Review: Orange Is the New Black: My Time in a Women’s Prison

Orange Is the New Black: My Time in a Women's Prison
Orange Is the New Black: My Time in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Orange Is the New Black: My Time in a Women’s Prison Honestly not what I was expecting at all. It was funny, sad, and horrifying all at the same time. I realize (as MANY other reviews point out) that Piper’s story is a rare one. Very few people out through the American Prison System have the love and support of so many people. I wasn’t blown away by the book, some things stood out for me, a little too much repetition, and a bit of confusion as to who was who, but over all I really enjoyed this book.Regardless of how common her situation is she still goes from a free woman to a locked up criminal (regardless of the level of security).It is easy for many people to say that she is whining about being sent to jail in the first place and that her memoir was written to further that whining. I don’t see that to be the case. With this memoir, it feels (at least to me) that Piper is trying to share her time behind bars for two main reasons.The first is to give the rest of America (and beyond) a glimpse into a system that is a little more real than Martha Stewart’s. She highlights in the book that Stewart’s trial (and subsequent arrest) was at its height during her year in prison. Her “time in jail”, as well as the story a fellow inmate told the press about; makes jail seam like a vacation. While Piper’s story is not from the other end of the spectrum, it still allows for more of an inside view into the US Correctional System. The second and more important reason I found in the memoir was to show to general population that the lengths and severities of jail sentences do not always match the crime and can often be based upon looks and wealth. Piper talks about many of her fellow inmates and how, for many of them shorter sentencing and then community service and parole, would be a more effective use of tax payers money and would allow better transition from their criminal pasts. Like mentioned in the memoir prisoners need to forget about the outside world in order to sanely get though their ‘time’ inside. Depending on how hard that is they many have a hard time adjusting to ‘normal’ life again. A brief glimpse of this even within the prison walls itself is he transfers from maximum -to-minimum lockup. Many inmates don’t know how to handle so much freedom.Don’t get me wrong, I in no way condone the drug smuggling business, but after reading Piper’s memoir I find it a huge waste of money to have people like Piper in prison. $30000 (or more) to keep her in prison, or she could have be doing community service and contributing to society.

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Review: One Breath Away

One Breath Away
One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One Breath Away covers quite a few touchy subjects. As much as I wanted to LOVE this book, I found that the range of topics made following the plot line very confusing. The primary issue (well, incident) is the lockdown of the small town’s only school, however I found that the main focus of the book was actually on the intricate lives and ‘mistakes’ of those involved.

Reading about a school lockdown from five different points-of-view made the first half of the book hard to get hooked on. After the initial confusion from jumping around died down I still didn’t enjoy the crazy back and forth. I would be intrigued by one character’s story and then be thrown into another without much transition. Making the book feel too choppy.

Although the memories were absolutely an integral part of the story, each character’s personal trials giving insight into their actions that day; I found that in some places the memories were hard to distinguish from the present day.

Now, despite my dislike for the execution of the book I thoroughly enjoyed the story. The mere possibility of children being harmed hits a soft spot with many people. Having a child may make the blow hit harder, but children are innocent bystanders in almost every situation and should never have to witness this level of evil.

Watching these five characters fight with their regrets while still fighting to protect the children was inspirational.

Overall I would say three and a half stars, but I’ll round up because of the beautiful placement of the title in the story.

“We’re always one breath away from something, living or dying, sometimes it just can’t be helped.”
― [a:Heather Gudenkauf|2875124|Heather Gudenkauf|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1383946596p2/2875124.jpg],[b:One Breath Away|13112023|One Breath Away|Heather Gudenkauf|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1333763497s/13112023.jpg|18285607]

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Rory Gilmore’s Reading List

I am quite aware that this book list may take me a few years, but I plan on getting through it one day. All the books on this this are classics in their own right and deserve at least one read.

  1. 1984 – George OrwellJanuary 2008
  2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  3. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay – Michael Chabon
  5. An American Tragedy – Theodore Dreiser
  6. Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
  7. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  8. Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
  9. Archidamian War – Donald Kagen
  10. The Art of Fiction  – Henry James
  11. The Art of War – Sun Tzu
  12. As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
  13. Atonement – Ian McEwan
  14. The Awakening – Kate Chopin
  15. Autobiography of a Face – Lucy Grealy

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Review: If I Stay

If I Stay
If I Stay by Gayle Forman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As always, I’ve waited until the hype of this book (and movie) have died down a little. I personally find it difficult to fully experience a book with everyone else’s opinions being thrown at me.

I know most people LOVE this book, but I just don’t. The story is well written and beautifully sad, the fact that it is (very loosely) based upon a true story hurts my heart all that much more, but I just thought that Mia was too much of a generic teenager. Sure, [a:Gayle Forman|295178|Gayle Forman|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1383395848p2/295178.jpg] depicts her as a semi-outcast-classical-music-loving-geek, but she seams very bland to me, and often (even during the ‘real time’ narrative) I kept picturing a younger girl, maybe twelve or thirteen.

I would have probably given this book four stars if it wasn’t for how let down I feel.
I guess I was expecting a little more from this book after all the amazing reviews I have heard.

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Review: A Gift of Ghosts

A Gift of Ghosts
A Gift of Ghosts by Sarah Wynde

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got this book for free on Amazon. The title is what drew me in and the cute connection between Akira and Dillon kept me around. I loved that she connected with him, and tries to help make his (after) life easier. The romance with Dillon’s uncle (and her boss) is pretty cute, but the beginnings are WAY to unbelievable. I’m also not a huge fan of the way Akira handles herself, she says she doesnt like/want something, yet she always does it anyways.

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Review: After the Fire

After the Fire
After the Fire by Kathryn Shay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book on Amazon during a free promotion. I mainly downloaded it because of the firefighter aspect. I did not expect the depth that I found.

Shay’s portrayal of firefighter life, along with the detailed and real relationships made me feel as if I was watching a show, rather than just reading.

There were some slightly confusing moments and some areas that need a little more review, but over all I am extremely impressed.

I initially wanted to give 4 stars (4.5 but rounded down) how ever, in the almost 24 hours since I finished reading the book I can not stop thinking about the characters and how much I want to read the next book, just so I can get a glimps of them again.

For that, I will round up instead and give a rare 5.

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