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Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman! Book Review!

Updated on March 4, 2015

The Series Orange Is The New Black On Netflix!

When Orange Is The New Black first appeared on Netflix, I was hooked immediately. All the craziness and excitement made it impossible to look away. Everyone was talking about the show. It was hard to resist. When I found out the show was loosely based on a book written by Piper Kerman. I was excited. I firmly believe most books are better than the movie. And I put it on my must read bucket list.

The Book and Show Comparison!

Like I said the show is loosely based on the book. The main Character's name is Piper. She does go to Prison because of a 10 year old drug charge that she did with her than girlfriend. Other than that only a few advents that took place on the show are in the book. The book isn't as exciting as the show. But understandable a show has to keep it very interesting to get people to keep coming back to watch.

My Review

Do I recommend you to read this book.....hmmmm It wasn't what I expected. There wasn't anything crazy or excited that happened. I love when a book engulfs me and takes over my life for a few days. I have been known to read a 800 page book in two days. This book on the other hand, although the book was very interesting. It didn't hook me in. It took me almost a month to read and it was only 295 pages. I would read it in waiting rooms, waiting in the car to pick up the kids from school, and some nights before bed. I didn't love it. Did I learn from it, yes. Was it readable, yes. Was it amazing, no. I had high hopes for it, after watching the series, and it kind of fell flat.

The Plot!

Spoiler Alert!

Piper Kerman wrote a memoir about her stay in prison. 10 years before she was sent to prison, she was involved in a relationship with a woman named Nora. Nora was rich, funny, curious, and exciting. Piper seemed very attracted to Nora's personality. Nora was a drug smuggler and invited Piper on some of her trips, while Nora "worked." Finally Nora talked Piper into smuggling drug money. Piper only smuggled the once. And vowed never to do it again.

She ended up leaving Nora and running away from her. Later on she met Larry and they became great friends. It took a while but there friendship grew into a relationship.

10 Years later Piper was charged with her crime of smuggling drug money. She had to explain everything to Larry, her parents, Larry's Parents, her friends. Everyone seemed to really support her.

She ended up getting sent prison in Danbury. Larry came and visited her once a week while she was in prison. They could barely touch each other but they could have at least 3 hour long visits. Her mom also visited once a week and many friends came to see her. She received many letters, and her friends and relatives sent her many books.

All the woman prisoners were nice to her. Some were a little crazier than other's. But everyone seemed to respect each other and get along.

She became friends with a woman named Pop. (Whom I am guessing is Red in the show, though Red seems a lot more of a Russian gangster, then Pop) They kind of fell into a mother daughter relationship. Pop worked in the kitchen. And even though the food wasn't amazing. Pop worked hard at it. They had a salad bar, and feasts for Thanksgiving and Easter. Sometimes the ladies would hide there food. To pitch in their food together to make other things with it. Like Deviled eggs, Prison cheesecake, nachos, quasi-Tex-Mex chicken, etc..

They also had access to commissary, where they could purchase hygiene products, radio headsets, candy, and junk food. The women would throw birthday parties for each other and decorate their cubes. They would have going away parties and movie nights. I know prison can be crazy and scary. But in the book some times it seemed like one big girls night.

The guards were sometimes mean, and abused their power. Paper work never seemed to get filed. Which left some woman without commissary, phone privileges, or visits.

The real Piper from Orange is the New Black!
The real Piper from Orange is the New Black! | Source

They lived in cubes instead of locked Jail cells, they had access to the tv room and could walk around. Piper spent her days doing yoga with fellow imamates, reading, or running all day on the track outside. She had a job as an electrician, but the man running it was a pig and a jerk and made sexual comments. So she got switched to construction, where she worked on the prison, or in the employee's housing units that was on the grounds. She helped people study for their GED or the college class they offered at Danbury. Sometimes she actually wrote the papers for them. She also helped people write letters to their Judges, asking for early release or leniency.

She watched people come and go. She was in Jail around the time Martha Stewart was getting sentence. Though she never was in prison with Martha. Piper celebrated her 35th birthday while in prison. The other inmates threw her a surprise party and Pop gave her crochet slippers.

Her grandma died while she was in prison. She wasn't allowed any type of furlough to get out for the funeral.

She was about to be released early, but she had to stay in a halfway house until her time was up. Pop was also going to same half way house. She had to take classes before her release to the outside world. The classes were worthless. They basically told you how to be positive and how to eat healthy in the outside world. They didn't explain how to get a job or an apartment. Most of the woman is prison didn't have home waiting for them and had never held a legal job.

But then she was ordered to go to Chicago to testify in a trial of a man she never met, he was a part of the same drug smuggling crew as Nora.

She was flown to Oklahoma City. The prison in Oklahoma was disgusting. There wasn't cubicles like Danbury. They had cells, that locked them in at night. The food was terrible and inedible. The shower's were cold. And they didn't have any access to the outside world, or even a window. This the first time in 10 years that she saw Nora. She didn't speak to her in Oklahoma, but ended up finding a friend that was incarcerated with her in Danbury.

After a while she was flown to Chicago, they sat her next to Nora on the plane. The Chicago Prison was as bad as Oklahoma. When she walked in it felt like an insane asylum. Everyone seemed zombied out on meds. All she could do was laugh. Her and Nora and Nora's sister Anne (Anne was part of the drug smuggling crew and they were all testifying to the same trial) ended up befriending each other. Even though Piper thought Nora was the one who snitched her out. She needed a friend to talk to in this crazy place. They ended up being bunkies in a 6 person cell.

They testified at the trail. After a while Nora and Anne got transferred back to their original prisons. Leaving Piper alone. She asked the guard if she was going to be transferred back to Danbury before her release. He did not know or care. She ended up staying there until her release date.

At 11:00 a.m. they allowed to leave. She walked out the prison doors of Chicago. It took her few minutes to find Larry. When finally found him she ran as fast as she could to him.


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