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When She Woke (2011)

by Hillary Jordan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,4911609,404 (3.7)137
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)
  1. 180
    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. 110
    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 137 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 159 (next | show all)
Mixed emotions and feelings about this book. ( )
  ntwillow | Aug 17, 2021 |
adult fiction. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
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. ( )
  sarahlh | Mar 6, 2021 |
Dystopian Thriller that I didn't think I would enjoy at first, but once I got into it, I could't put it down.

In Jordan's tale, Abortion has been outlawed in America ( or most states) and the crime is punishable by being "Chromed" to have one skin turn a different color. People are Chromed based on their crime ( Blue/Purple, Red and Yellow) in a future scarlet letter idea.

Hannah is now red after getting an abortion and refusing to name the father or the doctor. The story follows her life as she adjusts to a new life in what is my opinion a pretty scary world. ( )
  sunshine608 | Feb 2, 2021 |
This dystopian twist on "The Scarlet Letter" provided plenty of social commentary on religion, technology, reproductive rights, and the role of women. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 159 (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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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

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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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Average: (3.7)
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4.5 35
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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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