Mandy's Reviews > When She Woke

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
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's review
Mar 29, 2012

it was ok

The protagonist awakes dyed red for her crime...abortion. In this dystopian tale there is no separation of church and state, and even less separation between the author's personal political views and her story. This book is engaging, initially (until the last 1/3) well written, and explores some controversial subjects. It is not for the sensitive, faint of heart, or easily offended. Or even not easily offended, there were many parts i had to skip/skim. To me, it felt like 2 separate novels, with the first one being just disturbing enough to be thought provoking and the second veering into the ridiculous and poorly concealed propaganda. I can't really recommend this book because I didn't like the way that religion and abortion are portrayed. There are very few "gray" people in this novel, everyone seems to be on one side of the spectrum or the other. Those who have a firm faith and strong moral convictions (specifically evangelicals, mormons, and catholics) are frequently portrayed in an unflattering way. The author placed every religious (and conservative) person on the extreme zealous end of the spectrum, which showed little understanding or respect, in my opinion. Then there is the very obvious and overwhelming pro choice tone of the book. I took it for what it was, an opinion different from my own. It was interesting to see another perspective, but this may bother some readers.

To the authors credit, she did me take a long hard look at the way we as a society treat one another, especially people who have committed crimes and force me to think deeply about my own convictions. The book was also a page turner, I finished it in one sitting. Her dystopian world was a little too familiar and felt almost too real. While I do not in any way agree with her opinions or obvious agenda, I did like the warnings of mixing church and state...I just think that warning goes both ways.

The last third of the novel was ridiculous and included elements I had to skip over. Very offensive and not true at all to the novel's protagonist.

In conclusion, an interesting novel that I will never read again. Made me think. Made me want to write a long review. Made me want to warn my friends that this is one you should approach with extreme caution if at all.
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Reading Progress

06/24 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Kimberly This one has been sitting on my nightstand for months. I was really looking forward to it because I loved Handmaid's Tale, but I will approach it with caution!

Mandy Kim, I think you could handle this one, there is one scene near the end, but you'll see it coming and just skip it. I have to say, I kinda hope you read it because it would make for an interesting discussion!

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