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Nice Try, Jane Sinner

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  3,178 ratings  ·  838 reviews
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 housin
Hardcover, 420 pages
Published January 9th 2018 by Clarion Books
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,178 ratings  ·  838 reviews

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Emily May
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana
He wasn't even wearing sleeves. I suppose he expects the ladies at home to swoon at the sight of his well-muscled arms. Thankfully I am no lady.

This was delightful!

I've been avoiding YA Contemporary lately because everything I read seems to be cliche, or silly, or boring... but this book was so much fun. Maybe it's because I have a somewhat dark, nihilistic sense of humour that I totally fell in love with Jane, but whatever the reason, I enjoyed every minute of this book.

For one thing, I rea
Emma Giordano
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shout out to HMHTeen for letting me read this one so early!

I REEEAAAALLLLYYYY loved this book!! I feel like we don't get much YA in a college setting, so it was nice to be able to relate to a YA character with my current circumstances as opposed to referring to my past.

Trigger warning for talk of depression and suicide. These topics are not huge components of the story nor is it a main focus or what I would consider specifically a "mental health novel" but it deserves being said!

Also, I would n
Elle (ellexamines)
There is no divine plan, no destiny, no life after death, and no compensation for what you lose. There is only here and now. There is only what you’ve done and what you are going to do. And if you can own up to every moment and take responsibility for your life and shape it into something beautiful and kind and generous - if you can do that, you’ve discovered what it means to be strong.

This is the funniest book about depression I have ever read. And it is also one of the most aut
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
It’s too bad that one Event is enough to wipe out years of accumulated Good Kid credit.

I went into this book expecting a story about a Survivor/Big Brother-style game show, but what I got was a story about growing up, mental health, healing, forgiving yourself, and learning to live with the consequences of your actions.

Perhaps if I spent more time in my childhood socializing with secular children instead of praying when I felt uncomfortable, I’d be better equipped to handle this situatio
may ➹
after a week of trying and failing to read this, I’VE FINALLY FINISHED

this book has a lot of personal meaning to me, pertaining specifically to the depression rep, and it was so so good and relatable and extremely well-written. also, Jane has a specific dry, snarky, ironic sense of humor and I LOVE IT

4.5 stars

// buddy read with farim
✨    jamieson   ✨
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
mum: what are you reading

me: nice try, jane sinner. its about a girl who wants to move out of home so she joins a college version of big brother

my mum: ........ well thats not a plot I would have got in my books fifty years ago

“Wouldn’t it be nice, don’t you think, to not constantly compare everything you say and do to everything you’ve ever said and done and hope one day the good will outweigh the cringeworthy?”

I've been reading so many heavy and serious books lately I really just needed a
♛ may

would it shock anyone if i said i was 9/10 gonna dnf this before 100 pages bc i totally was
thank goodness i didnt, this book actually surprised me with how great it was

- THE MENTAL HEALTH REP WAS SO GOOD (i might have actually cried at some points - especially towards the end)
- jane sinner is so sarcastically snarky, she is my spirit animal
- so much drama, but the funny, entertaining kind, not the cliche, boring, eye rolling kind
- i loved the reality show concept and im surprised it isn
lily ☁️
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to lily ☁️ by: Marla Mei
Me, after reading this book [lost one friendship, one is still hanging in the balance, and one “friend” is laughing at my inability to find this funny (view spoiler)]: ???


Here for the snarky, sarcastic main character, the humor, and the depression rep.

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May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
CW: depression, (view spoiler) (not really, but kind of, so tagging it for now)

"I wanted a clean break, a runaway lane, a tits-to-toes, all-in, no-chance-of-backing-out Jane Sinner Extreme Makeover. Starring Jane Sinner out of context. Out of years of uncomfortable context."

All the stars in the world, both on- and off-camera. I already want to read it again.

Writing this review will be hard, in the way that I always find it hard to talk about the things I love m
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Super fun!

