Monday, May 28, 2012

Ladies Book Club: May 2012

Book Read: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

Ladies in Attendance: 9

Treats Shared: Sweet potato chips, blue corn chips, hummus, sweet salsa, chocolate chip cookies, strawberries, DQ Buster Bars!!! Merlot and White Zinfadel

To Read or Not to Read: 2 read 1/2, 6 read it all, 1 didn't read it 

My Reaction: I was one of the folks who read half of it, due to a busy schedule and well, not getting it in time from the library. What I did read was really interesting and held my attention. I went into it expecting a bit more of a literary novel but it read simply, almost like a psychological thriller. It had a lot of drama, love, good and evil and a bit of dystopian thrown in there that I generally have a fancy for.

If you are not familiar with the story, here is a description from Goodreads:

I am red now. It was her first thought of the day, every day, surfacing after a few seconds of fogged, blessed ignorance and sweeping through her like a wave, breaking in her breast with a soundless roar. Hard on its heels came the second wave, crashing into the wreckage left by the first: he is gone.

Hannah Payne’s life has been devoted to church and family. But after she’s convicted of murder, she awakens to a nightmarish new life. She finds herself lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes—criminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime—is a sinister form of entertainment. Hannah is a Red for the crime of murder. The victim, says the State of Texas, was her unborn child, and Hannah is determined to protect the identity of the father, a public figure with whom she shared a fierce and forbidden love.

A powerful reimagining of The Scarlet LetterWhen She Woke is a timely fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of the not-too-distant future, where the line between church and state has been eradicated, and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned but chromed and released back into the population to survive as best they can. In seeking a path to safety in an alien and hostile world, Hannah unknowingly embarks on a journey of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes faith and love

Pretty crazy, huh? Can you imagine? The colors of our crimes visible on our skin? How many folks would be colorful? This was a perfect book that opened up a lot of talk about the what ifs of the reality of this.  I really thought it was well written, thought provoking and different. I know the author had written a novel previously that had gotten some acclaim but I was not familiar with her work. I am planning on finishing it even though the discussion led to some spoilers.

The Ladies Reaction: All the ladies that read any part of it enjoyed it. They found it to be completely absorbing once you got started. Some brought up that our society already has ways to showcase our crimes (i.e tattoos of how many people you have killed, gang colors, etc). Though the characters were flawed and made some interesting choices throughout, we all agreed we were eager for it all to resolved in a happy ending. Unfortunately, the ending was a bit abrupt for some and did end up leaving some questions. 

Good Book Club Pick? Overall, the Ladies agreed that this was definitely a great pick for our book club and some were eager to check our her other titles. 

Next Book Up: The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Jill Buck said...

I've seen this on a bunch of blogs but haven't read it yet. It sounds like an interesting read. I love your spread for book club- chips, dip, ice cream and wine!

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Yes, the BUSTER BARS were a big hit!! We are ice cream and wine fans!

Unknown said...

I really liked this book, I reviewed it for my blog, as well. I thought it was sort of a less-literary 21st century Handmaid's Tale. Same basic premise, about control of women through control of their reproduction. I liked the ending-I thought that it gave a decent resolution but you could still imagine what may have happened next.

Tales of Whimsy said...

Sounds good and I'm totally drooling over your menu.

Gina said...

LOL. I always seem to make it round to the blog when the BOOK CLUB ^_^ Now see, I sorta pegged it as a thriller, or that's what my gut instinct said in response to the cover. That WOULD be rather crazy....but perhaps it would detour some folks from commiting the crimes in the first place. *hmm*

StephTheBookworm said...

I've been wanting to read this one since it first came out. I just ordered it a few days ago for cheap from Book Depository, woot! I also have been wanting to read The Family Fang, so I look forward to seeing if you like that one. I also wish I was in your book club. I have book club envy!