Nice Try, Jane Sinner

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 09 Jan 2018

Member Reviews

“The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity.”
Hello, I’d like to file a report. Why? I’m in this picture and I don’t like it. I feel attacked.

I loved “Nice Try, Jane Sinner” by Lianne Oekle. I don’t usually go for YA contemporary but the synopsis called out to me and I do not regret picking this one up.
This book was a delight to read. It fit well with my closeted (who am I kidding, it’s not closeted) nihilistic sense of humour and personality. 
Jane is a great protagonist and I found myself going through the rollercoaster of her life right alongside her. Her sarcastic nature is perfect for me. 
The plot and dialogue throughout the entire novel is fabulous and I could not get enough of it. A must read!

A copy of the book was provided by the publisher in return for an honest review.
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My rating: 4 stars
It was lovely. Definitely recommend. 
Guys! Becky Albertalli blurbed this book! That should tell you a fair bit about how good it is.

Nice Try, Jane Sinner is really, really fun. It’s a little weird, a little unpredictable, and a little snarky. All in all, I definitely recommend.
And, it’s set in Calgary! That’s where I live! For those of you who don’t know where that is, it’s in Alberta, Canada. We’re about a 2.5-hour drive north of the border into Montana, USA.

When I was offered the chance to read Jane Sinner, I was quite excited. As Lianne explains (scroll down — you’ll find her response to my question about setting), there are not a lot of YA books set in Canada, and even fewer set in Calgary. If you know of one, please let me know — I’d love to read it. 

It was fun to read a book set in the city I live in. I was able to picture quite a few of the locations mentioned. It’s my adopted city, so I may have missed a few of the references Lianne made (she grew up here), but it was fun to read. Elbow River (named after one of two major rivers in Calgary) isn’t a real school (that I’m aware of), but the name is definitely a common reference in this area. Calgarians love to name things after our rivers.

The only thing I found a little strange was the community college concept being in Calgary. To my understanding, we don’t have them here in the sense that a lot of the world knows them from the US model of apparent crappy community colleges as a alternative –but not really respected choice –to university (example: the tv show Community). But, the concept worked for the story, so I’ll let that pass.

Nice Try, Jane Sinner is an engaging read. Jane is snarky and unhappy but is stubborn, and a little rude, and really smart. She makes the perfect reality show star. The whole cast does, really. The characters all have their own quirks and legitimate reasons for being where they are, doing what they’re doing. They are interesting, and funny, and I definitely found myself rooting for a bunch of them (but Jane was my top choice all along, I swear).
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This novel follows Jane Sinner as she starts community college and decides to be a contestant on House of Orange, a reality television show to compete with other teenagers.

The writing of the author was okay, nothing spectacular. The characters, however, make up for it. Jane Sinner is witty, snarky, and sarcastic, which makes reading her story that much more interesting.

All in all, I was entertained the entire time I was reading this and this was a great debut for the author.
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Hello fellow Booklovers!! and Good day to you. I am back with a brand new book called NiceTry Jane Sinner which came out on Jan 9th, 2018. I received an Arc a while back from HMH Teen for review purposes. I am sorry I am up late with this review these past couples of months have been bad in my personal life. So huge thank you to HMH Teen and Lianne Oelke for this Arc. I will be buying the actual book soon because I love the arc so much. Now onto the summary and my final thoughts.


This book is about Jane Sinner who has recently had a mental health flare up and is now trying to put her life back together. Jane was the good Christian girl next door, trying to follow everyone rules about life and trying to be perfect. Until one day while in Church, she decides she can't take it anymore, so she precedes to try to kill herself, but luckily for her, it doesn't work. She wakes up in the hospital a few days later with everyone still trying to tell her what to do but instead this time tipped toeing around her. So now Jane is trying to find a way to put her life back together by finishing high school at the community college and going on a local reality show. Along the way, Jane finds answers and more questions about this thing we call life. This book is an amazing read for anyone who has mental health issues, I would suggest you find a way to read it. Now onto my final thoughts of this book.


