The History of Jane Doe

The History of Jane Doe

 
0.0
 
3.0 (1)
830   0
Write Review
The History of Jane Doe
Publisher
Age Range
14+
Release Date
June 05, 2018
ISBN
978-0735228818
Buy This Book
      
A poignant, deeply funny coming-of-age story about first love, first loss, and the power of history to give life meaning.

History buff Ray knows everything about the peculiar legends and lore of his rural Connecticut hometown. Burgerville's past is riddled with green cow sightings and human groundhogs, but the most interesting thing about the present is the new girl--we'll call her Jane Doe.

Inscrutable, cool, and above all mysterious, Jane seems as determined to hide her past as Ray is to uncover it. As fascination turns to friendship and then to something more, Ray is certain he knows Jane's darkest, most painful secrets and Jane herself--from past to present. But when the unthinkable happens, Ray is forced to acknowledge that perhaps history can only tell us so much.

Mixing humor with heartache, this is an unmissable coming-of-age story from an exciting new voice in YA.

User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
2.0  (1)
Characters 
 
4.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
3.0  (1)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

The History of Jane Doe by Michael Belanger

I want to love “The History of Jane” because I felt the sincerity of the author to say something about loss, grief, guilt, and mental health, but that earnestness does not quite translate into a story that will make me care about it for a long while.

I am not saying that I did not enjoy reading it because I did. In fact, I inhaled the book like there’s no tomorrow. The hook is in the humor of Ray’s voice. Him and his vampire-fiction enthusiast, milk chugger bestfriend, Simon, are really funny. They are the kind of average students whom I would’ve wanted to be friends with in high school. I cannot say the same for Jane, though. I wish there’s more to her. Throughout the book, she is an enigma. She becomes the object of Ray’s unknowable whys as opposed to history, his favorite subject, which is mostly concerned with just the factual who-what-where-when of things.
The book bounces around the before and after of something unthinkable that happened. The transitions are seamless, I have no problems with the switching timelines. I am not sure if this style is meant to keep the reader guessing as to what actually caused Ray to define a before and after in his young life but the something unthinkable that happened is too predictable. I guessed it right too early and too far away from the actual reveal. Plot-wise, there is really nothing going for it but to go through the motions of Ray's feelings. I wouldn't have continued reading if I wasn’t already invested with the characters.

There are emotional moments here and there but they did not reach the tug at my heartstrings level. What made me finally tear up is a note from the author at the back pages where he mentioned that mental illness is something personal to him and his family. That’s why I said earlier that I knew the author meant well in writing this book. So even though “The History of Jane Doe” was not able to totally pull off what it was trying to say, it gets points for trying.

Good Points
- sincerity of the author to say something about loss, grief, guilt, and mental health
- compulsively readable
- likable and funny characters
Was this review helpful to you? 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

A Friend for Bently
Like all pigs, Bently loves to play in the mud,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Great Pumpkin Contest
Mimi and Clara are neighbors. Both cats want to win...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Save Your Friends!
This laugh-out-loud adventure encourages family sharing and is a perfect...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Dibs!
Teaching your little brother his first word —dibs —is funny....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Where Are You From?
This resonant picture book tells the story of one girl...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Out of Place
When twelve-year-old Cove Bernstein becomes the target of a school-wide...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Salvation Day
A lethal virus is awoken on an abandoned spaceship in...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Startup Squad (The Startup Squad, #1)
Girls mean business in a brand-new middle grade series about...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Possibility of Whales
Twelve-year-old Natalia Rose Baleine Gallagher has to move, again. ...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Peppa in Space (Peppa Pig)
Get ready for a Peppa Pig story that's out of...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Stars We Steal
Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo”...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Pete the Cat and the Itsy Bitsy Spirder
Pete the Cat’s cool adaptation of the classic children’s song...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Superlative Birds
Explore the fascinating world of superlative birds―from the bee hummingbird,...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In Another Life
Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Even Monsters Go To School
What’s a school day like for you? ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Can Cat and Bird Be Friends
In a sweet and clever picture book from debut author-illustrator...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Salvation Day
 
4.3
"Zahra wants the world to know the truth about her father. She believes he wasn't to blame for the deaths..."
The Stars We Steal
 
4.7
"Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie "Leo" Kolburg has a title, but not much else. She's heir to an older European spaceship.When the..."
In Another Life
 
4.0
"I really loved this storyline. The Story: Chloe is going through a tough time with her family. After her..."
When Summer Ends
 
5.0
"This book is everything. The Story: Olivia and Aiden have good lives. Olivia has a boyfriend she loves..."
Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #2)
 
5.0
"VOW OF THIEVES is a thrilling end to a wonderful spin-off YA fantasy. Although a spin-off series from the Remnant..."
The Beautiful Lost
 
3.3
"A first-person past-tense telling exclusively from the perspective of Maia, a depressed high school sophomore with some ambitious—if half-formed—plans for..."
Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1)
 
5.0
"Absolutely fantastic! "Dance of Thieves" is a really wonderful YA fantasy that takes place in the world of 'The Remnant..."
10 Blind Dates
 
4.7
"10 BLIND DATES is the must-read romantic comedy of the fall! Sophie is staying with her grandparents and her very..."
Maybe This Time
 
4.7
"Sophie is bound and determined to make it out of her small Alabama town and attend design school in New..."
Brawler
 
4.7
"Eddie McGuire is a talented high school wrestler with a horribly short fuse. This is no doubt a result of..."
Skyjacked!
 
3.3
"Six students from an elite private school are returning home after a camping trip on the private plane belonging to..."
Wicked Fox (Gumiho, #1)
 
4.0
"WICKED FOX is a unique urban fantasy that uses Korean mythology to bring a mythological creature to life. Miyoung is..."
Wilder Girls
 
4.7
"Beware. Wilder Girls will draw you in, softy whispering tendrils creeping through your mind and thorny vines entangling your heart..."
Aurora Rising
 
5.0
"Now I am huge huge fan of both Jay and Amie as individuals and as co-authors. Their Illuminae series completely..."
Crown of Coral and Pearl
 
4.7
"CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL Is a story of sisters, adventure, and change. Nor and Zadie, whose names mean coral..."
The Grace Year
 
5.0
"THE HANDMAID'S TALE meets LORD OF THE FLIES in this dark, atmospheric, and sweeping YA dystopian. Tierney James is 16-years-old,..."
The Last True Poets of the Sea
 
5.0
"THE LAST TRUE POETS OF THE SEA is a beautiful coming-of-age story. After her brother attempts suicide, he is sent..."
No Place Like Here
 
4.7
"When Ashlyn’s father goes to prison and her mother goes to rehab for depression, her world falls apart. Ashlyn’s father..."
Trash
 
4.0
"The plot of the story for most of the book is great but towards the end of the book, it..."
Hatchet (Brian's Saga #1)
 
3.0
"this is a good book, but it doesn't have a good ending to it. it sounds a bit rushed, but..."