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.
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I don’t know how I feel about this book. I thought I would hate it, but I didn’t.
I’m not a fan of long books, especially if they’re long for no reason, and at times this book felt like just that.Maybe it seemed longer because the dialogue was spaced out like it was in a screenplay, or maybe there was too much going on. Who knows. But I definitely feel like this book could have lost about 100 pages.
The reality show was weird. I can’t believe that no one knew she was only 17. The advisor that knew, but ignored it, would have been held liable. Like they were giving minors alcohol on camera. Like? lmao. Also, I thought all the contestants would be around 18, but one random guy was like 40? And sleeping with a 19 year old?
And the college thing…the random mentions of alcohol and drugs to make it edgy. I find it irresponsible to mention coke in a story, but explain that the person who used was not held accountable. She didn’t even get in trouble. I was wondering whether or not she was on coke the entire novel…or she’d just done it once??? I know it’s 2018, and hella people are doing coke, but it’s a YA novel still…
Personally, I liked the reality show, and I liked the idea of a high schooler taking classes at a community college. But together? It was too much for me. There was so much going on.
The religious aspect was very odd. I felt like I was supposed to believe that her life was SUPER religious, but I never really felt that. The only references to her religious background was when it was mentioned that her parents pushed her to talk to their minister, and the fact that she was in a church youth group. We never really get to see her life in that super religious, and strict world that she struggled in so much that she attempted suicide.
Plus, it’s mentioned that her friend is gay a few times. If she lives in this super religious space, then someone in that space is probably homophobic. I mean, Jane admitted that she was at a point. I would have liked more explanation of that.
Her parents sucked. I really can’t believe that someone’s parents would allow their seventeen year old to just disappear and go who knows where. That made no sense to me.
Did I like Jane? Sometimes. I did more towards the end. In the beginning, she was so self serving, and focused on herself. All these people in her life cared about her, and tried to reach out but she pushed away. And I know that sometimes people who are depressed may push away from loved ones, but sometimes Jane was just mean. Especially with her high school friends, it seemed like she was saying, “I’m in COLLEGE now, and I have more IMPORTANT things to do, like eat chicken MCNUGGETS.”
I was invested in the relationship she built with Robbie, and the overall outcome of the show. Jane does change by the end. She stops caring solely of her own interests, and starts caring about the relationships she has with her loved ones. that really raised my rating.