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When She Woke (2011)

by Hillary Jordan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,4781528,623 (3.7)136
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.… (more)
Recently added byArina40, Rivaton, private library
  1. 170
    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Anonymous user, BeckyJG, bookworm12, sparemethecensor)
    sparemethecensor: The Handmaid's Tale is the classic forerunner to dystopic fiction of sexist futures. When She Woke picks up the mantel with a more modern version of a misogynistic theocracy taking over government. Both show terrifying futures for the state of women in society.… (more)
  2. 100
    The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: WHEN SHE WOKE is a modern retelling of the classic.
  3. 30
    Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (ellbeecee)
    ellbeecee: Near-future dystopian fiction that makes you consider what's going on and the various paths that could be taken.
  4. 20
    Bumped by Megan McCafferty (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: It's YA, but the fertility issues are similar in both novels.
  5. 10
    Archetype by M. D. Waters (4leschats)
    4leschats: Similar themes of gender/reproduction in the future.
  6. 00
    The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons (4leschats)
    4leschats: Similar themes of marked criminals/lower elements and female fertility
  7. 00
    The Misconceiver : A Novel by Lucy Ferriss (bhowell)
  8. 11
    Christian Nation by Frederic C. Rich (4leschats)
    4leschats: Similar theme of a post-evangelical government takeover and its ramifications on civil liberties

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» See also 136 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
Author's interesting take on Hawthorne's [The Scarlet Letter] set in a dystopian future not too far off. Theme of racism symbolized by "chroming": those who break the law forced to undergo skin color change, certain colors representing certain crimes. Strange book, but compelling. ( )
  janerawoof | Jan 11, 2020 |
The writing was ok, but I prefer the world of the Handmaiden's Tale instead. ( )
  AnnaHernandez | Oct 17, 2019 |
It took me a month to read this book because I had to keep puting it down for other reading commitments, but the plot was interesting enough to keep me coming back (eventually to my regret). There were some major weaknesses, the chief one being that the main character, a young fundamenalist Christian woman, had no serious moral reservations or regrets about having an abortion, and even her evangelical preacher lover didn't sweat it too much. Still, the world she lived in, the people she met, and her road to freedom were interesting enough, and the writing was simple and straightforward and didn't get in the way of the story. It was a low 3 star read for me, until the last 20% of the book took a nose dive into nauseating YA Christian Romance territory. Not my genre, to put it mildly. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
Great dystopian book, I enjoyed it very much, nicely written to where I was having a hard time putting this book down. The story takes place in the USA, church and state are no longer divided in fact church pretty much has the say in your everyday life. Prisons are nonexistent criminals are now Chromed and sent back into society to be outcast and treated inferior by the rest of the citizens. Chroming is the process where you are injected with a chemical that turns your skin a color that signifies the criminal act that you have been convicted of. You will be Chromed as many years as your sentencing was set for. Different colors represent the different crimes. In the book we meet Hannah who has been Chromed red. Red is the color of attempted murder and also having an abortion which is an illegal act in this society. Hannah’s crime is having an abortion, she is now an outcast in society her family will have nothing to do with her and is in constant flux trying to fit into a society that is shunning her. I would suggest this book if you are looking for something in the same vein as The Handmaids Tale
( )
  greergreer | Mar 1, 2019 |
I couldn't put this book down. It's very emotionally powerful, and frightening, but at its core is a story about a woman regaining agency and her faith and I loved it so much. Hannah is a great, fully realized character and the world building is excellent. I also enjoyed the references to The Scarlet Letter. ( )
  queenofthebobs | Feb 28, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
These early scenes, in which Hannah wakes up in the Chrome ward where she’s been sentenced to remain for 30 days, are promisingly inventive. ... Lacking the satiric sting of “1984″ and “A Clockwork Orange,” the pathos of “Super Sad True Love Story” and “The Book of Dave,” or the kind of newfangled vocabulary each of these works used to describe their worlds, Jordan’s dystopia turns out to depict a much smaller future than its bold opening chapters, with their clever homage to Hawthorne, had so valiantly attempted to guarantee.
added by lquilter | editSalon.com, Donna Rifkind (Oct 10, 2011)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hillary Jordanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Corrigan, HeatherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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“Truly, friend, and methinks it must gladden your heart, after your troubles and sojourn in the wilderness,” said the townsman, “to find yourself, at length, in a land where iniquity is searched out, and punished in the sight of rulers and people.”  —NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, The Scarlet Letter
This book is for my father
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When she woke, she was red.
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Book description
Hannah Payne awakens to a nightmare. She is lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home. She is now a convicted criminal, and her skin color has been genetically altered. Her crime, according to the State of Texas: the murder of her unborn child, whose father she refuses to name. Her color: red. The color of newly shed blood.

In Hannah's America, sometime in the future, faith, love, and sexuality have fallen prey to politics. Convicted felons are no longer imprisoned and rehabilitated, but "chromed", forced to appear in a new and sinister form of reality TV, and released back into the population. Stigmatized in a hostile world, they must survive the best they can.

Until her arrest, Hannah had devoted her life to church and family. In seeking a path to safety, she is forced to question the values she once held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes the personal.

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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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