Jen Quintanilla's Reviews > When She Woke

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
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May 16, 13

Read from January 09 to 18, 2013

During most of this book, I was convinced it was going to be a solid 4 or 5 star rating. Then the second half of the book happened and it slipped to somewhere between a 3 and 3 1/2 star rating.

From one section to the next things changed radically - in my opinion, even the writing changed, and not for the better. The book really lost its way in the second half as the author tried to rush a lot of Hannah's transformation. Her progression was not at all believable, regardless of how much strife she experienced. The absolute most ridiculous thing was the lesbian plot twist. I have no idea what Jordan thought she was accomplishing by throwing this in but all it did was confuse me. It was not at all believable that Hannah would have sex with Simone. It was leaps and bounds beyond her character's trajectory at that point in the story. Was the message supposed the be that she was feeling so liberated and empowered that she slept with another woman? That Simone was as liberated and empowered as Hannah wanted to be so she was trying to embrace that? I have no idea but I found it ridiculous because it made absolutely no sense and did nothing to advance the plot. I really feel Jordan did not make the best of the space she had to develop this story. The opening was so strong and hinted at so many fascinating elements of a futuristic theocratic America marred by the long and devastating effects of an epidemic, global warming, and the strong hold of extremism. While the book has its moments and raises important issues in subtle ways, the last half of the book was uneven and lessened the overall impact. I was intrigued by some of the varying views of religion presented by the book. All in all, I think I'd recommend this book.
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01/11/2013 page 16
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