Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee)'s Reviews > When She Woke

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
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Oct 03, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, dystopic, 2012, adult-lit
Read from June 07 to 10, 2012

I loved When She Woke. I immediately thought of The Scarlett Letter, which I need to read, and The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (which I tried reading but gave up on).

I thought the idea of Chroming people according to their crime was really interesting, as was the idea of a secretary of faith. The book does make you think about things like freedom, separation of church and state, abortion and religion and faith. It's definitely a future that I can see happening, which made the book slightly scary.

As for what I didn't like: I thought it wrapped up a little too nicely. I don't have a problem with the slightly ambiguous ending, but the ending felt a little forced. What I found to be really irritating was the fact that Hannah's transformation from beginning to end was pretty dramatic, given that it takes place over a few weeks.

We also don't a lot of information about the society- we get bits and pieces, but there were things that didn't make sense. How is it that Hannah is 25 and not married? It seems like her world is one where people get married very young, and yet she is not. Or how her parents are super-strict and ultra-conservative, but she can get "forbidden" books at the library. Something just seemed off about the way the society was set up, which may (or may not) be related to the lack of information we get about them.

Overall, though, it gets a 5 out of 5. I loved it, and it's not something I'm going to forget anytime soon. Despite losing it's way towards the end, and some of the issues I had with the book, it was still a great read.
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