When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
Release Date: August 30, 2012 (UK)
Goodreads Stars: 2
I had seen some friends rave about this book, and so I was really excited to finally get to it last month. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it.
The beginning of the novel was promising. I really liked the concept of there being a world in which abortion was banned, and the main character being punished for it. Not because I agree, but because it’s interesting… or, at least, it could have been. Despite my hopes, the book was just dull.
There were some really good moments sprinkled throughout, but most of the book felt like I was on a boring car journey through the desert with nothing at all to look at, not even cacti. Add to that your dad pointing out rocks that all look the same and you don’t get a very good adventure. I’m not sure where I was going with that, but there it is. Boring boring boring.
The world it was set in was my favourite part about the novel. Criminals, rather than being imprisoned, get their skin dyed different colours to reflect their crimes. This is considered by most to be worse than imprisonment, due to the rest of the citizens treatment of the criminals. They become victims. I do wonder, though, what would happen if someone committed two crimes. I’d assume that if one was something like murder and the other was a petty crime then they’d be marked for murder, but what if the two crimes were as bad as each other?
There is a random lesbian love scene which I would have ADORED it if it had been developed more, but instead it felt as though it had just been thrown in. There was no build up to it, no curiosity from the main character (who started out as quite homophobic), and then it wasn’t even mentioned again after it happened. What.
I don’t even know what happened to Hannah’s character. She seemed to yo-yo throughout the novel, which was incredibly annoying since we were stuck in the metaphorical car with her for the entire metaphorical journey. One minute she’s against religion, the next she’s completely for it. She didn’t even develop into a badass by the end, by which I was incredibly disappointed.
Overall, it was a boring book with a stagnant main character. I wouldn’t recommend it, despite the message… wait, what message was it even trying to send?