Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Review: Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne OelkeNice Try, Jane Sinner
by Lianne Oelke
January 9, 2018
432 pages

Goodreads     Indigo

Goodreads Summary:
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.



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." (ARC, p.270). This story really makes you feel. The irony since one of Jane's problem is she lacks feelings.

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." (ARC, 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." (ARC, 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!

 5 Cats
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way. All quotes were taken from the Advance Review Copy I received.


  1. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it so much

    1. Thank you! It was hilarious and heartfelt :D

  2. This sounds like such a good book! I recently got an ARC of it as part of a blog tour and I was hoping it would be kind of funny and upbeat, so I can't wait to dive in. Glad you enjoyed it!

    1. It's definitely funny but also quite thoughtful. I'd love to hear your thoughts when you're done :)


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