Anyone that hasn’t been living under a rock the past year knows that this book has been made into a show on Netflix with the same title. Having been a huge fan of the show and a firm believer that books are better than the movie (in this case show) I was very excited to start reading this. I thought I would get a better insight into some of my favorite characters from the show, hell I thought I would learn more about Piper and delve deeper into why she jumped off the deep end into bad choices and got thrown into jail. I was thoroughly disappointed. What I got was three hundred and something pages of boredom.
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 was with it for a while. I was with Piper describing the messed up correctional facility that she was in. I enjoyed hearing about her feelings and thoughts about the inmates and the rules that she had to live by. I liked reading about some of the people she ran into, including the friends that she made. What I didn’t enjoy was the repetitive dialogue about how much she loves Larry and the unfairness of the situation and the people that stood with her on that ground. I did appreciate that she took responsibility for her actions that put her there, but I was bored to DEATH almost the entire book.
I dove in expecting that it wouldn’t match the show. I knew that they had to dramatize the show to pull in viewers and make it interesting for a certain audience. Knowing this, I still held certain expectations. There was little to no character development. The whole story felt forced and repetitive at times, especially about how beautifully white she was and how easy it was for her to be popular in jail.
And if I had to hear about how fucking wonderful Larry was one more time I was going to hang myself from the ceiling fan. I really wanted to like this, I really did, but it wasn’t going to happen. This is the rare occasion where I can honestly say that the show/movie is better than the book. Save yourself the trouble and watch it on Netflix. It is more entertaining and such a better story than the book.