Book Review: Nice Try, Jane Sinner

Title: Nice Try, Jane Sinner
Author: Lianne Oelke
Date Published: January 9, 2018
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Date read: March 31, 2020 (reread)

Nice Try, Jane Sinner follows a young woman named Jane Sinner who recently got kicked out of high school after failing to attend her mandatory counselling sessions. She ultimately decides to finish her high school diploma by collecting her remaining credits through a community college. She also has every intention of moving out and stumbles upon an ad looking for show contestants for a reality TV show put on by students of the college called House of Orange. Because rent in the house is cheap and there is a possibility of winning a car, Jane decides to join the show. The premise of the show is that there are a group of students living together in House of Orange who perform tasks to win prizes and/or immunity from being voted out of the house. Hilarity ensues.

Nice Try, Jane Sinner is told through Jane’s personal diary entries, and often has a script type of feel, something I quite liked about the novel. The beginning of Nice Try, Jane Sinner read a bit like a debut, in that the writing felt a bit forced, and it took me a few chapters to get into the novel and the writing style. Things truly pick up and get good though, as soon as Jane is in the house, and the stunts Jane pulls on her housemates are hilarious. 

While humour is most definitely one of the highlights of Nice Try, Jane Sinner, the novel also explores more serious topics like losing ones religious beliefs and depression. I thought both topics were very, very well handled and Jane’s depiction of depression is especially accurate and believable. This isn’t a depressing novel, and I think it balanced the serious topics well with the humour. 

The real selling point for Nice Try, Jane Sinner, in my opinion, is the characters. If you like sarcastic characters then Jane is your girl. She’s clever, ruthless, and funny, playing hilarious pranks on those around her that had me laughing out loud (something that books don’t often do). But as snarky as Jane is, she also has a kind heart, and her relationship with her sister is one of the sweetest sister relationships I’ve had the pleasure of reading. The many side characters of Nice Try, Jane Sinner are well fleshed out with varying personalities and motivations and I loved watching them interact with Jane. It was also really sweet watching Jane develop a crush on someone, and while I wouldn’t call the romance itself sweet, it was easy to root for.

My only real complain with Nice Try, Jane Sinner, other than that it took me a bit to get into was that the ending felt a bit abrupt. I would have liked a bit more time seeing the sorts of decisions Jane makes for her future. 

If you want a funny and endearing story then I highly recommend Nice Try, Jane Sinner.

Have you read Nice Try, Jane Sinner? If so what did you think? If not, are you planning to?
Happy reading! 💗

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Nice Try, Jane Sinner

  1. love this review!! i’m so glad to see that someone else has read and loved this book, because it’s really really great. i definitely loved this book’s portrayal of depression and how it balanced it out with humor! as you said, jane was super sarcastic and i loved her ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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