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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Jane Sinner snarked her way into my heart, and she's never leaving. Prepare to fall hard for this hilarious, heartfelt gem of a book."-Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

It's Kind of a Funny Story meets Daria in the darkly hilarious tale of a teen's attempt to remake her public image and restore inner peace through reality TV. 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."
Lianne Oelke holds a degree in philosophy and works in the film industry. She resides in Vancouver, and Nice Try, Jane Sinner is her first book. Visit her online at and on Twitter @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 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 "