Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne OelkeNice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

Nice Try, Jane Sinner

byLianne Oelke

Hardcover | January 9, 2018

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"Prepare to fall hard for this hilarious, heartfelt gem of a book."-Becky&nbspAlbertalli, author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

A crisis got Jane Sinner kicked out of high school, and she's going nowhere fast. When her well-meaning but clueless parents push her to attend community college, she agrees- if she gets to move out.

Jane signs up to be on House of Orange, a Big Brother -like student-run reality show that provides cheap housing, the chance to win a car (used, but whatever), and the perfect opportunity to reinvent herself. Jane's going to prove to the world-or at least viewers of substandard TV-that she has what it takes to win. &nbsp
Lianne Oelke has a degree in philosophy and works in the film industry-which may explain a lot about her debut novel, Nice Try, Jane Sinner . Or not. She lives, camps, and thinks about cats in Vancouver and tweets at @lianneoelke.    
Title:Nice Try, Jane SinnerFormat:HardcoverDimensions:432 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.32 inPublished:January 9, 2018Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0544867858

ISBN - 13:9780544867857


Rated 3 out of 5 by from A For the Lover of Books Review I’m kind of struggling to write this review. On the one hand I’m sort of disappointed, and on the other hand I didn’t have enough stake in loving Nice Try, Jane Sinner to really care. I went in to Nice Try, Jane Sinner after months of going back and forth on whether or not to buy it expecting a book about transitioning into college/ university with a slight mental health aspect, and it fell flat for me. I read this as someone who had just finished their first year of university, so I was looking forward to seeing a character who was going through the same stuff I went through. Except there wasn’t enough of it. There is so much I went through during this past school year. From missing home, to suddenly balancing 5 super heavy classes and trying to keep my mental illnesses at bay enough to minimally function, to learning that while I may know how to do laundry, make food, and recycle, I actually have no idea what I’m doing in so many areas, to dealing with a ton of loneliness, to really realizing that I am not as smart as high school told me I was, and so much more. And Jane did go through some of that to an extent, but just not enough for me to find it relatable. On the slight mental health aspect I was expecting, don’t go into this expecting anything. Jane isn’t exactly great at sharing her feelings. I’m pretty sure it makes up one of the journal entries, and then that’s it. This book is told mostly through journal entries written by Jane, so that means she gets to play unreliable narrator and share (and not share) what she wants. I think there might have even been a part where a conversation references an event I’m not sure was even mentioned (but this may have just been my fault for not paying enough attention). On the topic of this book being told through journal entries, there are no chapters. This both made the book faster to read, and frustrated me because I like to stop reading at the end of chapters. If not having chapters is going to bother you, you have been warned. I know I said this isn’t a mental health novel, but I was still looking for that cynical, dry humour that mental health books normally feature, and I was disappointed. Like I laughed at a handful of things, but Nice Try, Jane Sinner wasn’t nearly as funny as I expected in to be. I did like that this book was set in Alberta. I’ve never been there and so many YA books set in Canada are set in my province (Ontario), so it was nice to see another province represented. Overall, Nice Try, Jane Sinner fell flat for me, but it isn’t a bad book. It has therefore earned 3 stars out of 5.
Date published: 2018-07-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun times Just a fun, fast-paced, witty book that I definitely recommend for anyone looking for a quick, hilarious read.
Date published: 2018-05-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Expected More ** spoiler alert ** This must be a classic, “It’s not you, it’s me” read because I can tell you, I’m the unpopular opinion on this one. I think I may have had overly high expectations due to the hype and man, am I disappointed because I truly thought I was going to love this story. When I saw this novel being marketed as the young adult novelization of Big Brother, I was sold. Growing up, I used to spend my summers captivated by Big Brother and was fascinated about the idea of sticking a group of strangers in a house. After reading this novel, I wouldn’t really compare it to Big Brother as the characters are allowed to continue to live their lives (albeit their lives are still impacted) and it does not seem nearly as extreme. This novel was told in a variety of formats alternating between the common form of text in a novel, letters, and conversations. The variety kept the novel flowing and while it was quick to physically read, I felt the pace of the story quite slow. I know that sounds contradictory and it sort of is: a quick physical read but slow to progress in the story. Let me know if you had a similar experience. It was a funny and unique novel, mixed with moments of personal discovery and existentialism. I enjoyed the main character of Jane and found myself periodically laughing out loud at her sarcasm and cynicism. It was definitely a creative and different concept but I was hoping for more. I think others will enjoy it but for those like me who are hoping for a novel similar to Big Brother, think of this as being that on a much smaller scale. Much, much smaller.
Date published: 2018-04-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disliked!! I think I’m probably part of the 1% who did not like this book, in fact it put me in a reading slump. The story started off strong, the beginning had me intrigued and curious to the part where I didn’t want to put it down. And then I got half way through and it just flopped. The plot became boring with absolutely no development and the main character who started off funny quickly became annoying. Would I still recommend this book to others? Yes, simply for the fact that so many other people did enjoy it. (Originally posted on my goodreads account.)
