Sunday, June 3, 2012

Reality Jane by Shannon Nering

2.5 Star

Reality Jane follows Jane Kaufman, a Canadian journalist who, by stroke of pure luck, finds herself in LA, a producer on a hot new reality show. A small-town girl thrust into the Hollywood scene, she regards her new producing career as a one-way ticket to the big-time. And between mingling with rock stars, attending Grammy parties, and visiting the Sex Kitten Mansion, Jane's rocketing career makes her the envy of her friends. 

And there’s more! Along come not one but two guys vying for her heart, and then, through connections, she lands the cherry gig of all time: a producer’s post on TV’s hottest new self-help talk show. But the deeper Jane ventures into reality TV, the more completely un-real her life—personal and professional—becomes.

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Kaley - 2.5 Star

Reality Jane by Shannon Nering was one of those books that I wanted to like but just…couldn’t. The negatives came both from the writing and the main character and even though I wasn’t a fan of this one I still finished the book because I needed find out what happened to Jane.

Sometimes I can deal with a book if the writing is less than stellar but the story is great but when both are lacking I struggle to get through it. The flow of Reality Jane was really confusing to me. There were strange jumps and conclusions that the reader was expected to make.  For example, early on in the book there’s a scene where Jane and Toni (her assistant) are talking at work about taking a trip to San Diego. That chapter ends and the next begins by Jane reading directions off a business card that should be leading her to meet some mysterious guy named Craig. Who is this Craig and why is Jane heading to a party at his house? I assumed that they met while in San Diego but I wasn’t given any clues to prove or deny that guess. It turns out that I was correct in my assumption but my issue is that I shouldn’t have had to make an assumption. Sometimes it’s OK to jump into a scene with both feet but this particular instance was difficult for me to follow.

The novel  kind of dragged a little bit for me. There was a lot going on and lots of parts to the story that didn’t have the connections or flow that it needed to have. I also had no idea what sort of timeline it was on. One minute Jane’s just been transplanted to LA and the next she’s been there for seven months…or was it eight? Or almost a year? I was honestly confused at some points and I think Jane was too because there was a “six months later” heading, and then she said she had been dating Craig for almost eight months, but had only been working for seven. My math skills aren’t the greatest but I’m pretty sure a grade school child could tell you that six, seven, and eight are all different numbers. 

I do have to say that I love that Jane was Canadian. It always makes me giggle to see stereotypes play out in books and movies and Reality Jane was no different. There was one memorable scene (which I will be paraphrasing) where Jane gives some change to a homeless man. Afterwards he says, “So you’re Canadian.” Jane confirms this and asks him how he knew. “The gold coin with the duck on it tipped me off.” This exchange made me laugh out loud and I relayed it to my boyfriend later that night because I knew it would amuse him as well. 

Overall, I can’t say that I thoroughly enjoyed Reality Jane by Shannon Nering. The premise is solid (going behind the scenes of reality television) but I think the way the story is told needs a bit of tweaking before I could readily recommend it.

Thank you to Bancroft Press for our review copy!

Connect with Shannon Nering here:

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