I rated this book a four out of five stars. My favorite thing about this book was the mental health aspect discuss throughout the book. How Jane comes to understand her own mental health better and why she is affected by the real world so. The thing that did bug me about the book was the people around Jane. In one scene you have Jane Parents preaching that she needs more God and more meds in her life, in another scene you have them coming to comfort her after a mental health flare up.In my opinion, this generally doesn't happen in real life. People who feel like God, and meds are the cure for everything, generally, don't comfort you during days of Instability. From what I've experienced first hand with my own mental health, these types of people are generally the ones who want nothing to do with those who have mental health issues because they figure the meds and god will help that person be normal, or what they believe to be normal. Reading this book was such an important thing to me because I want more books like this, that help people to see the thoughts of a person with Mental health.

Now while I believe the People in Jane's life can be unreal, I do believe that Jane very much represents those of us like me who deal with Mental Health on a daily base and doesn't always know how to handle it our self. I love the way Jane question things because that is what people do when dealing with Mental health. I love how she uses humor too because that is something people use when they feel uncomfortable about there own mental health problems. Also in this book, Jane doesn't want to use meds which I think can be commendable, because Meds are a very tricky thing in mental health. Overall I love this book, and how Jane was portrayed. Lianne did an amazing job of describing the mind of a person with mental health. I want more books like this in the world. I also believe if you are dealing with mental health or know of someone dealing with mental health please read this book. As always all of the links for the book, author, and my social media will be down below. Please like, follow and sub, Until next time peoples.
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Jane Sinner is a relatable character to many young women in high school or college. It is a wonderfully entertaining book and worth reading.
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I adored this book. It is my style of book and I inhaled it. What a fun book to read! I loved the high school setting and I loved the characters. Jane is a wonderful character. Albeit moody and can sometimes come across as annoying, she made me laugh so much. A joy to read!
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This book was a great read. Sinner has her share of problems and entering a reality show seems to give her the drive to make changes to her life, and yet she may be overdoing it a bit. Is too much a bad thing, will her priorities remain or will she be completely driven by the show. 
I love the characters in this book, except I don't think Tom's position was well defined. Jane is funny and devious and I love the way her mind works.
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I wasn't able to get into this one.  I tried until 34% and decided it just wasn't for me.  Thank you for the opportunity to read this title.
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Nice Try, Jane Sinner may seem like a gimmick to popularize on reality tv, but in actuality, it's a fun read that also includes a more serious undertone that will keep you intrigued as you read. Like any young adult novel, it can have it’s eye rolling moments, but Jane’s sarcastic humor will keep you entertained and keep you reading.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for offering me the chance to read the ARC of Nice Try, Jane Sinner, by Lianne Oelke. I was sorry when I was unable to open this book on my Kindle app. I will look forward to reading this book from my school library. I look forward to seeing how Jane survives living in a residence which will be part of a reality show. Will Jane get along with other people and learn to be part of community or will she continue leaving a lock on her personal fridge to keep them out?!
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4.5 stars, but rounding down for reasons. I was very tempted to give this a straight 5 just because I loved Jane so much, but the thinness of the secondary characters brought it down. 

This is such a delightfully unusual book. It manages to tackle crises of faith, teenage angst and romance, existential dread, suicidal ideation, siblinghood, and reality TV AND pull it all off. As I mentioned, Jane is the best part of the book: she reads like a real teenage girl chafing against her parents' desires, her own loss of faith and subsequent depression, her relationship with her sister and best friends. Jane spends the book trying to start over, but she doesn't know who she wants to be when she starts over. It's deeply affecting and is really very funny. I laughed out loud a couple of times, especially during the descriptions of the challenges. 

The book's big downfall is that most of the background characters feel like background characters. They spell out their motivations and big personality traits; they are no where near as nuanced as Jane and many of them are, frankly, not interesting. 

Still, this was an incredibly enjoyable read.
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This is a funny, authentic portrayl of depression in a book. I loved it. The premise of the story is intriguing and the story itself does not let it down. I love that this was set in college because there needs to be more and better books set in community college, and this book is that. I loved this story and related so much to Jane.
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Terrific story of a spunky girl! I really liked Janes personality, her drive and her will to succeed. I love that nothing was watered down or simplified. The descriptions of living with and dealing with deprecate accurately portrayed and added much to the novel. Highly recommended!
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Before I get into my review, I want to share a cool thing that happened. For some reason my NetGalley ARC of Nice Try, Jane Sinner wouldn't download. I checked to see if the book was available to borrow through my Overdrive app, but it wasn't! There was an option to recommend they buy it, however, so I clicked the box. A few days later I received an email that the Ohio Digital Library purchased the book and would notify me when I could borrow it. 

