Stacia's Reviews > When She Woke

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
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's review
Oct 05, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: postapocalytpic-dystopia, 2011
Read from November 11 to 14, 2011

** spoiler alert ** I'm giving this book 4 stars as a compromise; the first 2/3 gets 5 stars, but the final 1/3 gets three stars. This is a chilling book, reminiscent (as others have said) of The Scarlet Letter and The Handmaid's Tale. The book is divided into sections, and for the first two-thirds of the book, the narrator's story is compelling, taut, and riveting. It's the last couple of sections of the book that I found contrived. I did not have any problems with Hannah's interlude with Simone per se, other than it seemed a bit forced. For me, the problem was bigger: the plot elements required to set up a happy ending for everyone undermined the tension that slowly built up throughout the book. Rather than the bang I expected, the book gradually came to its end, and although it was a happy ending, I was left vaguely unsatisfied. I guess it's hard for me to accept "and they lived happily ever after" in such a dystopian setting.

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