Thursday, September 26, 2013

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

3 Stars

Ten years ago, Piper was a carefree (and careless) young gal looking for love in all the wrong places. Those wrong places led her to living a lavish lifestyle with her partner Nora – all funded with drug money. Piper left that world behind over a decade ago and is now ready to settle down with her fiancĂ© Larry. There’s just one little thing standing in the way – the 15 month sentence she has to serve in the federal pen for her crimes of the past.

Let me begin by stating I’ve never seen the television series "Orange is the New Black". In fact, when I first saw the commercials advertising the show I went to trusty Goodreads to see if it was a book. Win!?! Maybe not as my gut is telling me the television version is probably considerably better than the book. That’s not to say the book is bad, per se. It’s just . . . . shallow.

I don’t know if Ms. Kerman glossed over her 13 months in lock-up intentionally, or if it just really wasn’t that exciting a story to tell. I mean, yes, she served time, but she truly did it at Club Fed whether she wants to admit it or not. While she gives us snippets of MANY different characters, she really doesn’t delve in to anything but the surface layer of their stories. I realize the book is about Piper’s experience in prison, but those women were the make or break of those 13 months. I mean, she was almost IMMEDIATELY accepted into the upper hierarchy of the inmates, yet makes it seem as if it were no big deal. Again, I realize we’re not dealing with shank-wielding gangbangers in this novel, but Kerman should have either explained in more detail how these relationships developed or spent more time owning up to the fact that her cute/young/white/straight status got her a lot of perks in the system.

All in all it was an "okay" read. If you’re looking for a non-fiction that is short and reads like fiction, this one’s a winner.

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