I am not sure that a reality tv show made by and with college students (and one underage high school dropout) and streamed on local tv is entirely believable, but this is a YA import from Canada, so maybe anything goes there? The impression I’ve got so far from Canadian YA (mainly Susan Juby’s work) is that people there are much more laid back about teen drinking and dating grown men. Correct me if I am wrong.

Either way, fresh plot and characters. Fun!
alice (arctic books)
You can find this review and others at arctic books

3.5 stars. Trigger warnings for mentions of suicide (attempt)

NICE TRY, JANE SINNER is not a book I’ve heard much about, but I was nonetheless very intrigued by the synopsis as it covered some topics that I rarely, if ever, see in young adult literature. 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.

My absolute favorite as
If you don't like what you've written, write something else.

Look at me, reading the books I buy just a few weeks after I bought them! I deserve a pat on the shoulder. Someone wants to give me a high five?

Okay, let's be serious for one second. I think I really have to start reading reviews of the books I buy just so I can be mentally prepared, because, honestly? I wasn't prepared for half the things that happened in this book.
Jane is a 17-year-old high school student who tried to commit suicide a
julianna ➹
+ hilarious main character. so much dry humor and I LOVE IT
+ interesting talks about psychology
+ written in a journal format and v unique!
+ delves into sensitive topics and discovering yourself
+ in a college setting! i love college even though i've never been!
+ overall amazing pls read
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, worth-a-reread, ya, apl
4.5 stars for this stellar debut!

I LOVED this. I can't remember the last time I literally laughed more than a couple times in a fiction novel, let alone a YA one. Jane's voice pounds off the pages, creating a MC that you want to root for. While the concept of reality show contestants isn't new, what really stands out here is the fully fleshed being of Ms. Sinner & all she has to lose as she is faced with the brink of adulthood & the possibility of not getting a high school degree (or second chan
L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
Jun 20, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: contemporary, arghhh, ya
This should have been right up my alley. But I don’t know Jane’s voice started out fun but after a while it felt forced, a tad bit trying too hard kinda way and she got too flippant for me after a while. I’m not finishing this.
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Eilonwy by: Lola Reviewer
3-1/2 stars
Jane dropped out of high school just a few months before graduation, due to an Event which made everything beyond awkward. When she signs up for classes at the local community college to finish up her missing credits, she sees an ad offering a place to live for super-cheap rent (the catch: it’s all being filmed for a Big Brother-like online reality show), and convinces her parents to let her move out (not that she tells them the truth about where she’s going to be staying). The show b
Books on Stereo
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nice Try, Jane Sinner is pure bliss. Full of memorable character and beautiful engaging/humorous writing makes this novel a true gem. If you are looking for college-centric YA, then this is the novel for you. Oelke realistically shows the transition and change one goes through in college. There are very frankly/tactfully handled discussions on suicide, therapy, mental illness, and religion that are just so beautiful and insightful.

I love this novel with all my heart, and I know you will too. Do
Marla Mei
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
MY FIRST BOOK OF THE YEAR AND IT’S A FIVE-STAR READ!!!! I’m not crying you are!!! 😭😭😭

(Also, YA books set in college??? More please!)
me at the beginning of the book: there’s no way I’m giving this 5 stars lol nice try, lianne oelke
me now:

RTC bc i have so many thoughts
h o l l i s
no trespassing
violators will be shot
survivors will be shot again

NICE TRY, JANE SINNER might be one of the strangest books I've ever read. And yet it totally worked for me. Oelke's voice, experienced through Jane, is hilarious. I'm pretty sure I highlighted half the book. It's a strange plot -- highschool dropout enrolls in community college to finish her credits, lies about her age to get herself on a Big Brother-esque reality tv show in order to move out of her parents' place, all so she can re
bee  ❤︎
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
five stars ∗ (tw for mentions of depression/suicide) oh boy. oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. this might be a tad bit long because i don't think i've ever related to a character or a story more than this. going into this novel, i was just excited to see the college version of big brother, because i love love love big brother. i've also heard good things about the main character, jane, and i can attest those opinions.

jane sinner was the funniest, most relatable character i've ever had the pleasure of rea
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read in one sitting (with a short food break, because there is a lot of food in this book and it made me hungry. I had scallion pancakes, thanks for asking). Fantastic, hilarious, authentic voice. The choice to do the dialogue in script format is a brilliant example of form = content in a book about reality TV. And if reality TV really contained as many complicated, engaging characters as this book -- well, I would watch more of it. (I really only do cooking shows. I like food, you guys.)
”The past doesn’t exist. It’s just a story we tell ourselves. And stories can change each time you tell them.”

