Review: Bad Girls In A Mad World by Emily Throne

Today I'm reviewing an absolutely riveting nonfiction book: Bad Girls in a Mad World: True Stories of Lethal Ladies Behind Bars by Emily Throne. If you ever wondered what it was really like for women in jail, this book is for you.

On a side note, if I could say one thing to readers who review books and post those reviews online, it's this: don't post a bad review based on the book's length. Length has no relationship to the quality of the prose. Some of the most famous literary works are short in length. I could give you a long list of these books, novellas, and short stories, but I'm here to review a book, not quibble with posted reviews.

(As is my custom when I review ebooks, I give the Kindle Buy Links or the Audible Buy Links since I read most books on my Kindle or listen to them on my iPod or iPhone after purchasing from Audible. However, I'm certain every book I review is available at most ebook sellers and audio books from iTunes so look for them on the platforms that match your ebook reading or your buying preference. Click here to shop for your very own Kindle.)

Scary, Riveting, Fascinating

Emily Throne's account of her time in the Orange County Jail in southern California is the stuff of nightmares for most law-abiding people. It's probably something every parent reads and wants to force their children to read as a cautionary tale that shows what happens when you get mixed up with boyfriends/girlfriends involved with drugs.

The book affirms what we suspect, that jail is just a training school for criminals, a place where the law of the jungle rules with a revolving door sending criminals out into the world and then back again because nothing changes within the person who is the criminal. They're each imprisoned by familial circumstances and by the tragedies visited upon them from the time they were small children.


There's more than a kernel of truth in the preceding sweeping statements, but this book also shows moments of compassion, a deep-seated desire for love and acceptance, desperation for peace, and, ultimately, resignation to a life that will never be any better than rare moments of what most of us consider normal.

This book shows our penal system -- our justice system -- with all its faults. I have no answers to the problems inherent in the system, nor, it appears, do those who know far more about it than I. I'm old enough and cynical enough to think there's actually no way to change anything. Then on days when I'm more optimistic, I think that maybe it could be changed -- if the powers that be were willing to completely change everything and money were no object.

I guess all that is a roundabout way of saying this book is thought-provoking in the extreme. Absolutely read this book.

Takeaway Truth

Bad Girls in a Mad World: True Stories of Lethal Ladies Behind Bars by Emily Throne is a fascinating presentation on the human condition from the best of humanity to the worst. I applaud the author for not only having survived her two years in jail but also for penning this gripping memoir.

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