The History of Jane Doe

 
0.0
 
3.0 (1)
1173 0
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
The History of Jane Doe by Michael Belanger
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
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
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* From New York...
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns...
Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Warriors of Wing and Flame, the spellbinding sequel...
Corona Daze: Eva's time at home during Covid-19
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"Angel's artwork is an inspirational blend of photographic images and...
Fae's Prisoner (Crimes of the Fae)
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Griffin O’Shea is a traitor. It’s what those outside...
The Mirror: Broken Wish (The Mirror, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions and...
Swamp Thing: Twin Branches
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater (the...
Launch (Rise of the Anointed #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the biblical stories, Samson had great strength. The prophet...
How to Catch a Yeti
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling team...
Along Came a Fox
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The perfect story to encourage children to treat others as...
Rosa's Big Pizza Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Follow Rosa and her friends as they prepare pizzas! Each...
The Other Side of Midnight
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The sense of foreboding came out of nowhere. It was...
Light of Orion-Guardians of Orion Book 2
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Evil is gathering strength. When she learns the truth, it...
Mark of Orion-Guardians of Orion Book 1
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
If you like sinister demons, warrior angels, supernatural powers, ancient...
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Returning to the dark and glamorous 19th century world of...
Trouble Girls
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A queer YA reimagining of Thelma & Louise with the...

Latest Member Reviews

Swamp Thing: Twin Branches
 
4.3
"SWAMP THING: TWIN BRANCHES is a graphic novel about finding yourself, remembering history, and forging your own path forward. Alec..."
The Mirror: Broken Wish (The Mirror, #1)
 
5.0
"BROKEN WISH is a beautifully composed fairytale. The book begins with the story of Mathilda and Agnes, neighbors who have..."
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
"THE GILDED WOLVES is a fantastic YA fantasy. Although given a year in the 1800s and a historical setting, the..."
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)
 
4.3
"That ending!!! THE SILVERED SERPENTS is an engaging YA historical fantasy that picks up after the first book ended, and..."
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
"Ashley Poston has crafted a new fairy tale for the ages! Among the Beasts and Briars may very well be..."
Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #2)
 
4.0
"WARRIORS OF WING AND FLAME is an intriguing conclusion to a YA fantasy duology about sisterhood. This book picks up..."
Sisters of Shadow and Light (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #1)
 
3.7
"SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT is an intriguing YA fantasy that focuses on the love between sisters. Zuhra has lived..."
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
 
5.0
"FORESHADOW is a fantastic collection of short stories with a focus on discussion and writing. Each story is undeniably well-composed..."
A Cloud of Outrageous Blue
 
4.3
"A CLOUD OF OUTRAGEOUS BLUE is a historical fiction read that takes the reader to 1348-1349. Edyth grew up with..."
Slingshot
 
4.7
"SLINGSHOT by Mercedes Helnwein is a firecracker of a debut. This YA contemporary is set inside a shoddy boarding school..."
Raybearer (Raybearer, #1)
 
5.0
"RAYBEARER is a lush and imaginative YA fantasy that had me captivated from the start. The book follows Tarisai, who..."
A Golden Fury
 
4.0
"When I started A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe, I’m not sure what I was expecting. A historical fantasy? A..."