Orange Is the New Black

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Actual book review #1: Non-Fiction

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman

If you pick this up after watching the show in the hopes for an exact match, you’re going to be disappointed. In many cases, reality is stranger than fiction, however, this is not one of those cases. The memoir has far less drama; less sex, less drugs, less fighting, less conspiracy, but the lack of those things in no way makes this a bad read. Piper relays her experiences with the prison system well, and she depicts herself and those she comes into contact with along the way with respect and, in many cases, admiration. She sheds light on a lot of failures of the US correctional system, but she succeeds in not making her memoir entirely about the failing system. This book very much captures her journey, her experiences, her truth, and does not become preachy. You can tell she has done her research, often calling up exact facts and figures about the prison system, the failure of the “war on drugs” and the over institutionalization of minorities and the mentally ill. This is an honest account of one woman’s time in federal prison, but also a bit of an eye-opener when it comes to subjects many choose not to spend time worrying about or taking action to fix. My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

*Cover art from Amazon.com

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