Friday, June 13, 2014

Book Review: Orange is the New Black

Title Orange is the New Black

Author Piper Kerman

Release Date April 6, 2010

With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 — one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison—why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there.

I'm a big fan of the show Orange is the New Black. It wasn't until halfway through the second season of the Netflix original series that I decided to read the book.

Orange is the New Black is a memoir. It's a well-written and straightforward account of Piper Kerman's 15 month sentence in federal prison. Though there are similarities between the book and the series on Netflix, they are certainly different. You shouldn't pick up this memoir simply because you enjoyed the series. If that's your only reason for reading this book, you may find yourself disappointed. The show has taken liberties with the story and has more entertainment value whereas the book is simply Kerman's experiences. (I am not saying that one is better than the other, but that they are both good in their own respective mediums.) However, if you're interested in reading about a woman's stay in prison, you might enjoy this memoir.


4 out of 5 stars

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