PositiveSlateDanielle Evans has an impressive ear for the emotional rhythms of teenage girls and twentysomething women ... \'Virgins,\' like the other stories in the collection, explores racial and sexual politics-topics that could veer into melodrama but don’t here. In fact, Evans is sometimes too restrained, like in the story \'Harvest\' ... Even with these minor missteps, Evans’s voice is well-developed, and the stories are consistently engaging and surprising; a highly recommended read for this fall.
PanSlate... if you pick up Kerman’s book looking for a realistic peek inside an American prison, you will be disappointed. Orange Is the New Black belongs in a different category, the middle-class-transgression genre ... Though by the tenets of the transgression memoir she must repent, in Kerman’s case, the girl does not dig deep enough to come up with any genuine regret ... chest-beating rings false to the reader, because it’s clear that Kerman believes drug trafficking was merely a version of youthful rebellion ... Instead, what Kerman seems to be after is a tidy narrative, not too messy or gritty for daytime talk shows but just difficult enough to be inspiring–prison [lit] ... You get the sense that if Kerman weren’t forced to go to jail, she would have seen those heroin-running years as a great cocktail party story ... Her portrayal of the prisoners perpetuates this notion of glamour. Kerman describes her fellow jail mates as saints who have been wrongly imprisoned because of unfairly stringent drug laws ... It is possible, of course, to write the middle-class-transgression memoir with somewhat more grit and honesty ... A bit of...moral ambiguity would have helped Kerman’s memoir a whole lot.