A woman, Florence, in jail basically gets her shot at freedom in a year’s time and just has to not mess it up… while dealing with the pain from her old relationship. Seems good enough, right? Yeah, not that bad. This book does shift into romance, but that’s a whole other category. Can’t say I’ve read any books with characters that were or are in prison (I tend to read YA and YA Fantasy, so that hasn’t really come into my purview yet), so this was interesting.
Characters & Character Development
Florence is just wow. Because of her old marriage ending with him leaving her for another woman (and her husband’s murder), Florence is… well, jaded. Jaded, bitter, sarcastic, intelligent. I love her. We find out so much about her life and her stance on issues as we read through the book and I just enjoy every moment of it. There were a few times where I didn’t really agree with the (maybe) murderer’s thoughts, but she was endearing and funny and caring all the way through. But, while Florence is a fun inmate of the Coffee Correctional Facility, her inmate friends make it all the better.
So, Coffee’s a place for women who have done… dangerous things and the reasons they’re in Coffee basically tell you all you need to know about them. They’re archetypes, but when I tell you, I didn’t care, that was the furthest thing from my mind. All of the Coffee inmates and even the janitor, Greg, are so endearing and loving and I honestly wish I met them because they would humor me so much (just don’t fall for Yvette… and mind your tongue around Lorraine). Even Greg with his slightly misogynistic comments and general attitude for Florence is made to be kind of endearing through his utter puppydogness. The Coffee inmates and staff (the good ones, anyway) are a wild, raucous bunch. Florence’s mom and dad are similarly archetyped, but are still endearing a loving. Aside from Florence, the character we learn the most about is love interest, Johnathan, but that’s for the “Romance” section.
The book’s pacing is really on point. I never felt like anything went on too long or too short (except for the last 10 or so pages because that was super sudden, but… it works if you think about it, I suppose.)
Oh my god! This book is SO FUNNY. I love it. There are footnotes sprinkled throughout the book (and they’re actually funny ones. I’d recommend reading them all because even if you think you know what it’ll be, you probably don’t). Florence also addresses us a good couple of times throughout the book and I love it. It all works because it feels much more like a conversation. She’s aware “hey, this is a story.” For all we know, she could be the one writing her own story. I wouldn’t be opposed to that thought. Literally, if you read the description for the book, if you’re like me, you’ll laugh at least once or twice. Even the blurb, with it’s scratch outs and parentheses, is a gold mine of comedic jokes.
Now, the romance. The part you’ve all been waiting for. So, the way that Florence earns her freedom from Coffee is basically dating. I know. Send the alleged (sometimes proven) murderer on a blind date with a different guy each week in the hopes that she doesn’t kill them and they like her enough to give her a passing grade. Great idea, right Coffee board? But, anyway, it’s through these that she meets Johnathan, and once she meets him, things get interesting. It’s fun and it’s cute and it’s flirty. The book still keeps all its light humor, and it’s even amplified with ol’ Johnny Boy in the cast. Watching Florence wrestle with emotions is adorable, really. And it’s actually a believable one too, this romance. It happens over the course of basically a year. They laugh, they joke, they learn about each other, they become friends and then… well, I’ll let you find out.
Florence’s comedically dark-humor made the book so enjoyable, and the fact that she talks to us as the reader on a regular is nothing short of fun. Footnotes are great, too. The Coffee inmates are all lovable and charming in their own way, the romance is sweet, seeing a jaded Florence navigate the minefield that is love is truly a good thing. I kept on getting distracted while trying to read this book because of school, but I never wanted to stop. The ending was quite a twist, though there were some little tiny clues that kinda said “hey, this is a thing”.
Laura Weber’s Goddesses Don’t Wear Orange is a really fun, funny book that has words for society. Love this book so very much, and the author’s pretty amazing too! I give this a 5 out of 5!
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