Publication Date: January 9th 2018
Publisher: Clarion Books
Source: ARC from Raincoast Books
Link to the author: http://www.lianneoelke.com/
RATING: 5 Stars
“The past doesn’t exist. It’s just a story we tell ourselves. And stories change each time you tell them”
There were SO many! I already want to re-read and highlight each and every one. Some where hilarious, and a tad vulgar – but that’s why I loved them.
Nice Try, Jane Sinner is the story of a seventeen-year-old girl trying to figure herself out and sort of blundering through life as she does. She was expelled from highschool and decides to finished her required classes at the local community college. She also signs up for a student-run reality show called, The House of Orange, which is a bit like big brother. The show and it’s contestants are the source of a lot of shenanigans and Jane is a large source of sarcasm. Amidst the betrayal, chaos, and chicken nuggets Jane does manage to figure some things out and leave her past behind.
This was fucking epic, and if my language offends you then I should warn you there’s a lot of that in Nice Try, Jane Sinner.
I first heard of Lianne Oelke last fall, during Raincoast Books Winter/Spring Preview. As a guest speaker she told us all about Jane and how the book came to be. It started as journal entires, Lianne would write about the things that happened in her life and all the things she would have done or said had she been bolder. Eventually it developed into a story, with some flares of fiction thrown in, and Jane Sinner came to life. This absolutely fascinated me and I knew I had to read it, so I was over the moon when I was chosen for the blog tour.
The college setting made the story a lot more relatable for me since I don’t fall into the YA age bracket anymore. I think it would still be enjoyable if you do though. I don’t believe that highschool is the only time that individuals are trying to find themselves, it often extends into your twenties and frankly, the rest of your life.
Jane was amazing, sarcastic as hell, and amazing. She leaves behind The Event that got her expelled and her “goodie two shoes” label, to become Jane Sinner, a girl of much sarcasm and very few cares. The story is written in journal entires so you get to know her inner thoughts really well and they are hilarious. The characters she lives with in the House of Orange are equally quirky and laughter inducing. None of them are perfectly likeable, they all did stupid and distasteful things, but that made them real! I don’t want a main character who’s perfect. I want one who screws up so I can think, thank god I’m not the only one – this girl gets me! And I felt like Jane did, or would if she was real and I wish she was because I think we could be friends.
I found the pacing to be quite consistent, I had a hard time putting the book down because the characters were so interesting and something unexpected was always around the corner. There was a small lull for me after a particularly surprising twist that stabbed me right in the feels. It quickly picked back up though and I was really happy with the way Oelke ended things.
Jane struggles with her mental health which I think it was handled really well and I can say that because it often mirrored my own experiences. Each of us on the blog tour were able to ask Lianne one question and this was mine:
Q: Nice Try, Jane Sinner started as journal entries about the things you’d say and do in real life if you were braver. Do you think that because of your writing journey, you are now a braver version of yourself?
A: Yes and no. It’s easy to imagine that as a “published author” I’m confident, successful, and brave. Occasionally I am—but more often than not, I’m the same person I’ve always been. Sometimes I struggle with thinking myself as a “published author” (by putting the term in quotes, for example), especially since it’s not my full-time job (not yet, at least!). I have to remind myself not to dismiss everything I’ve accomplished. I wrote a book! No one asked for it, but I wrote it anyway. I’ve endured countless rejections. I’ve spent months– years– putting myself out there, waiting and working for something that might never happen. I don’t know if I’m any braver for it, but I certainly have thicker skin. I wrote Jane for myself, first and foremost, so it’s a very personal story. I’m not so much scared of what the general public thinks of it. What terrifies me is what the people I know and love think of it. However, the amount of support I’ve received not only from friends and family, but from the publishing world, other authors, and readers continues to blow me away. It’s incredibly encouraging to know that other people are not only interested in Jane but gether, and can see themselves in her struggles. That makes the whole journey worth it.
I definitely saw myself in her struggles. I think it takes a lot of talent to deliver a story that was not only incredibly entertaining but very thoughtful as well. I know I will be thinking about Jane and her journey for a long time to come.
Thank you for reading my review of Nice TRy, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke. This ARc was provided by Raincoast Books in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.