The History of Jane Doe by Michael Belanger

The History of Jane Doe

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 a...

Details The History of Jane Doe

TitleThe History of Jane Doe
Release DateJun 5th, 2018
PublisherDial Books
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Health, Mental Health

Reviews The History of Jane Doe

  • Joe B.
    WOW! Humor is the pathway to depth, and Belanger's whit and relatable characters guide us to plunge the authentic feelings of high school anxiety, love and self worth with frequent laughs between the tears. Read this book.As a high school teacher and father I feel compelled to read YA lit, and in general often gag at the tired tropes and long for an intelligent yet fun book to recommend to my students and children. I have found one. As an adult m...
  • Erica
    I received an ARC of this novel via the First To Read program through Penguin Random House LLC in exchange for an honest review. Ray loves history, especially the local legends involving his suburban hometown of Burgherville, CT. Ray and Simon, his teen vampire loving sidekick, are not what you would call the popular kids in school. When Jane Doe, the cool and mysterious new girl, moves to town and befriends them their live will be forever change...
  • Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)
    I received a free e-ARC through First to Read from the publishers at Penguin Random House. Trigger warnings: mental illness, depression, suicide.Ray’s life in rural Connecticut is pretty average. He and his best friend, Simon, are nerds that basically fly under the radar, and while Ray’s dad left when he was younger, he and his mom are on fairly good terms. Everything changes when Jane arrives in Burgerville. Inexplicably, she chooses Ray and...
  • Marla
    When I first started reading The History of Jane Doe, I wasn’t sure what was going on and what was the big deal about Jane. I found the x amount of days before and x amount of days after a little confusing at first because I didn’t know what the zero-day event was, since it isn’t revealed until more than halfway through the book. Jane, Ray and Simon are slowly revealed to the reader. Their histories, relationship and their personalities. Ra...
  • Jennifer P
    The History of Jane Doe resonated with me so much. Belanger perfectly captured what so many teens (and adults) struggle with each day. As someone with my own Jane Doe, I felt so connected with Ray-his strong desire to understand, help and care for Jane. I was so comforted by Ray's experience; his words brought tears to my eyes and filled me with hope. This book is such an important read for those who have in some way dealt with mental illness. TH...
  • Ann
    I fell in love with the characters right from the beginning. This book made me laugh and brought tears to my eyes at the same time. The story was honest and real and it’s a story that young adults need right now. I wish I had this book when I was in high school.
  • Amy's Book Reviews
    ***Thanks to First to Read for providing me a complimentary of THE HISTORY OF JANE DOE by Michael Belanger in exchange for my honest review.***2.5 STARSRay, a history buff to the point of OCD, falls hard for new girl, whom he calls Jane Doe to protect her anonymity. He, Jane and his best friend Simon form an unlikely trio. Told in alternating chapters of after Jane is gone and before, Ray takes readers on THE HISTORY OF JANE DOE.Michael Belanger...
  • Samantha (WLABB)
    Rating: 4.5 StarsI need a bucket for these tears! The synopsis on the back of the ARC had prepared me for something "beautiful, horrible, astonishing, hilarious", and this story delivered. I cried, but I also laughed a lot, and I really appreciated Belanger's representation of Jane's struggles with mental illness. It was honest and realistic, and he said those things that we can't get our loved ones to quite understand. ==========================...
  • Elise
    I loved this book. Regardless of whether or not you have lost someone to suicide, you will instantly connect with Ray and everything that he is going through - recreating his history with Jane to try to understand why she did what she did.This was a book that I loved and will recommend to many. I loved and connected with Ray and with Jane. With his mom and Tim. With all of the characters. There is something very relatable about all of them and th...
  • Lauren
    The History of Jane Doe was such a wonderful surprise! I loved the characters. They were so awkward, so endearing, so funny, so REAL. I loved Burgerville. It was quirky and eccentric- the definition of small-town America - but I wanted nothing more to visit it, to look for the mutant green cows with Jane, Ray, and Simon. I loved the writing. Michael made every word count. Never once did I feel bored or distracted; instead, I soaked it all in - em...
  • Irene O'Hare
    I got this book for free through Penguin's First to Read program. I thoroughly enjoyed Belanger's debut novel which deals with friendship, history, coming of age, and mental illness with humor, honesty, and heart. Ray's love of history and his hometown of Burgerville makes him an immediately lovable narrator and the comic relief Simon brings to each scene he is fits perfectly. The characters were all quirky but certainly well-rounded, particularl...
  • Ivy Moore
    2018-05-13“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 pe...
  • Adriana
    It's great to read a book that deals with such hard topics as mental health and (view spoiler)[suicide (hide spoiler)] from the perspective of those that love the one feeling depressed. It hits just as hard (if nor harder) and it shows that mental health issues don't just affect the individual.Ray is the one left behind and this history lover deals with his pain by reconstructing the facts as he knows them. We get glimpses into his past with Jane...
  • Energy
    I always appreciate it when an author takes on real-life issues, and I feel that Belanger hit it out of the park with The History of Jane Doe. Simon and Ray lead a rather mundane life, just the two of them as social outcasts, until Jane transfers to their school. For some reason, she chooses them to be friends with. Told in chapters reflecting the past and then the present, readers watch their friendship and then relationship unfold. We are given...
  • Ellen Johnsmeyer
    Ray Green is the appealing adolescent narrator of The History of Jane Doe. He and his sidekick, Simon are the quirky kids at school, outsiders until they meet Jane, the new girl. Ray is a twenty first century Holden Caulfield trying to navigate the minefield of adolescent life. Like Holden he is alienated from his parents and most of his peers and like Holden we learn about his angst as he expresses it to his therapist. What makes Ray appealing i...
