This is my first book review and it may not be as professional as it should or be done in the right format, but I just want to detail my perspective on the book that now has a Netflix original show based on it. ***MAY INCLUDE SPOILERS***
My husband and I started watching the show when it first started on Netflix. We very quickly became addicted to it. It seemed a bit dramatic, but was very intriguing. My husband has always like prison/crime shows and this seemed to be a female (and more subdued) version of Oz. We finished season 2 in a week (the only bad thing about Netflix original series episodes being released all at one time), now we have to wait almost a year for the next season.
In the interregnum, by my husband’s suggested, I started reading the book where it all originated. It took some getting used to as the names are different between the show and book, but I could pretty much guess who was who. I still don’t understand why they changed the names for the show, but it doesn’t affect the story line much. What does affect the story line is how much more is added to each little tale Piper Kerman tells. The book is simple, straight to the point, explaining real-life events without all the added pizzazz. The show, on the other hand, has the pizzazz needed to keep a show going for more than 2 seasons.
For example: If Piper Kerman said she smacked a girls hand, Piper Chapman would have punched the girl in the face.
The real Piper is much more giving and the real-life prison women far less hostile. She describes definite sects based on race and background, but how Kerman tells it, they didn’t want to kill each other every chance they got. I won’t detail all the differences because that would take too long and they aren’t really that important, but there are definitely enough that I would encourage you read the book if you find the show interesting.
The book grabbed my attention and held it. Not because it was filled with drama, women killing women, or women fucking women, but because it gave me insight into a world that I’ve never experienced. I was able to put myself in the shoes of those women and see how much they were suffering, how little help they received, and the sad way convicts can be treated. That is one of the reason I love books, I can immerse myself in a world that, otherwise, would be completely unknown to me.
The only part of this book I was disappointed with was the end***SPOILER ALERT***. The closer I got to the end the more I wondered how she was going to finish in such a short number of pages. When I finally finished it I understood. She ended pretty abruptly for my taste. The whole book was spent describing events, emotions, and people in detail and the end was so…it was just so…bland. I wanted to know how she felt after being released.
Did she keep in touch with the women she had met? How did Piper & Larry’s wedding turn out? Did she get to see Pop on the outs? What about Natalie? I know she only did a small amount of time, but why write about the experience of being inside prison if you’re not going to write how it felt to get out?
These are just some of the questions I have. All in all I’d give the book a 3 out of 5, but I’m not a real authority on good books vs. bad books. This is all just my opinion.