Nice Try, Jane Sinner

Nice Try, Jane Sinner
Age Range
Release Date
January 09, 2018
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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 housing problem by signing up for House of Orange, a student-run reality show that is basically Big Brother, but for Elbow River Students. Living away from home, the chance to win a car (used, but whatever), and a campus full of people who don't know what she did in high school… what more could she want? Okay, maybe a family that understands why she’d rather turn to Freud than Jesus to make sense of her life, but she'll settle for fifteen minutes in the proverbial spotlight. As House of Orange grows from a low-budget web series to a local TV show with fans and shoddy T-shirts, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive nature thrive. She'll use her growing fan base, and whatever Intro to Psychology can teach her, to prove to the world—or at least viewers of substandard TV—that she has what it takes to win.

Editor review

1 review
Ridiculously Funny YA Version of Big Brother!
Overall rating
Writing Style
HILARIOUS. Nice Try, Jane Sinner is hands down one of the funniest YA books I've ever read. Just imagine a YA version of the Big Brother reality TV show, but on a smaller scale and more of a chaotic mess. It is told through Jane Sinner's journal entries (which didn't feel like reading a journal at all) as she navigates the dingy halls and cameras of the House of Orange!

What I Liked:

I'm not usually a fan of books told in diary format (they are usually more miss than hit for me) but author Lianne Oelke did an explendid job with Jane Sinner's written thoughts! It truly felt as if we were there with Jane Sinner, going through all the horrific (but laugh-out-loud) events that take place inside the HOO.

This House of Orange reality TV show project run by community college students is the craziest thing to exist and most of the time I didn't know whether to feel amused, disgusted, stressed, or plain old shocked by the audacity of every contestant. Jane Sinner, a High School senior recently expelled, signs up to live with five other community college students for a chance to win a USED car, and they have to withstand survival-type games, free-for-all Friday fridge days, passive-agressive dish washing notes, and so on.

The purpose of the House of Orange show is certainly ridiculous, but all of the characters are in it for a reason, making the very idea of having to spend weeks with strangers well worth the effort. They even have voting ceremonies and kick out the least popular contestant until the last one is left standing! So. Many. Fun. Times.

Wow, I feel like gushing and even now I'm chuckling as I go through pages of this precious book. It is good for the heart as it lifts it with its unusual yet lovable characters and humorous happenings, but it's also a heartfelt story of a girl trying to move on from an almost catastrophic decision and wanting to, somehow, rebuild her life back up again. Even of it's at the House of Orange.

Final Verdict:

You haven't laughed for real if you have yet to meet Jane Sinner (existential angst at its purest form) and experienced the House of Orange. Read it, choke on laughter, and then join the rest of us Sinners and Hamburglars by yelling Nugz! Nugz! Nugz!
Good Points
Humor. Heartfelt characters. Journal form.

Trigger Warning: Suicide.
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