The History of Jane Doe (Bi-Weekly Book Review)

Annnnnnnnnd I’m back again with my latest feature. Welcome back to my bi-weekly book review. Enjoy!


Name: The History of Jane Doe by Michael Belanger

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Professional Summary: A poignant, deeply funny coming-of-age story about first love, first loss, and the power of history to give life meaning.

History buff Ray knows everything about the peculiar legends and lore of his rural Connecticut hometown. Burgerville’s past is riddled with green cow sightings and human groundhogs, but the most interesting thing about the present is the new girl–we’ll call her Jane Doe.

Inscrutable, cool, and above all mysterious, Jane seems as determined to hide her past as Ray is to uncover it. As fascination turns to friendship and then to something more, Ray is certain he knows Jane’s darkest, most painful secrets and Jane herself–from past to present. But when the unthinkable happens, Ray is forced to acknowledge that perhaps history can only tell us so much.

Mixing humor with heartache, this is an unmissable coming-of-age story from an exciting new voice in YA

My Summary: Ray, a history fanatic, knows absolutely everything about his tiny hometown. One day his luck changes. . .he meets Jane. Jane Doe is the freshest, newest, most amazing girl he’s ever met. It doesn’t take long for him to fall head over heels for her. As their relationship progresses more of her dark past unfolds in front of him and the entire school. Sometimes secrets are best kept hidden. Through loneliness, humour, and pain, Mr. Belanger weaves an incredibly powerful story. 

My Review: Wow. There are almost no words for this book. How do you fight demons you can’t see? How do you survive the invisible battle? How do you not break everyone’s heart to save yourself? This book hit far too close to home for me. It left me in tears, curled up in a ball. It seemed so real. . . .

Characters: The characters were so very real to me. Jane seemed to be the very essence of my being. . . . It was so hard to read, yet, so very powerful and left so much to be desired without hurting the interest. The characters were flawlessly developed and seemed to be dancing across the page as if they were real.

Plot: The plot was also flawlessly designed. It’s hard to believe you can’t find any fault with a book but this was a rare exception. I have nothing against this book. It brought attention to something that’s serious and that is becoming an increasingly worse problem throughout the world. Thank you Mr. Belanger. I don’t know how I can ever, ever thank you for this book.

In Summary: Please, please, please take time to read this book. . .as soon as you can. Please? You won’t regret it.

“History isn’t a straight line from the beginning to the end. You’ve got to study everything in between. That’s where the real answers are.” 



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