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Prison Nation Paperback – December 2, 2011
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100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
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About the Author
To find out more about Jenni and her writing, visit JenniMerritt.com
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was a lot better than I thought it would be. I bought it so long ago I couldn't remember exactly what it was about, but from the moment I started reading, I was hooked. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Domonique E. Burke
I really like this book. I found it fascinating as I can see this really happening in the future.Published 4 months ago by LeeAnn1956
I liked the book. The storyline was pretty easy to follow. There were a few twists, but alot of predicability.Published 7 months ago by Cindy
Entertaining read. I hope there will be a sequel, as I'd love to read about some redemption.Published 10 months ago by Irish1
Great read!!! I was totally engrossed and did not want to put I down. Very thought provoking! Highly recommended - awesome trip reading.Published 10 months ago by Shannon Sandvig
In a future America crime has become so rampant the US send citizens to prisons for the slightest crime and becomes known as The Nation. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Ricky Kimsey
The basic idea was a good one. I've thought about a similar theme for years, just never could figure out where to take it beyond the initial circumstances. Read morePublished 11 months ago by pen2b