Customer Reviews for

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

Average Rating 4
( 354 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(138)

4 Star

(107)

3 Star

(51)

2 Star

(27)

1 Star

(31)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

21 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

An interesting memoir of life behind bars

I've been curious about this book for a few months, since stumbling across it one day at the bookstore. I'm definitely glad I finally read it; it's a great story and an interesting look at women's prisons from the view of someone who spent some time in one. Orange is th...
I've been curious about this book for a few months, since stumbling across it one day at the bookstore. I'm definitely glad I finally read it; it's a great story and an interesting look at women's prisons from the view of someone who spent some time in one. Orange is the New Black is the story of Piper Kerman, who is sentenced to 15 months in a federal minimum-security prison for a 10-year old drug offense -- carrying a suitcase of drug money for an ex-girlfriend.

Piper isn't exactly someone I was prepared to feel a lot of sympathy towards; she was in a position of privilege (relative to her fellow inmates), having had access to a great lawyer, the support of family and friends, etc. But I ended the book thinking that her story is a great (and important) example of the absurdity of the war on drugs and mandatory minimum sentencing, and so many of the other problems with our criminal justice system. I liked the honesty of her storytelling, and that she was able to portray so well the humanity, friendships, and humor of the women she encountered behind bars. The stories of pedicures, special dinners, birthday surprises, welcoming parties, etc. brought an entirely deeper level of understanding of the women that were imprisoned along with her. Factual research strewn throughout the book's pages also takes this from simply being a memoir of Kerman's stay in Danbury to a source for information on policies and realities of the federal detention system. As someone with an outsider's point of view as well as an insider's view, Piper is able to show the reader just how broken the system is and how little it prepares women for life on the outside.

Definitely a recommended read for anyone who is interested in criminal justice and prisons, but also an interesting book in general for anyone else.

posted by crazylilcuban on February 7, 2011

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

55 out of 79 people found this review helpful.

What a disappointment!!

I was so disappointed with this book, I couldn't even finish it. Kerman took absolutely no responsibility for what she did. She offered no explanations besides, wow it's exciting to get involved with a lesbian lover and drug smuggling ring right after college. Um- no it...
I was so disappointed with this book, I couldn't even finish it. Kerman took absolutely no responsibility for what she did. She offered no explanations besides, wow it's exciting to get involved with a lesbian lover and drug smuggling ring right after college. Um- no it's not. She glosses over her involvement, implied she did nothing wrong, and acted like it's so easy to get away from that life. Just hop on a plane to San Fran and get a new boyfriend! I thought it would get better once her prison sentence started, but I was wrong. There was nothing interesting here. Kerman comes across as an elitist snob who taught the prisoners how to read! She saved them with her college education! Listening to her moan about the indignities of prison was more than I could bear, especially when it seemed like she was going to detail Martha Stewart's stay there. That was enough for me.

posted by 1420737 on June 7, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 3
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    Ok

    Was expecting a lil more drama but overall a good read

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2013

    Eh it was okay

    The book was okay...it kind of dragged after awhile. She is a good writer..she captured how she really felt. I did watch the series as well, which made me buy the book. I don't normally watch a show or a movie before reading the book..but i was so addicted to the show and then I found out it was based on a memoir. So curiousity struck...and personally it was disappointing. The show was enticing, fun, and dramatic...the book had its moments. Granted not everything is how it really is in the book but I just thought that this was pretty far from the book. It was quite shocking at how different it was, just my opinion.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 16, 2010

    Generally good, but simple.

    If you're looking for a story of redemption, this isn't going to be your thing. But if you're looking for an insider's view of prison, this is a good place to start. It's a good story, she shows remorse (maybe a bit too much), but thankfully doesn't spend a lot of time talking about the legal perspective (a good thing, since I can't count the number of times she talked about being "privileged," "blond haired blue-eyed," while comparing herself to her fellow inmates. All in all a good, light, easy read but don't expect anything earth-shattering.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2014

    Orange is the new black

    Ok

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    Fun read

    Can,t wait to watch the series

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 19, 2014

    White Collar is the New Black CollarĀ  Orange is the New Black is

    White Collar is the New Black Collar 
    Orange is the New Black is the story of Piper Kerman and her stay in Danbury, Connecticut in the infamous federal jail. This story outlines her journey while living in federal, the characters she meets, how she comes to fit in, and her thoughts on America’s correction system. Piper was given a 15 month sentence for carrying a bag full of drug money ten years prior to her sentence, now a white collar criminal she struggles with fear, anxiety, and coming to terms with who she truly is. 
    This novel has many underlining messages such as the connection women have, the flaws in the corrections system, and dealing with who you truly are.  While I enjoyed many of the personal stories- like Pop the Russian cook that runs the kitchen (and somewhat the prison), her fiancé Larry the loveable writer, and many other heartwarming tales- I disliked many more things.  I was turned onto this novel after watching the series Orange is the New Black on Netflix, but I was very disappointed in the sort of one note tale Piper Kerman wrote. I was expecting things to be a bit more exciting and dangerous, but in reality the book was about a white collar criminal in a white collar prison. I was unaware that Piper stayed in the same prison as Martha Stewart while watching the series but discovered it as she was comparing her sentence to Mrs. Stewarts at nausea. While Piper subtly tells us how she landed in federal she never actually tells us what she did, how she got mixed up in it- aside from it being appealing after college, or how she felt about it during her sentence. She always portrayed herself as innocent and never fully admitted what she did or that it was even right that she was convicted in the first place. Piper carried drug money and committed a crime and deserved to be sent to prison, not just a minimum security facility. She also talks about being frightened throughout the book when in most cases they are having holiday, birthday, and going away parties. This whole prison situation seems more like a summer at Girl Scout camp for Piper. Piper makes friends with most, if not all, of the inmates in prison and only suffers a bit of hurt feelings throughout the book.  I believe this book is a good read and I would still recommend it, as it is an interesting tale with lots of heartfelt personal stories. However, do not expect this novel to be anything like the show featured on Netflix because you will be, like I was, disappointed. While the story of Piper is interesting I believe it is not an accurate representation of what it’s actually like to go to a women’s prison. 
    I give this book a 3.5/5 because I felt it lacked interest, contained too much pointless whining, and is a misleading tale. I did enjoy the personal stories of the other women ‘locked’ up with her and the overall topic. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    There are two Orange is the New Black. This book is one...

    ...the TV show is the other. The Kerman book is interesting, but not as well written as the TV series. Kerman's book is all about Kerman. While she talks about how much her fellow prisoners came to mean to her, they never mean much to us. She doesn't develop their characters, skips rapidly from one to the other. Jenji Kohan's series was fiction, so she had much more latitude to make her characters interesting and eccentric. She combined some of Kerman's characters, modified some, totally created others. There is no one faintly similar to PornStache in the book, for example. The characters had much more depth than in the book. But, fiction is fiction, nonfiction is limited by its facts. The book is a fast read, and a look into a world most of us cannot imagine. Read it, but don't expect to get to know Crazy Eyes, or anyone else.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

    But....

    Nico is gay

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2013

    Doesn't hold a candle to the clever television show

    The wit has left the building in this self indgent memoir.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    Cassie

    Good read

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 4, 2011

    Q

    0 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 18, 2011

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 23, 2010

    Easy-Read. Got bored 3/4 into the book.

    If you want and easy going non-thinker book, you'll like it. But if you are looking for a great prison story with lots mystery and crazy drama, this is not the book. However, I must admit is was nice to hear (read) a different perspective of prison life.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 3