"Jane Sinner snarked her way into my heart, and she's never leaving. Prepare to fall hard for this hilarious, heartfelt gem of a book."—Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
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 17-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.
After being expelled from high school, 17-year-old Jane Sinner is taking courses at Elbow River Community College in order to complete her graduation requirements. Jane, who has never met an idiom she doesn't want to change ("You're meowing up the wrong tree"), also hopes that Elbow River can provide some needed anonymity. Eager to move out of her family home where her parents believe that prayer, youth group, and Pastor Ron can fix everything she signs up to participate in an online reality show at school. Jane enlists the help of castmate and potential love interest Robbie to devise a plan to win, but not before learning a few things about herself. Debut novelist Oelke has created a complex and entertaining heroine in Jane, who narrates in sharp-edged, caustically funny journal entries. Oelke sidesteps writing about the more difficult aspects of mental illness and recovery Jane has little interest in addressing past actions readers gradually learn about, and her therapist exists only in her mind instead keeping this a lighter, snarkier comeback story. Ages 14 up.