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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.
I had heard really good things about Nice Try, Jane Sinner so I was super excited to pick it up. I used to watch a lot of reality TV… not so much these days apart from a few guilty pleasures. I thought this book was an incredibly original debut novel and I’m excited to see what Lianne Oelke writes next. If this book is anything to go by, her writing career will be very promising.
Nice Try, Jane Sinner centres around Jane who is expelled from high school. It takes the reader a while to find out the reason why, but it comes. Jane decides to start community college attracted by being a participant of a reality show run by Alexander at the community college. The reality show is called House Of Orange. It involves living in a house with other people and cameras everywhere. A Big Brother type show for college aged students. Jane has to interact with new people, try new things and step outside of her comfort zone. There’s competitions and Jane is determined to take them seriously. She really wants to win.
Jane isn’t an easy character to like, but I did really grow to like her and root for her. She had such dry humour which I loved to read. It’s a very funny book and its humour is definitely its strong point.
I really enjoyed the style of this book. Most of it is told via a journal. I absolutely adored this touch. I thought the narrative was incredibly well-executed. Lianne Oelke is a truly talented writer. I was amazed at how well the characters were developed and how the scenes unfolded. It felt like it was happening before my eyes, rather than reading a journal entries.
Would I recommend it?: