When She Woke, by Hillary Jordan

whenshewokeI’m in two minds about this book. It’s a dystopian retelling of The Scarlet Letter, so I expected there to be some similarities there. However, some of the similarities were, for me, a little too close: Hester Prynne = Hannah Payne. Arthur Dimmesdale = Aiden Dale. Pearl = Pearl. Etc. However, because of the very true closeness of the retelling, I was also a little offput by the last third of the book, which deviates widely from the original and felt incongruous given everything else. The ending came back together, but the stuff before the ending felt very forced and unnatural in comparison to the rest of the book. So in some ways, the book felt too close to the original, and in others, not close enough. Like I said, two minds.

On the other hand, the writing was very good, and it was definitely a book I couldn’t put down. I loved the concept of retelling The Scarlet Letter, and reading this book has made me want to reread The Scarlet Letter for the first time since high school (when I didn’t appreciate it nearly as much as I will now, I’m sure).

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
This entry was posted in 2011, Prose, Young Adult and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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