January 15, 2018

Review: Nice Try, Jane Sinner

Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke
Grade: D+
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Ughhhhhhh. This book could've been so much fun but it missed all the marks from the first page. I'm sure a lot of readers will call Jane unlikeable and appreciate her for that, but I couldn't find anything interesting about her. Part of that was due to the narration style. All of the dialogue is written like a script, which keeps reader distanced from the characters. I also couldn't tell which conversations were real and which were in Jane's head. (I think the psychiatrist was all in her head? But I'm not certain.) It was also very much like a diary, which was too much. Also I'm really over books written as diaries and letters because they feel inauthentic. (How does everyone remember exact conversations and all the actions of their day?) Holly and Raj ended up not being that important, but I barely remember any details about them. Chaunt'Elle lasted longer, but I don't know anything concrete about her either. And Tom's connection to Jane never felt right to me. I couldn't figure out who he was in her life.
Setting was never established well. Also, I didn't appreciate how Christianity was portrayed.
Waaaaaayyyyyyy too much foul language.

The Verdict: I don't understand all the hype for this book.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: No.

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