a college setting, so it was nice to be able to relate to a YA character with my current circumstances as opposed to referring to my past.

    Trigger warning for talk of depression and suicide. These topics are not huge components of the story nor is it a main focus or what I would consider specifically a "mental health novel" but it deserves being said!

    Also, I would n

    Shout out to HMHTeen for letting me read this one so early!

    I REEEAAAALLLLYYYY loved this book!! I feel like we don't get much YA in a college setting, so it was nice to be able to relate to a YA character with my current circumstances as opposed to referring to my past.

    Trigger warning for talk of depression and suicide. These topics are not huge components of the story nor is it a main focus or what I would consider specifically a "mental health novel" but it deserves being said!

    Also, I would not consider this a "content warning" but this book does contain criticism of the Christian faith and as I know some of my followers are devout Christians, these discussions may upset you. On the other hand, you may be interested to see someone else's viewpoint, so it's your call!

    Firstly,

    Dry humor is seriously lacking in YA and Jane was the breath of fresh air I needed. She has this nihilistic sense of humor you can't help but laugh at. The comedic value of this book is seriously such a strong point of this novel and I would honestly recommend it for this sole factor.

    I have not read a "journal format" novel in a while, so I was a little weary at first as I did not want to miss any of the story. Ultimately, I feel Jane's diary-narrative was well-executed. Characters still felt complete, scenes felt as if they were happening in real time as opposed to being recounted, and it ended up being a fun reading experience.

    As someone who spent a part of their adolescence extremely involved with Christianity and who also left the church as a personal decision, I could really relate to Jane's experience of losing her faith and wanting to distancd herself from her strictly religious family. I've read a handful of books with protagonists who identify as Christians, but I haven't read one (until now) that captures what it is like to leave your church; The constant questioning of previous vs. present values, the unfortunate distance between friends still involved in the church, feeling like "an outsider" to your loved ones, all the conflict I experienced with my faith was reflected in Jane's story and it was really comforting to know I was not alone in this time.

    I think the story line of "House of Orange" was well done! The challenges were exciting, the interactions between housemates kept me enticed, and it was overall a really unique addition to the story of a freshman college student. I will say, I did wish there were more challenges/exciting moments like the challenges because I felt day to day dialogue and normal interactions took up the bulk of the story.

    I also really loved that Jane is a psychology student - As a psych student myself, this is never something I get to relate to in YA books so I was IMMENSELY pleased. Jane takes up a little conditioning experiment through the novel and it was unbelievably funny to watch unfold. Like House of Orange, I do wish this was a bit expanded on. I was craving for more psych-related content and I feel it could have been implemented so well in a setting full of opposing personalities, but this aspect was also somewhat overtaken by less-interesting interactions between housemates.

    Overall, I REALLY loved this book. It does not hit shelves until January of 2018, but it is absolutely worth putting on your TBRs now and building excitement for. If you're looking for a YA novel that deals with more mature topics, feels a bit more polished and structured than other contemporaries out there, I'd really really recommend

    . I can't wait for you all to love it as much as I have!

  • Hollis

    NICE TRY, JANE SINNER might be one of the strangest books I've ever read. And yet it totally worked for me. Oelke's voice, experienced through Jane, is hilarious. I'm pretty sure I highlighted half the book. It's a strange plot -- highschool dropout enrolls in community college to finish her credits, lies about her age to get herself on a Big Brother-esque reality tv show in order to move out of her parents' place, all so she can re

    NICE TRY, JANE SINNER might be one of the strangest books I've ever read. And yet it totally worked for me. Oelke's voice, experienced through Jane, is hilarious. I'm pretty sure I highlighted half the book. It's a strange plot -- highschool dropout enrolls in community college to finish her credits, lies about her age to get herself on a Big Brother-esque reality tv show in order to move out of her parents' place, all so she can reinvent herself after a suicide attempt.

    There are hijinks and shenanigans like you wouldn't believe, all told through Jane's journal entries, alongside some pseudo psychotherapy happening within her own mind. The format is a little strange, too, made worse by a rather terrible ARC copy, but I spent way more time laughing than I did struggling through the unfinished structure.

    While this book is totally ridiculous, it's also nonetheless touching and brutally honest about the struggles we face growing up, dealing with emotions, and learning what really matters in life. Like how to be super cut-throat at laser tag.

    This book might not be for everyone but it was totally for me. I love that it had a sarcastic lead, I loved how the bizarre situations just worked so well, and I adored that this was written by a Canadian author and set in a real-life Canadian city. Represent! I will totally read this author again and look forward to whatever she writes next.

    4 "a cat is probably the closest thing to a child I'll ever have" stars

    ** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

  • Tatiana

    Super fun!

    I am not sure that a reality tv show made by and with college students (and one underage high school dropout) and streamed on local tv is entirely believable, but this is a YA import from Canada, so maybe anything goes there? The impression I’ve got so far from Canadian YA (mainly Susan Juby’s work) is that people there are much more laid back about teen drinking and dating grown men. Correct me if I am wrong.

    Either way, fresh plot and characters. Fun!

  • Lola  Reviewer

    Reality show on paper?

    Been there, read that.

    was awful and I dare say unreadable, so why even bother with this one?

    Well, if I learned something these past few years of reading actively, it’s that you can’t let one book ruin a genre, topic, character type or even writing style for you.

    This has one of the most original contemporary premises I’ve heard of lately: Jane Sinner gets expelled from high school for unknown reasons and decides to become a participant of a reality show

    Reality show on paper?

