A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Nice Try, Jane Sinner is about a Canadian teen who's trying to recover after her suicide attempt and getting kicked out of high school. She reinvents herself as she participates in a low-budget reality TV show in which contestants' filmed lives are constantly projected on TV and social media. The story is told through Jane's journal entries, and there's lots of swearing (including "s--t" and "f--k") and drinking and discussion of drug use. (The legal drinking age in this part of Canada is 18, and when the story begins, Jane is 17.) Note that the story could be triggering for teens with depression and thoughts or experiences of suicide.
What's the story?
As NICE TRY, JANE SINNER starts, a few months after trying to kill herself, 17-year-old Jane is trying to start over: She moves out of her religious parents' home and decides not to go back to high school. Instead, she enrolls in community college, but she has nowhere to live. Then she learns about House of Orange, a very low-budget reality TV show filmed by a student at the community college. In exchange for being a contestant on the show, Jane gets a room and the chance to remake herself. Along the way, she learns some poignant lessons about friendship, faith, and the meaning of life.
Is it any good?
Despite the rather devastating premise, this is a complex story about how to get back on your feet after falling hard. The writing in Nice Try, Jane Sinner is often snarky and sometimes raunchy, and the humor is both dark and real. The story's format flips between dialogue and journal entries without chapter breaks, which can prove to be a little frustrating.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how recovery after a suicide attempt is portrayed in Nice Try, Jane Sinner. How difficult would it be to pick yourself up and start over?
What do you think of the level of swearing in Nice Try, Jane Sinner? Does it seem realistic?
What do you think of the amount of drinking the teen characters do? Does the fact that the drinking age in Canada is 18 affect how you view it?
- Author: Lianne Oelke
- Genre: Contemporary Fiction
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, High School
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Clarion Books
- Publication date: January 9, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
- Number of pages: 432
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love teen and coming-of-age stories
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.