Anyway, I wanted to share this experience with you because this is the first time I've received concrete evidence that a library bought a book I recommended, and I'm really happy about it!     

Now on to the review. I loved this book! Nice Try, Jane Sinner takes place in Canada, and it's always a nice change of pace when books are set outside the U.S. 

 After her expulsion from high school, Jane enrolls in community college and finds out a student-run reality show, House of Orange, is going to be filmed there. The show is still looking for participants, so she signs up while fudging a few facts about herself. She doesn't think ahead and by doing this, sets herself up for the possibility that the people around her will find out she lied about her identity. 

I did my best to read Nice Try, Jane Sinner from the POV of a teenager, but here and there my mind would drift to see Jane as I see my own teenage daughter. For instance, Jane has ultra conservative religious parents, and at first it annoyed me that she referred to them as simply "the parents," but I got over it when I remembered that's how I referred to my own parents. 

It was for Jane and her parents to have fundamental misunderstandings of each other. Her parents didn't "get" her intentions and behaviors when, as the reader, I could see where she was coming from thought I didn't always agree with her decisions. They were disappointed she wasn't doing exactly what they expected of her. I was dying to step in and mediate between her and her parents! On the other hand, she has an amazing and close relationship with her younger sister that made me happy to see.    

This is one of the best books I've read tackling teenage depression. As a former teen who suffered from depression, I could relate to Jane and was impressed by how accurately Oelke treated the subject matter. I can't recommend Nice Try, Jane Sinner enough whether you're a teen or an adult.
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One of my favorite things about this book was Jane. Her personality really came through with the writing, and honestly, I don't read too many character like her. I think she is a character who will most likely rub some people the wrong way (I know because, while I don't fully relate to her, Jane and I were on the same wavelength when it came to stubbornness, and whenever I relate to a book character like that people don't like that character). While some people might not like her, I loved her, and characters who aren't perfect just mean that there is more room for character growth, so thats something to look forward to. Enjoyable read.
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If you never thought you'd want to read a young adult novel, get a copy of this one.

This is (possibly) the most bitter-sweet, funny book with a teen protagonist I've ever read (other than the obvious suspects, like Catcher in the Rye).

When a teenager named Jane Sinner is forced out of high school by an awful event (I won't spoil that for you--it will be revealed), she finishes her studies at the local community college. Much to her chagrin.

However, to get out of her parents' hair/become more autonomous,  Jane signs up for a reality TV show called "House of Orange". As part of the deal, she lives in the House of Orange (complete with orange carpet), competing with actual college students for a big prize.

This book is not only a great read about a young woman trying to figure out her priorities, but it's also a great send-up of reality shows. It's structured like a diary, which makes you feel like you're living this bizarre story with Jane.

Trust me. Read this book now.
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Oh no!
Somehow, I missed the message that I'd been approved for this book, and now it's been archived. The book never did make it over to my Kindle. I'm sorry. It's easier with Simon and Schuster - auto-approved, so one click, and the book is there, in plain sight, ready for me to read. 

Now to see if other book requests were granted and I never got the message. :-(.
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Random piece of advice: Don’t let 2018 pass without you reading this book. For me, it’s special and it easily latched to me. I hope it will be the same for you, albeit you’ll probably have a different reading experience. Nice Try, Jane Sinner is not only entertaining, but it delivers a beautiful coming-of-age story of finding oneself through taking risks and doing things that float your boat. A must-read for anyone who has had anyone doubt their future and has doubted their own self-worth. Let’s all prove them wrong and stand up strong.
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The formatting of the book as journal entries was enjoyable.  It helped with the sense of timing.   Although the story dealt with major issues -- depression, self-discovery, and the pressures of conformity--the main characters used subtle humor and sarcasm to get through some of the tough spots.   A psych student who performs conditioning experiments on her roommates was a great touch!
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Wow, wow, wow I loved this book.

It was humorous in a dry wit/sarcasm kind of way, and I loved it. Jane Sinner is such a magically fantastic and hilarious character that it kept me reading, even when the parts were boring. 

This book has such a unique format! It's written as if it was a journal by Jane Sinner, and Jane Sinner herself is creating these little "script" play things that describe dialogue and it's just such an interesting format that it kept me reading. It really also helped me to distinguish who the character were, and I feel like since it was in a script format Lianne was able to pull off such a witty description of each character by mere dialogue.

I loved this book.
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