Elizabeth Drake's Reviews > When She Woke

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
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's review
Jan 18, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012-books, dystopia, top-books-in-2012
Read from January 18 to 20, 2012

This novel is inspired on The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, however, rather than use the story as a map for her own, Hillary Jordan jumps off from this point in order to create her own unsettling and disturbing world.

To me, the descriptions of the over-arching power of the church were just as frightening as the treatment of the chromes. I found it very interesting to read of the power of the "Texas Internet Authority" on the same day that many sites had willingly shut down in protest of SOPA. Clearly, a world such as Jordan writes about, is not that far removed from our own.

As a character, Hannah shows immense growth, though her epiphanies sometimes seem to come unprovoked and are a little difficult to believe. I found Kayla to be more interesting and wish that she had featured more. As for Aiden, his acceptance of Hannah and willingness to give up everything that he has worked for doesn't feel real to me. I simply don't see a man that created the ultimate public image as allowing that to be threatened by an illegitimate child and illicit affair.

Overall, the novel is very well written and the reader remains enthralled while Hannnah experiences one terror after another, forcing her to take control of her life in a way that she never expected.

> Some discussion of adult themes such as sex, rape and murder makes this novel inappropriate for young audiences. I recommend Grade 10 and up.


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Reading Progress

12.0% "Interesting to read about the "Texas Internet Authority" on a day when many sites are shut down to protest SOPA."
63.0% "Really enjoying this one!"
63.0% "Anyone else reading this one and want to discuss?"

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