Nice Try, Jane Sinner Lianne Oelke (420 pages)
Overview: Jane wants to forget the past. Forget the high school that expelled her. Forget the people that watched her fall from grace. Forget her family who thinks that prayer is the answer to everything. Facing community college at Elbow River as a last resort graduation option, she signs up to be on House of Orange, a new web reality show, to solve her housing problem. Though she knows to expect the unexpected, House of Orange and its inhabitants test Jane in ways she never imagined. Maybe the year won't be as bad as she imagined. Overall: 5
Characters: 5 I LOVE Jane. There are very few main characters I can say that I appreciated more. Her sarcasm, dry humor, and outlook on life echoed my own thoughts, and I loved how she was so introspective. It is fascinating to listen to Jane work through her own thoughts and recognize her behaviors as masks for other feelings. I also thought that Oelke did a wonderful job with her depiction of Jane's clinical depression and how it impacts her life.
The supporting cast rounded out Jane's world. Her storyline with her sister was awesome, and her evolving relationship with her best friend Bonnie is a grounding element in the House of Orange chaos. Speaking of which, I was pleasantly surprised by the other contestants and their connections to Jane.
Plot: 5 I could not put the book down. It is very long, but some of that is how the book is formatted. The other part is just how much content is in the story. Just when you think the story will zig it zags, and at a certain point, you just stop guessing about what will happen and start reading double time to get there! Most of the time, I don't find books completely impossible to put down for their plot, but I had to keep reading late into the night, during food breaks, and even while I was hula hooping! The House of Orange is the real deal, even if you're not a reality TV addict.
Writing: 5 I loved Lianne Oelke's writing style. I also thought that the format she chose was inventive. The book is supposed to be Jane's journal, so the chapters are all dates. The dialogue is written in script format, which contribute to the length, but makes reading fun and easy. I'm really impressed with this whole book. I thought that I would love it, and yet I still totally underestimated the power it could pack with mental health, religious exploration, sisterhood, friendship, and, probably hardest to execute, reality TV. To Buy Now: Click Here