Reading progress update: I've read 97%.

When She Woke - Hillary Jordan

I am trying to relay how angry and betrayed I am by this scene and I keep falling short.

 

This book has been really annoying.  On one hand, I really like the fact it feels like a dystopia, how it seems plausible that our government and society could reach this state.  I feel anger, but more like a righteous anger than a "what a dumb book!" anger.  It's a call for me to stand up and speak out against injustice that is lurking right around the corner - in my own backyard!

 

On the other hand, the characters are juvenile and cliched, the story plods along, our main character claims to have so much free agency, but really she's been bouncing between one set of wild circumstances to the other.  We toss in a lesbian encounter to be edgy, in the name of character development, but it really means less than nothing and comes out of nowhere - and at the end of the day, it means NOTHING because Hannah can't get over Aiden.  Oh, and Hannah uses and abuses nearly every character she meets, all the while casting judgment on her fellow women because women are weak and petty, doncha know.

 

Aiden.  Probably the biggest problem with this book.  If this book were really about Hannah's development as a woman, she would grow up and realize how selfish a prick he was.  How little he sacrificed and how much power he would have to help her.  Instead, she protects him, the fly protecting the swatter, the subjugated holding up the ones in power.

 

What does Aiden have to lose?  Nothing.  He's a male in a patriarchal society.  Everyone will side with him - "Poor preacher, being seduced by that vile woman!"  He commits adultery, has little regard for his wife, doesn't bother to help Hannah - but somehow, he's worth Hannah sacrificing her freedom to see him.  Even in the end, he doesn't abandon his job to seek her out; no, that would be much too much to sacrifice.  Instead, Hannah has to brave the streets, arrest, incarceration, further abuse, to seek HIM out.  And after she uses him (has sex), she decides that she's outgrown him and needs to leave him.

 

No, Hannah, you don't.  You have become just as selfish and despicable as Aiden.

 

You know how this book should have ended?  Hannah goes back to find that Aiden has hopped into bed with some other woman that isn't his wife.  Aiden isn't there waiting and begging for her; he just wants to find a playmate to keep him busy.  Then Hannah should grow some ovaries and help find Kayla, maybe even get back with Simone and have a real relationship instead of some half-assed "Lemme pretend to be a lesbian because ooooh, it's edgy and cool but don't worry I'm still straight!"

 

F@#$ this book.  I would have given you 3 stars had you not pulled that reunion on me.