    Been there, read that.

    was awful and I dare say unreadable, so why even bother with this one?

    Well, if I learned something these past few years of reading actively, it’s that you can’t let one book ruin a genre, topic, character type or even writing style for you.

    This has one of the most original contemporary premises I’ve heard of lately: Jane Sinner gets expelled from high school for unknown reasons and decides to become a participant of a reality show run by a student at her new community college.

    Jane Sinner is a college student. I’ve given up on finding YA novels with main characters at college. I don’t mind high school settings, even if I’m at university now, but I sure appreciate being able to read about a heroine who understands what I’m going through.

    But of course, the reality show is the main aspect of this book, since JS has to live inside a house with other people and cameras everywhere. If anything, House of Orange makes this contemporary book even more realistic.

    It pushes Jane to crawl out of her shell and try new experiences. The competitions are taken seriously by both Jane and the reader themselves. Although some are silly, Jane’s desire to win makes them look important. She doesn’t always admit it, but she cares.

    Characters with dry humor, often making sarcastic comments, are a hit or miss for me. They have to not overdo it and make remarks that are amusing and/or clever to pull me in. Jane Sinner manages that perfectly.

    As with all existing reality shows, do expect drama… the obsessively fun kind.

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  • alice (arctic books)

    You can find this review and others at

    3.5 stars. Trigger warnings for mentions of suicide (attempt)

    NICE TRY, JANE SINNER is not a book I’ve heard much about, but I was nonetheless very intrigued by the synopsis as it covered some topics that I rarely, if ever, see in young adult literature. This novel follows Jane Sinner as she starts community college and decides to be a contestant on House of Orange, a reality television show to compete with other teenagers.

    My absolute favorite as

    You can find this review and others at

    3.5 stars. Trigger warnings for mentions of suicide (attempt)

    NICE TRY, JANE SINNER is not a book I’ve heard much about, but I was nonetheless very intrigued by the synopsis as it covered some topics that I rarely, if ever, see in young adult literature. This novel follows Jane Sinner as she starts community college and decides to be a contestant on House of Orange, a reality television show to compete with other teenagers.

    My absolute favorite aspect of this novel was the writing – it reads like The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, which was undoubtedly one of my favorite series when I first delved into YA. If you like sarcastic and humorous (think April Ludgate funny) main characters, I think you’ll definitely connect with Jane Sinner. I found that Jane’s character definitely grew a lot from the beginning of the novel, and she has a personality that really makes you root for her.

    I found this novel to reflect such a supportive and caring family that Jane had – Jane recently was expelled out of college, but she still has a relatively good relationship with her family. Jane’s experiences are something that we don’t really see much of in YA, but I like this fresh, new perspective on aspects that can be very life-changing for people. It was funny and original, yet also dealt with topics like suicide and therapy. My only reservation is that I felt like the middle of the novel dragged a bit, but the beginning and the ending wraps up the novel quite nicely.

    Overall, NICE TRY, JANE SINNER is a wonderful debut by Lianne Oelke, and I’m very excited to continue looking into her future works. If you like reality television, relatable characters, and a funny, unforgettable read, be sure to check this one out!

    Thank you to HMH for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    I wanted to like this more than I actually did. It felt felt really average to me - nothing too standout

    I wanted to like this more than I actually did. It felt felt really average to me - nothing too standout positively or negatively. We follow Jane Sinner as she starts a high school completion program at the local community college, at her parent’s urging. Her one condition is that she gets to move out. Jane signs up to be a part of a student run reality show to save some cash, and hopefully win some prizes.

    I really liked the

    . It made it super easy to read and the pacing was really quick! There was a few times when it was hard to tell the difference between dialogue and text messages, but it wasn’t that much of a problem.

    I really loved how

    was represented in the story. Jane really starts to question her beliefs and that changes her entire outlook on life. She starts to feel alone, unsure, and most of all indifferent. She just desperately wants to feel something - pain, anger, resentment, something. I like that we get to see Jane’s own process of recovery and figuring out what was best for her, despite what her parents or school may have wanted, she was prioritizing herself.

    This was such a tiny part of the story, but I really loved it!

    was so lovely and perfectly captured the emotional tone of the story at that point!

    Jane’s humor was very nihilistic and deprecating. It was dry and blunt and funny. Unfortunately, I didn’t really connect with

    beyond enjoying her humor. I just didn’t find her to be all that likeable or engaging. And as a character driven reader, it made the reading experience for the book a little underwhelming.

    For about the first half of the story I was just pretty

    . It took me a while to connect with the other contestants and to care about the competition. I also found the story to

    . Like I said above, the journal style format made it really easy to read, but it felt like there were large chunks of text where nothing happened- no development, no action, no growth. I wouldn’t have minded the lulls, if they served a purpose, but it honestly just dragged a bit for me.

    Nice Try, Jane Sinner was a good book, but it probably won’t leave an impression on me. It took me a long time to get into the story, and to connect to the characters. But, I did love the journal format and seeing Jane’s personal journey and growth. Nice Try, Jane Sinner is a fun story that cleverly explores depression, recovery, and healing.

    for depression and suicide

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)

    this is the funniest book about depression I have ever read

    // I know I’m saying this repeatedly at this point but I am STICKING to my damn tbr, we’re a whole eight days in and I’ve only read books from my list and audiobooks I’m so awesome wow?

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