I watched the first & second season of the Netflix show before finishing this book. In fact, back when I first heard about the show I had no idea it was based off a book! Granted, after reading the book, it’s SO DIFFERENT than the show, I mean, SO VERY VERY DIFFERENT!! Though, you have to keep in mind that the book is a real memoir while the Netflix show is obviously a drama. There are some of the same characters in the show, but they have different names and totally different personalities as well! Red is called Pop in the book, and she and Piper have a totally different relationship in the book than they do on the show. I love Pop in the book, and I loved Red in the show as well! Even Piper herself is really different in the book as compared to the show. I know she was a consultant to the creation of the show, so that’s good, but it’s clearly vastly different than the book. The biggest change in my opinion, is (hiding just in case people consider it a spoiler?) In the book (Nora is Piper’s ex-girlfriend/drug dealer that got her in all the trouble) well they aren’t in the same prison at all! In the show Alex (the name they gave her in the show) is in the same prison and they get back together and it creates SO much drama! Another huge change is the fact that book doesn’t have any lesbian scenes or anything. It’s mentioned a few times that it happens in the Camp, but Piper doesn’t have any real experience with it while in prison. In prison there are strict no touching rules enforced, that don’t seem to be enforced at all in the show. When it comes down to it, the show just has A LOT more drama in it than the book. The book is plainly a memoir about a upper-middle-class white girl in prison, how it psychologically changes her, how it changes her view on women “criminals”, and the strain it puts on those outside that are worried about her.
If you pick up this book expecting it to be as drama filled and sex crazy as the show, then you are in for a major let down. You have to pick up this book looking at it like it is: A down to earth memoir about life in a women’s prison.
Overall though, I enjoyed the book! I thought it was eyeopening to read. (even if it didn’t have all that drama in it) I feel like if the book had everything that happened in the show in it, then it would read more like fiction than non-fiction, if you know what I mean?
Next on the list: Etiquette & Espionage & The Unholy Murder of Ash Wednesday
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