  • Jennilyn
    I want to love “The History of Jane” because I felt the sincerity of the author to say something about loss, grief, guilt, and mental health, but that earnestness does not quite translate into a story that will make me care about it for a long while.I am not saying that I did not enjoy reading it because I did. In fact, I inhaled the book like there’s no tomorrow. The hook is in the humor of Ray’s voice. Him and his vampire-fiction enthus...
  • Emma
    Where to start with this beautiful book? I lost track of the number of times I laughed out loud at Simon’s often oblivious goofiness and Ray’s stories of the weird history of his town. I also lost track of the number of tissues I literally blew through as I was finishing the book. The last few chapters made me a sobbing mess. I somehow did not catch on to the inevitability of the “zero days before” until I was reading that chapter—I thi...
  • Kate Vocke
    I was really intrigued by the description of this book and happy when I won the chance to read and review it. The History of Jane Doe is an ode to first loves, and a journey through mental illness. It's fun, it's sad, it's heartbreaking while also being heartwarming.Ray is a high-schooler history-buff in love with Jane. She enters his life and him and his best friend Simon are forever changed. But she hides some deep dark secrets that torment her...
  • Amber Garabrandt
    Summary:Seen through the eyes of a youth that has already loved and lost, this story is cut into parts so that he can write out the history: Before Jane, and After Jane. Struggling with the hurt feelings, guilt, unanswered questions and trying to find his place again; Ray is drowning and no amount of therapy, parenting, or friendship can reach him. He always understood history, and wanted to write Jane’s; so that she wasn’t forgotten. But how...
  • Shelee at Book Reader Chronicles
    **4.5 Stars**Michael Belanger penned a hard-hitting anthem for exploring mental health with The History of Jane Doe . The complexities lay with Ray and the the weaving of Before and After chapters, and his search in the histories of character and the world for answers. With poignancy and a natural rawness, Ray and Jane’s story will resonant with readers deeply.The real-world pain of silent suffering is impossible to miss in this story, but the...
  • Hannah
    The History of Jane Doe by Michael Belanger Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book — all opinions are my own.**I’m always filled with joy when a book is able to make me laugh out loud, and, despite the tragic loss woven throughout the story, “The History of Jane Doe” had me laughing like crazy at the quick and clever jokes made by the history buff narrator, Ray. The book is centered around Ray, his best f...
  • Stephanie Mills
    as soon as i got this in the mail I started reading it and couldn't put it done! LOved it, very much worth a read!
  • Benni
    I received an ARC from the publisher via Penguin's First to Read program. This book has content warnings for suicide, mental illness, and depression.This one is tough for me to review because while overall I really liked the writing style and the characters, it fell a little flat for me as a whole. I think that the counting down/counting up alternating timelines was interesting, but it would have worked better if what was going to happen with Jan...
  • Jessica
    Jessica It took me a while to finish The History of Jane Doe because my daughter stole it from me. It eventually came back to me with (voluntary!) stickies.This is what I loved about The History of Jane Doe: Authentic characters: I thought about them after I put the book down. They seemed like the real deal, and stayed on my mind. Impending tragedy: I knew something terrible was going to happen, but I still wanted to keep reading because I wanted...
  • Ruchi
    I received the advanced readers copy (ARC) of this book, thanks to First to Read in exchange for an honest review. "Anything that can go right, will go right." - Simon's LawI picked the book primarily because it screamed 'funny, coming of age and the classic - nerdy boy meets new girl story'. I wasn’t entirely disappointed in my expectations. But have to admit, I got a bit more than I bargained for.There were a lot of things I enjoyed about the...
  • Amanda
    *Thank you First To Read for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review****Before reading this review, just know that this book contains subjects like depression and suicide. If you or someone you know is at risk please call 1-800-273-8255.When I was first approved to receive this book, I first thought it was going to be a crime/thriller novel just based on the cover and title. When I picked up The History of Jane Doe by Micha...
  • April
    This story melds the horrors of depression with the joys of budding new romance; the pain of tragic pasts with the hopes for brighter futures. Ray is a history buff in a small town named Burgerville. Along with his milk and vampires obsessed friend Simon; the two meet and become friends with newcomer Jane Doe at the start of their Junior year. The format of the story and the tone all very quickly let you know that Jane is struggling in life and t...
  • Elizabeth
    Everything about this debut novel will be slightly familiar to regular readers of realistic YA fiction. Ray is an average geek living in a slightly quirky small town with a slightly weird history which Ray embraces. When the slightly mysterious new girl "Jane" befriends Ray in science class, he doesn't grill her about her past, though he suspects there is something slightly tragic in her history.The friendship grows slightly romantic as Ray promi...
  • Sarah
    When an issue is repeatedly brought to light in the media my tendency is to balk. I don't care to be repeatedly beaten over the head particularly when it is something I am supposed to care deeply about. Teen suicide is one such topic. Not that I don't care, because I certainly do not wish for anyone to suffer, but rather that I dislike feeling as though I am being told "THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT!' As such, I was a bit wary of The History of Jane D...
  • Lesley
    I received a copy of this book from Penguin’s First to Read program in exchange for an honest review. Ray is a typical, unexceptional high school kid. He has one weird friend, Simon, gets along okay with his mom, and loves history—especially quirky facts about the history of his typical, unexceptional hometown. Ray’s humdrum life changes forever when “Jane Doe” moves to town. We never learn much about Jane’s inner life, beyond the fac...