Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of Orange is the New Black. The Netflix original series made a splash in the TV and Netflix world a few years ago and just released its fifth season in June. I’ve been watching for the past few years and it’s one of my favorite shows! Many of those who watch the show are aware that it was actually a memoir before becoming an insanely popular TV show.
Around the time when the fifth season was going to premier (June of this year), Orange is the New Black was a highlighted book at my library. I have recently decided to take a break from reading non-fiction books, but I don’t really consider memoirs or certain biographies off limits in regards to that. I’ve always been interested in reading this book since I like the show so much, and I also like to compare books to TV shows and see what creative liberties the TV shows take.
I found that for Orange is the New Black, the book is a lot more tame than the movie. Although, this is probably a good thing since the book is a true story. There are some similar characters, but many of them had their name changed from the book to the TV show. Relationships between characters are slightly different as well. This made it a little hard to try and “match people up”, which I really wanted to do since I viewed the people in the book as more “real” than those in the TV show. The show brings them to life, but I wanted to know who they really are. While I did enjoy reading Orange is the New Black, I wish I had read it before seeing the show. The show is pretty sensational, so reading the book was a minor letdown.
I’d hope that Piper’s book opens up the dialogue for more women to discuss and publish their experiences in the prison system. While Piper seemed to have a pretty safe and average experience, it’s important for those who have not to speak out as well.