The History of Jane Doe
Review by: Ivy
Book On Sale:Today
“Any good historian knows that the past is a lot more complex than cause-and-effect charts and corny acronyms make it out to be; but Jane, a person more complicated than any revolution, more confusing than any war, and more life changing than any invention – and I’m including the lightbulb and chocolate chip cookies when I say that – deserves her own volume.”
Raymond Green really likes history. Most people don’t get it, and that’s fine. His friend Simon, lover of vampires and milk, puts up with obsession, and they plan to spend the rest of high school watching bad horror movies and riding around in Simon’s minivan, coasting on the fringes of social interaction.
That’s until Jane, punky new girl, and aficionado of all things folk music and conspiracy theories sidles up to Raymond in biology. What starts as a pledge to give Jane a complete tour of his strange hometown turns into an experience of love and loss that will change Ray forever.
Told in dual perspective, (past and present) this laugh-out-loud and cry-out-loud debut novel will help you realize that the best way to deal with the past isn’t to make like a green cow and hide, but instead confront it like the Burgerville Bill it is and direct it wherever you want to go.
This book was incredible. As hilarious as it is heartbreaking, The History of Jane Doe is one that is going to stick around for a while. I can’t reveal some of the most emotional aspects of the book without spoilers, but I can say that the honesty imbued into those moments is incredible and fresh for YA.
If I didn’t know any better I’d swear this was a John Green book, (yes, it really was that good.) It sounds like this guy has been writing teens for years, but it’s only his debut novel. This made more sense when I flipped to the back and saw that Michael Belanger is a history teacher. Adults who spend time around teens, whether as teachers or therapists or parents or whatever, seem to write more realistic characters. It’s kind of like when Jane Goodall lived among chimps to improve her research on their species.
The History of Jane Doe was a heartbreaking rollercoaster ride that is no doubt one of the best YA novels of 2018. I’m crossing my fingers for a movie adaption, and you will too once you read this tale as old as time: A boy, his girlfriend, and his best friend trying to navigate through high school. That’s all, and yet it is everything, especially for teens who are still learning when and how to ask for help. Perfect for fans of John Green and History Is All You Left Me, The History of Jane Doe is going to change your life.