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Prison Nation Paperback – December 2, 2011

210 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jenni Merritt was born and raised on a small island in the Puget Sound. From a young age she discovered and fell in love with the world of writing and has been happily obsessed ever since. She is now married to the love of her life, and has two crazy but amazing little boys. When not busying herself with being a stay-at-home mom, writing books, keeping her blog, and diving into photography, Jenni sometimes manages to snag some much needed sleep.  

To find out more about Jenni and her writing, visit JenniMerritt.com

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 146792928X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1467929288
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,511,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jenni Merritt was born and raised on a small island in the Puget Sound. From a young age she discovered and fell in love with the world of writing and has been happily obsessed ever since. She is now married to the love of her life, and has two crazy but amazing little boys. When not busying herself with being a stay-at-home mom, writing books, keeping her blog, and diving into photography, Jenni sometimes manages to snag some much needed sleep.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 108 people found the following review helpful By blakey on March 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
if i had paused after reading only the first section of this novel and written a review, i would have given it five stars.

this is a very interesting premise. millie is born in prison and the laws of the nation (a reformed usa) requires that the children of prisoners are held within the city-sized prisons until reaching adulthood. the first section of the novel begins as millie faces her approaching release. she has lived her entire life in a cell shared with her parents, both serving life sentences. she has rarely been outside, has never touched a tree and exists within the rhythm of lockdowns and the stomping boots of guards. once millie reaches her birthday, she is allowed out into the world to find that the great nation lives up to the cynical nickname spoken in whispers: prison nation.

i loved the concept. the scenes set within the prison are brilliant. i was ready to start recommending the book to everyone i know. for me, though, the story came apart with millie leaving the jail behind. the first section was so amazing, it built up such high expectations that the rest couldn't live up to. while the first section was gritty, poignant and touching, the rest felt underdeveloped and simplified. i was disappointed by the plot. characters act to help millie in a really irrational way. the situation with jude just didn't make sense to me. i was annoyed by every little scrap of plot and character being woven up into a neat little bow. for a novel that starts so dark, it ends with a bit too much sunshine and hugging (metaphorically speaking). the end was too tidy, everything just lining up too neat and pretty. the grim start did need to be balanced but it was overdone and came off like artificial sweetner- so sugared it makes you wince.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By las on March 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is harder to review than things usually are. I wish I could have two criteria - one for the plot line (which I'd give 4 or 5 stars - it's a refreshing new take on the dystopian society) and one for the plot execution (which would get 2).

Millie is a young adult who has grown up inside a state prison, condemned there for 18 years with her parents while still unborn and is now facing entrance into the outside "free" world. This is dystopian society at it's most gritty. The problem is that after that rock solid introduction, the plot becomes very fuzzy. There are logical leaps that left me scratching my head, and too many strong coincidences to swallow. The conclusion was a sudden, frenzied jolt and I was left feeling like I'd just been dropped on my head.

I think it's a great first novella, if indeed it's the author's first, and I'm slightly sad she didn't start with something else and hold this in reserve to be a better book once she had more experience and a better editor under her belt.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Kimmel on December 12, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book in two days because I couldn't put it down. I am amazed that this is a debut novel.

The world of Prison Nation is fascinating and the main character, Millie, is no exception. From the first page I was invested in finding out what happens to her, what her life is really like inside of a prison, and what will happen to her if/when she is finally released. Her relationship with her parents is particularly interesting and definitely worth reading the book just to discover the intricacies of that relationship.

The author's way with words is amazing. She paints such a clear picture with just a few sentences. She has an amazing ability to provoke emotion from the reader, which isn't an easy thing to do. This book had me laughing and crying. I was genuinely sad to see it end. I'm sincerely hoping that there will be a sequel in the near future.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Shay on May 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book started out somewhat slow and steady, introducing you to the world of the "Prison Baby" Millie 942B, a 17 year old young woman who was born in a prison to convict parents with a life sentence, and is subject to all of the lock-downs, scant, flavorless meals, cell life, and fear that any convicted felon would also experience. This world is a Dystopian future society in which America has closed off all of it's borders with giant walls and has cut itself off from the United Nations and built large city sized prisons on 3 corners of the country.

You are taken through Millie's life as she goes through psychological evaluations and the day to day grind of prison life for a short period prior to her impending release on her 18th birthday, and then tossed out with her into an unfamiliar world where citizens work for nominal wages in a world where good people are living in fear of being arrested and found guilty for breaking laws they weren't even aware existed.

I absolutely loved this book. I was completely drawn in and could easily visualize the world as Millie saw it. It was well written, and furthermore, well edited. It was an engaging read and I want so much for there to be a sequel.

My only complaint is simply that the ending seemed somewhat rushed compared to the pace of the rest of the book. I would love to read more about the "Prison Nation" and can't stop imagining all of the potential ways that this story could play out... Seriously, I need a sequel so that I can stop making up scenarios in my mind!
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