When She Woke by Hillary Jordan was a very strange book. The entire time I was compelled to read it, but I could not decide if I liked it or not. I thought it was very interesting, but it was very odd and I didn’t really enjoy the “futuristic” part of it (a.g. criminals were turned a different color). Also, there was a lot of imaginary electronics. The part that I found interesting, and timely, is that the line between church and state was gone. I didn’t hate the book, but I’m not sure if I would recommend it. I borrowed it from the library and I’m not disappointed that I read it, but it’s not on my “must-recommend-and-tell-everyone-to-read” list.
Goodreads describes the book:
I am red now. It was her first thought of the day, every day, surfacing after a few seconds of fogged, blessed ignorance and sweeping through her like a wave, breaking in her breast with a soundless roar. Hard on its heels came the second wave, crashing into the wreckage left by the first: he is gone.
Hannah Payne’s life has been devoted to church and family. But after she’s convicted of murder, she awakens to a nightmarish new life. She finds herself lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes—criminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime—is a sinister form of entertainment. Hannah is a Red for the crime of murder. The victim, says the State of Texas, was her unborn child, and Hannah is determined to protect the identity of the father, a public figure with whom she shared a fierce and forbidden love.
A powerful reimagining of The Scarlet Letter, When She Woke is a timely fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of the not-too-distant future, where the line between church and state has been eradicated, and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned but chromed and released back into the population to survive as best they can. In seeking a path to safety in an alien and hostile world, Hannah unknowingly embarks on a journey of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes faith and love.
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