Hi hi! Today’s a stop for the NICE TRY, JANE SINNER blog tour… which, you know, was the title’s job to announce.
Maybe it’s because I’m a little excited? Maybe? Oh, definitely.
I think I may be in love with this book.
It’s just so .. perfect, you know? It’s entertaining and funny and quirky and serious when it wants to be. It features reality TV (!!!) that is even somehow cooler to read about than watch. It’s written in a funky format (journal entries, some emails, some phone calls), and that makes it all the more special, as if NICE TRY, JANE SINNER needed any more reasons to stand out. Dare I say this one is going to be a 2018 favorite? Because it looks like it is.
Jane Sinner is a solid lead. Being inside her head for the ride was so fun, and the way her thought process works is just hilarious. She’s funny. She’s sarcastic. She can be cruel, and even admits as much, but there’s character development, and it’s obvious. Believably flawed characters for the win.
But heads up: Jane also deals with some mental health problems, such as depression. So, trigger warning: a suicide attempt is brought up, and its discussion takes up significant page time.
The cast of House of Orange made a unique little squad. I looove squad books. I love ’em. Bring on the large cast of characters, please, with all the character dynamics, and have them bicker and drive each other crazy while forming a family-esque group. The House of Orange group had this all. There was vote-offs and temporary alliances and backstabbing and laser-tagging. And banter. SO much banter. Again, I think I’m in love with this book. Someone please check and confirm it for me, but I’m pretty sure.
Though structured a bit irregularly, the plot never felt dull. The most action occurs when the contestants participate in challenges, and win or lose. Afterward, there’s the vote-offs, then more challenges. But the mini-contests were interesting, and so were the cast’s responses and reactions, and so the pages flew by. The only tiiiiny complaint I have here is that the book is a bit too long. Contemporaries over 400 pages are scary things, generally speaking. But in this case, it wasn’t that there was useless filler or anything of the sort. It’s just that this book had everything it needed and then some. So I guess this is more of a subjective complaint? Yeah, it is. Please ignore me.
The format was delightful. It takes some getting used to, but then it feels so .. natural. It’s as if this type of story couldn’t be told any other way. As I mentioned before, it’s journal entries, so there are no ‘chapters’ per se (I think this is why I read this so fast), just breaks between days. Again, this worked out absolutely perfectly. Unique formats are my weakness, I tell you.
Shout out to YA books set in college! It was definitely an interesting change in setting without feeling TOO different. Yes, I like college settings but hate NA books. Yes, that is a completely normal preference. Kind of. We also got to see a high school as well. And hiking trails. And an orange house. And Canada in general. (I didn’t even know it was set in Canada at first!)
Also: the cover is gorgeous. This needs to be addressed in its own bullet point, guys. I love the pop of orange and the opposing purple, and I do admit, shamelessly, to have spent some measureable amount of time staring at its aesthetic pleasantness.
All in all? I am most definitely pleased. This was pretty much exactly what I wanted to read right now, and it gave me that equal mix of funny and addicting that I was looking for.
I love this. Very much-ly.
Thank you, HMH, for the ARC!
The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity. After a personalcrisis and her subsequent expulsion from high school, she’s going nowhere fast. Jane’swell-meaning parents push her to attend a high school completion program at thenearby Elbow River Community College, and she agrees, on one condition: she gets tomove out.Jane tackles her housing problem by signing up for House of Orange, a student-runreality show that is basically Big Brother, but for Elbow River Students. Living away fromhome, the chance to win a car (used, but whatever), and a campus full of people whodon’t know what she did in high school… what more could she want? Okay, maybe afamily that understands why she’d rather turn to Freud than Jesus to make sense of herlife, 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 fansand shoddy T-shirts, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive naturethrive. 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 takesto win.