It’s Kind of a Funny Story meets Daria in the darkly hilarious tale of a teen’s attempt to remake her public image and restore inner peace through reality TV. The only thing seventeen-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.
About the Author
— Booklist, starred review
"Resplendent with sardonic wit...this debut novel is at turns wickedly funny and thought-provoking. Character-driven, humorous and deceptively profound." — Kirkus
"[Nice Try, Jane Sinner] is witty with a fresh narrative voice. It is rare to find a YA book that discusses faith and religion, but Oelke handles Jane’s religious questioning in an authentic way...Readers will enjoy rooting for her on House of Orange and in life."
— School Library Journal
"Debut novelist Oelke has created a complex and entertaining heroine in Jane, who narrates in sharp-edged, caustically funny journal entries."—Publishers Weekly
"Get ready for the raunchiness, drama and cringe-worthy obsession that comes with reality TV in this cheeky Canadian import."—BCCB