Review: Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

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.


Nice Try, Jane Sinner is so good! It’s all about… well Jane Sinner, a 17-year-old who’s trying to get out and do something, which leads her to a community college reality show that she sees as an opportunity to move out from home and start her independence. I will be completely honest and say this book didn’t hook me since the beginning, I think it was mainly because I read a very mysterious, engaging book about murders before this one, but I did end up liking it a lot.

Jane is really funny, and the things that happen to her, I found myself actually laughing as I read her story, she’s so sarcastic and ironic, I loved it. She earned her spot as my favorite character, I adored her hypothetical calls and therapy sessions. Nice Try, Jane Sinner doesn’t have a ton of romance, it does have a romantic side and a cute hint of romance throughout but nothing major, the story is mainly about JS and the reality show.

The characters were really interesting, I found them kind of relatable, they’re just college students, and they’re funny and ironic, shy and annoying. They were really nice to read. Also, Lianne Oelke’s writing style is very original and creative, easy to follow and her story is very original because I had never read -or even thought of- a reality show book, it was really cool.

To wrap it all up, I recommend this book literally anyone, from hopeless romantics to ironic existentialists, this book is very nice to read, it’s light but not full of fluff, it has a good story, challenges, it’s funny and it’s about a reality show, what else could you ask for?







Massive thanks to Clarion Books & NetGalley for sending me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!


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