This book review was originally published on The Wordy Nerd Books on January 12, 2015.
Like much of the country, I recently found myself sucked into the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. It ended up being one of those series that my husband and I binge-watched and really enjoyed. After we finished the second
season of the Netflix series, I decided to pick up Piper Kerman’s memoir, Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, which inspired the Netflix series.
Like the Netflix series, I really enjoyed Kerman’s memoir. Her writing flows very well which made this book a pretty quick and easy read. I found it easy to connect many of the characters from the book with the Netflix series even though the character names were changed for the series. Kerman’s book was definitely not as action packed as the series but that is to be expected since this book is Kerman’s memoir and not written for ratings.
Kerman does a very good job in this book highlighting the problems with the prison system and showing what many of the people in prison go through. I often think that middle-class Americans do not always recognize the struggles that many people in low socioeconomic situations go through and I think that Kerman did a wonderful job of putting some of that into words. This book left me with a lot to think about.
Overall, I gave this book three stars. While it is well-written and shines a spotlight on the plight of women in the prison system, it was a bit slow at times. I also found Kerman to be a bit repetitive throughout this book. If you haven’t watched the Netflix series yet, I would suggest reading the book first. If you have watched the series, be aware that the events in the series are exaggerated greatly.
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