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The Compulsive Reader: Shelf Discovery: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shelf Discovery: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

Shelf Discovery is a feature in which I highlight one book that I have found while prowling the shelves of the independent bookstore I work at it. These books aren't necessarily YA books; they're books that have discovered and find interesting or unique. I hope you do too.

I'll admit it...my reading experience with The Scarlet Letter wasn't so pleasant, and I was confused for most of the book. (I blogged about it all here.) I like to think of it as that one time when I went brain dead for seventeen chapters (it was probably right after NH used the word "ignominious" for the tenth time in the second chapter), but I never ended up hating it or anything. If anything, my Chapter 17 epiphany was what made me love the book and really get into it in the end.

So, I walked into work the other day, and a co-worker asked me, "Did you ever get a copy of that futuristic Scarlet Letter book?"

I love my job.

We stood around for two minutes as she tried to remember the title (there really ought to be a database for searching for books by their covers) and then eventually found it on good 'ole Amazon. I read the first line, and I was hooked.

When She Woke is set in the future, and is about a woman, Hannah Payne, whose skin is genetically modified to turn a bright red in punishment for the abortion of her child. The child is a result of an affair with a well-known man she is determined to protect.

"When she woke, she was red."

Basically, I need this book. Now, please. One more week of classes, two days of finals, and then I am doing nothing but reading for a month, and this book will be at the top of my list.

ETA: Amazon has a special where they're offering the Kindle edition for only $3! That's a steal! And those deals usually don't last long...

12 comments:

Ayuni said...

wow, I also want to find this book...

sugarpeach said...

I've been wanting this book since I first came across it in BBAW! It sounds fabulous, doesn't it?

Amie McCracken said...

This book is good. I wrote a review on my blog iamalivephotos.blogspot.com. You should definitely have this book at the top of your list.

thecubiclerebel said...

Cool site. Keep reading alive and thriving.

Kyle (A Reader's Pensieve) said...

I've heard good things about this one! I'd like to read it too.

I had to read TSL in high school and remember hating it, just hating it (and I loved reading then too!) I wonder if schools might think about an updated version that the kids might be able to relate to more. We did that where I work with The Great Gatsby; this year we are reading a book called Jake, Reinvented instead. Same plot as TGG, but takes place in high school. Interesting to think about.

Hope you do a review of When She Woke!

The Compulsive Reader said...

Kyle: It was a hard one to plow through!

My high school read King Lear when I was in 11th grade, and it wasn't my favorite assignment. I plowed through it, though. Then, afterwards, we read A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, which is a modern re-telling. I loved that book. However, I don't think I would have appreciated it as much if I hadn't read all of King Lear...so I think that modern updates on classics are fun and a good tool to get kids into them, but I also think it's important that they not replace the classics.

aleksandra said...

oh this looks so so great.

Anonymous said...

The Kindle versions is only $3.28!

Anonymous said...

Kindle version for about $3.00?
Sounds like great gifts for friends for Christmas! Thanks for letting us know about this price!

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

I've heard amazing things about this book. I loved The Scarlet Letter when I read it in university and I can't wait to read this one!

Andrea

April W said...

Hi! I've been following your blog for a while, as I'm a teen services librarian in a public library.

I just finished reading When She Woke, as it's a nominee for the Amelia Bloomer Project, a book list that collects feminist titles for youth-older teen readers (I'm on the selection committee): http://ameliabloomer.wordpress.com/

I was hooked by the book's opening lines, and couldn't put it down for the time it took to tear through the story. I loved it!

thelibrarianreads said...

This was meant to be! I just read the review of this book over on Tina's book blog and then, bam, I jump on over to your's and you tell me the title is on sale! Score! lol. It's a happy Tuesday ;)