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When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
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When She Woke (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Hillary Jordan

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1,2141416,570 (3.73)127
Member:bwhite1021
Title:When She Woke
Authors:Hillary Jordan
Info:Turtleback Books (2012), Library Binding, 354 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan (2011)

Recently added byMallc, Rena37, RedQueen, private library, brideofsevenless, loraxiom
  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: A Novel 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 127 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
I was wondering what all the hubbub was about surrounding this book when I picked it up, and it turns out that it was totally worth all the noise people are making about it. Not to mention, it is deliciously controversial. I can imagine certain groups of readers are having hissy fits and becoming very angry while reading this book because it challenges some core beliefs about religion, autonomy, and womanhood. It also tackles topics like race, class, and LGBT issues rather smartly and without being condescending, which is also a plus in our current reading environment where people think The Help is a legitimate novel about fighting racism and not just another feel-good 'selfless white girl fights for the helpless black folk' fairy tale.

Having been recently burnt out on YA dystopian novels, it's nice to see an adult novel tackle the dystopian genre and do it well, with excellent world-building and storytelling skills to boot. It took me a chapter or two to properly get into the story, but the first-person narrative style that put me off initially ended up becoming a major factor in my enjoyment of the story. Some of the plot lines seem rushed, and I would have loved to spend more time in the Chrome shelter just because it was an absolutely fascinating place to visit, but overall it is an effective and chilling read.

So glad I checked this out on a whim at the library; I hope to read Hillary Jordan's debut novel before the year is out. ( )
  SarahHayes | Feb 20, 2017 |
When She Woke, tells the story of a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of a not-too-distant future, where the line between church and state has been eradicated and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned and rehabilitated but chromed?their skin color is genetically altered to match the class of their crimes?and then released back into the population to survive as best they can. Hannah is a Red; her crime is murder. In seeking a path to safety in an alien and hostile world, Hannah unknowingly embarks on a path of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes faith. (summary from ISBN 1616201932)

This book has an interesting premise, but the pace was slow and I found it hard to care about any of the characters. ( )
  lrobe190 | Dec 29, 2016 |
An arresting premise for a book, and it held my interest until the end. But the writing is hit-and-miss--downright clunky in some spots--and some of Hannah's actions near the end made me so frustrated with her I almost stopped reading. Interesting, worth a look, but Jordan can't quite pull off what Atwood managed with A Handmaid's Tale. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
This book is evocative, provocative, thought provoking and very original. Although this is a riff on The Scarlet Letter, Jordan has put a thoroughly modern spin on an old tale. Highly original and compulsively readable. I am not a fan of dystopian fiction, but I loved this book. ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
Hmmm what to say...? As so many other reviewers have said, the first half was really good. Believable dystopian society setup, a sympathetic main character, interesting fresh idea... And then about halfway through it just fell apart. Some of the things that happened were WAY out of character for the protag, and changed my feelings about the whole book. And then all the religious propaganda at the end, I don't get it. This could have been so very very interesting given the rather original plot line... Oh well. ( )
  KnivesBoone | Jul 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 141 (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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Hillary Jordanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Corrigan, HeatherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
“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
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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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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)

(summary from another edition)

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