to read a blurb about this book on Goodreads, click here.
This book taught me a lot! I mean A LOT. And I promise that I will get into this, I will. But it will come in parts. Because this book really made me think. I thought about just how horrible our penal system in America is. I thought about how someone can make a simple mistake and land in prison with a ridiculous sentence. I mean I’m still thinking about this book. Granted, I only finished it about two hours ago (when I wrote this post) but still. update: it’s now Monday and I’m still thinking about this book. It won’t leave me.
This part will talk specifically about the book and what I thought about it. The next part will talk more about my thoughts on what Piper brought up about being in prison. The third part will talk about the TV show and my thoughts about it. I’ll spread it out over the course of the week, sprinkling other posts in as well so you guys don’t get overburdened with all this.
So my thoughts about this book. Well, my eyes are opened. That is for sure. This memoir was insightful. See me using that word again. I can’t help it. Because that is what I feel about this book. I love a book that changes my views on important things such as the prison system. It’s something that nobody really likes to talk about. Often times, nobody thinks about the person in prison. All they see is the crime. People often forget that there is a person behind the crime. (unless we are dealing with serial killers. I feel that is a whole different ball park)
Piper was so damn honest and it was refreshing. I feel sometimes, with memoirs, the authors skirt around issues or don’t express how they really truly feel. Piper threw that notion out the window and expressed her thoughts very clearly. She used swear words and everything. I love reading a book with swear words. I curse like a sailor and I long for MCs that do the same. Maybe, I shouldn’t read so much YA….
For the first half of the book or so, I did find Piper a bit pretentious, however. She thought that what she did was just a simple mistake. No harm no foul. But then she got to prison and slowly began to realize what being into drugs did to people. She then realized that even though she played a small part, miniscule even, she still contributed. From then on, her attitude changed and she become a lot more apologetic.
I felt her anger at the system. I felt angry at the system as well and I’ve never been to prison. She was one of the lucky ones. She had things set for her outside of prison. There were many women she lived with that weren’t that lucky. I felt her empathy for those ladies. She knew she was lucky but it was nice that she was still so worried about them. Piper knew that the system failed a lot of these ladies and there wasn’t anything she could do about it.
I have to say, though. This book is basically NOTHING like the TV show. I will discuss that more in my post about the show. I know that this probably is a spoiler but I feel like I have to warn you guys. I went into this book thinking I was going to get a wild tale, like the show. I didn’t get that and the disappointment nearly stopped me from finishing the book. Once I dropped the notion that this was indeed just a memoir, I enjoyed the book a whole lot more.
If I can have one negative complaint, it’s that the book is a bit dense in places. Piper uses this book as a platform for inmate rights. She often quoted facts about women that are incarcerated and many of them are startling. But it got to be a bit much. There would be paragraphs of just massive text. My eyes had a hard time focusing on it so I often had to skim a few parts. These longs paragraphs are where Piper gets philosophical after prison and her life before. I often skimmed through those as well.
Overall, I really can’t complain about this book. It was a great book and it gives you a lot to think about. Which I think every book, like this, should do. If it a book like this didn’t affect you in some way, then that book didn’t do it’s job. I really highly suggest this book. I think that everybody should read it and have it in their own library.