5 stars
TW:mentions of suicide, depression
read full review here
*full review include favorite quotes and a spoiler section

The Writing
I love Jane’s voice so much. She is one of the funniest narrators out there and she is so fun to read from. She has this cynical, self-deprecating humor voice and it’s so great. Oh, and also, this book sort of feels like it’s written like a script an
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review*

Full review originally posted on my blog: Word Wonders

TW: Depression, suicide attempt, suicidal ideations, emetophobia, ableist language, panic attack

Ever since I heard of Nice Try, Jane Sinner I’ve been eyeing a copy of my own, so I was thrilled when I got sent one by the publisher. It was promoted by everyone, their mother and their dog as a book tackling depression without sugar coating but with a l
Eliza ☽
The whole reality show gimmick got boring like 100 pages in but I liked Jane and the mental health rep was pretty alright
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars.

Nice Try, Jane Sinner is a standalone contemporary book about a girl who dropped out of high school because of depression and is now taking part in a reality show.

I have mixed feelings about this book. Not because I thought there was anything wrong with it - it's one of the few books with a character with a mental illness that isn't exactly about her mental illness, and we need more of this - but because this is one of those books that start out funny and rapidly become boring.

The only
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I will read anything Lianne blesses onto paper next. End of story. This book was so snarky and witty, I literally was laughing out loud on my lunch break at work. There are few books that can genuinely get me to just explode with uncontrollable laughter. Well done, Lianne. Besides the snark, I am a huge fan of Big Brother, so with that as a selling point in the synopsis, I was well..sold! You definitely get that Big Brother feel to it. I loved that there were deeper things covered in this book a ...more
Mar 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
• this was such a fresh take on representing depression in fiction and i’m literally so here for it. this book was not a book about a girl tackling and overcoming her depression but a book about a girl LIVING with depression. it was so relatable and i felt so represented and it resonated so deeply in me i can’t even put it into words. so many books featuring depression fail to do anything with me because they’re just dark and bleh but nice try jane sinner is funny, bittersweet and completely cha ...more
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
“There is no divine plan, no destiny, no life after death, and no compensation for what you lose. There is only here and now. There is only what you’ve done and what you are going to do. And if you can own up to every moment and take responsibility for your life and shape it into something beautiful and kind and generous - if you can do that, you’ve discovered what it means to be strong.”

I wanted to like this more than I actually did. It felt felt really average to me - nothing too s
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It will be extremely difficult for me to produce an "objective" review (if such a thing even existed), because of how strongly I related to our main character, the titular Jane Sinner. Her mental health experience so closely mirrors mine that as soon as I finished it, I shoved it in my mother's face saying, "If you want to know me, read this book." That being said, trigger warnings for depression and suicide in this novel.

Jane is funny, and spunky, and sassy, and everything I wish I was. There i
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Lianne Oelke has a degree in philosophy and works in the film industry—which may explain a lot about her debut novel, Nice Try, Jane Sinner. Or not. She lives, camps, and thinks about cats in Vancouver.

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  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
54 likes · 9 comments
“The past doesn't exist. It's just a story we tell ourselves. And stories change each time you tell them.” 10 likes
“I run for half an hour every day because I hate it. It never gets any easier. Each day I dread going outside or to the gym, and each day I try to talk myself out of it. But I always go. I hate running, and I’ve run each day since starting the show to prove that I am stronger than my apathy. That I am stronger than the girl who gave up on life.” 8 likes
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