When She Woke

When She Woke

A Novel

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
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In the future, abortion has become a crime as a series of events threatens the existence of the United States. One woman wakes up to discover that her skin color has been changed to red as punishment for having the procedure done. Now she must embark on a dangerous journey in order to find refuge from a hostile and threatening society.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781565126299
1565126297
Branch Call Number: F JORDA-H
Characteristics: 344 p. ; 22 cm

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OPL_MaggieP Apr 13, 2018

I've seen it stated elsewhere and I have to agree: I wish I could rate and review the first half of the book vs. the second half. The first half was really cool. The author built an interesting world and it read as a decent companion to something like "Handsmaid's Tale". I found myself saying out loud to a friend "This book is great!"

The second half gets a little wonky. She begins making choices and taking actions that have come out of left field. No explanation and no ties to the character that had been built up before. I kept waiting for her to wake up when it comes to Aiden and see him for the manipulative and unappealing guy he is. Poor Aiden's wife most egregious crime seems to be merely existing and marrying Aiden before Hannah could meet him and her attitude seems to convey this is not the first time (nor the first girl) Aiden has strayed from the marriage. WHY IS THIS GUY SO COOL? Even though Hannah is supposed to come from a rather sheltered background, her other choices and actions in the second half of the book should have come with a healthy dose of reality.

LPL_PolliK Nov 30, 2017

When She Woke is a dystopian riff on The Scarlet Letter, but infinitely more discussable. The concept of turning "criminals" into brightly pigmented reality TV fodder alone is enough to talk about for an entire book club, but the rest of the novel keeps you reading and thinking. Jordan does a fine job of painting a not-to-distant future that seems real enough to give one pause. Superb fiction in the vein of The Handmaid's Tale, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, and Parable of the Sower.

SCL_Tricia Nov 22, 2017

I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick, thought provoking read. I would recommend this book if you know what you are getting into. I did find it got a bit preachy at times. There is a part in the middle that I did not agree with, I felt it went against so much that the author was saying throughout the rest of the novel. The whole scene just felt wrong, when you get there you will understand.

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daysleeper236
Nov 05, 2017

A fast-paced, dystopian thriller.

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KatG1983
Jun 06, 2017

I really enjoyed this book, which is sort of a modern take on The Scarlett Letter. The dystopian future painted by the author feels realistic, especially with some of the 'alt-right Christians' holding power in the United States of recent months. As a commenter below mentioned, I feel like the first third of the book was the best part, and that the author missed an opportunity to further explore the world she set up. But, in all, it was a good read. Recommended for anyone who is watching the current TV show version of Atwood's Handmaid's Tale.

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PearlyBaker
Jun 01, 2017

I really liked this author and she captivated me with this awful world she created in the near future. However the middle turned into a young adult romance adventure complete with obligatory lesbian sex, which was nice, however the end was way too saccharine sweet for this old sailor. I prefer my dystopia to either be the truth which is WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE or at least more realistic where the Christians all die and the lesbians take over and bring peace and harmony to our poisoned prison planet.

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AlexandraJohnson
Dec 16, 2016

eBook - 2012

KaiteS_KCMO Oct 14, 2016

One of the most discussable books for book groups. A speedy plot in a thought-provoking setting. Imagine a new system of crime and punishment that allows all members of society to see what crimes have been committed based on skin color. Atwood's Handmaid's Tale meets Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Scary, realistic, literary thriller.

JCLDebbieF Oct 13, 2016

Interestingly enough, the concept of people being turned different colors based on the crimes they're convicted of is fascinating, but strangely it isn't as much of a big deal as you'd expect.

CMLibrary_sfetzer May 17, 2016

In the not-too-distant future, Christian fundamentalists have taken over most of the United States. In this new future criminals are punished by having their skin color altered and being released back into society to attempt to survive in a world that doesn’t want them. Hannah is caught having an abortion and is sentenced to become a red—her crime being murder. Hannah struggles with losing her family, her identity, and her ideology all at once. Though she has lost seemingly everything, Hannah picks up the pieces and embarks on an exciting adventure which challenges everything that she knows. An interesting mix of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Scarlet Letter, When She Woke is a great read for fans of either.

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Suvorov1
Feb 21, 2013

Suvorov1 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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