Date published: 2018-04-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from an easy, fun read Jane Sinner is definitely funny, exactly the kind of nihilistic humour you'd find on Twitter, and easy to read. Jane, despite being incredibly flawed (or perhaps because she is so flawed), is extremely likeable and it is hard not to root for her. It touches on some serious subjects without feeling overwhelmed, is full of diverse representation, and has the refreshing twist of being set in Canada and having a college age protagonist. However, there were some parts that felt a bit boring and it takes quite a bit of time for the plot to really get moving. The journal set up wasn't totally sold on me, but doesn't change the wonderful things about the book.
Date published: 2018-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Genuinely funny This is such a good book. It's well-written, has a strong female protagonist and genuinely funny.
Date published: 2018-01-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Nice Read Nice Try, Jane Sinner can be best explained by labelling it as refreshing. It is different, more alluring than most books I've been reading these days. For one, we FINALLY have a college student YA protagonist. Normally, protagonists in New Adult novels are college students (or a little older), but the fact that this fits in the YA genre is lovely. Since the first time I learned about this story through an event Lianne Oelke, the author, attended, I was hooked to read this book. Reality shows, drama, and college life are what hooked me in, and let's just say that those were the aspects that sticked with me even after I finished reading this. I actually don't think I've ever read a book about a reality show. Make sure to prepare yourself for a realistic, contemporary experience that is the complete opposite of your typical Laguna Beach/90210 story. Oelke beautifully accompanied her writing with humour that actually made me laugh out loud. (I normally laugh in my head when viewing bookish humour, to be honest.) Now - time for the flaws and cons. Before I get started, please note that I definitely recommend this book. Just because the writing style didn't work for me, does not mean that it will ruin your experience! I found it quite difficult to equally enjoy the different formats in which the book was written. There were text messages, conversations and short-term names that bored me. The story also felt really unnecessarily long, which I am ALWAYS picky about. It took me a long time to start to connect to the characters, which was a major flaw. HOWEVER. I did enjoy this story nevertheless, and found that the best part was our protagonist, Jane Sinner. House of Orange, the reality show she is part of, allows readers to see how cameras and pressure can manipulate a person and help others see how they are. This was great. Nice Try, Jane Sinner is a read you must devour if you are looking to meddle away from your typical YA contemporaries. I hope more books like this will be published... with, of course, faster pacing and a plot that intrigues me earlier. *A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thanks so much!*
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious and Thoughtful Clever, hilarious, deep and moving in unexpected ways Nice Try, Jane Sinner is a novel that'll make you think and reflect. Sinner is sarcasm at its finest. Nice Try, Jane Sinner is a very approachable book that voices the negatives we can't control in our lives and tries to steer them in a positive direction. Every person has hard days, some harder than others and I think Ms. Oelke does an excellent job showing us the emotions that come with those difficult moments. "And being human means believing in something bigger than the life of one person." (p.270). This story really makes you feel. The irony. The formatting of Nice Try, Jane Sinner is really neat. Rather than the usual narrative with paragraphs and dialogues, we see the story unfold from Jane's journal entries. When I first opened up the book I wasn't sure how easy that would be to read but it worked out beautifully. Jane's deepest thoughts, the snippets of conversations she has (or doesn't have) with others were tastefully documented. As a result of virtually reading her diary, we get to know Jane quite well. She was a hoot to read about. I'm certain no one would argue with me when I say the best word to describe Jane Sinner is sarcastic. I really enjoyed her dry humour, saucy quips and witty monologues. But behind all that snark is a girl lost but doing her best to find herself and forge her own path (to adulthood). "Because sometimes I'm afraid that if I don't feel amused, I won't feel anything at all." (p.365). Jane can be extreme at times but most important of all she can be relatable too. I also really enjoyed the side characters. Jane has a nice and mostly supportive network of family and friends. Even with their own fears and grievances her little sister and best friend were nothing short of amazing. Jane's parents were not the most understanding people but they stood by her. While competitive, the cast and crew of House of Orange were still decent caring people. Ms. Oelke makes the most unlikeable characters more complex than their surface appears to be. "Freedom is when you don't take anything personally." (p. 274). Line after line of words resonated with me. Nice Try, Jane Sinner is a book I didn't know I needed. It was beautiful and moving in so many different ways I couldn't possibly name them all. Everyone should get to know Sinner. I know I'm ready for another season of House of Orange!
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible What an amazingly well written book. Thumbs up guys...
Date published: 2017-07-02

Editorial Reviews

Dry, witty, and compulsively readable, this debut, told through Jane's journal entries, is by turns funny and truly emotional." - Booklist, starred review "Resplendent with sardonic wit? this debut novel is at turns wickedly funny and thought-provoking. Character-driven, humorous and deceptively profound." - Kirkus " [Nice Try, Jane Sinner] is witty with a fresh narrative voice. It is rare to find a YA book that discusses faith and religion, but Oelke handles Jane's religious questioning in an authentic way? Readers will enjoy rooting for her on House of Orange and in life." - School Library Journal " Debut novelist Oelke has created a complex and entertaining heroine in Jane, who narrates in sharp-edged, caustically funny journal entries." -Publishers Weekly "Get ready for the raunchiness, drama and cringe-worthy obsession that comes with reality TV in this cheeky Canadian import." -BCCB "