Author: Keri Blakinger
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: Print ARC
No. of Pages: 336
Date of Publication: June 7, 2022
My Rating: 5 Stars
An electric and unforgettable memoir about a young woman's journey—from the ice rink, to addiction and a prison sentence, to the newsroom—and how she emerged with a fierce determination to expose the broken system she experienced.
Keri Blakinger always lived life at full throttle. Growing up, that meant throwing herself into competitive figure skating with an all-consuming passion that led her to nationals. But when her skating career suddenly fell apart, that meant diving into self-destruction with the intensity she once saved for the ice.
For the next nine years, Keri ricocheted from one dark place to the next: living on the streets, selling drugs and sex, and shooting up between classes all while trying to hold herself together enough to finish her degree at Cornell. Then, on a cold day during her senior year, the police caught her walking down the street with a Tupperware full of heroin.
Her arrest made the front page of the local news and landed her behind bars for nearly two years. There, in the Twilight Zone of New York’s jails and prisons, Keri grappled with the wreckage of her missteps and mistakes as she sobered up and searched for a better path. Along the way, she met women from all walks of life—who were all struggling through the same upside-down world of corrections. As the days ticked by, Keri came to understand how broken the justice system is and who that brokenness hurts the most.
After she walked out of her cell for the last time, Keri became a reporter dedicated to exposing our flawed prisons as only an insider could. Written with searing intensity, unflinching honesty, and shocks of humor, Corrections in Ink uncovers that dark, brutal system that affects us all. Not just a story about getting out and getting off drugs, this galvanizing memoir is about the power of second chances; about who our society throws away and who we allow to reach for redemption—and how they reach for it.
Corrections in Ink is the incredible memoir written by Keri Blakinger. In a raw and honest fashion, Keri Blakinger tells of her early years as a figure skater with a promising career. As a young girl fighting with eating disorders. As a young woman who becomes involved with drugs - both abusing and selling them. As a young woman who sold her body for drugs. As a young woman who was arrested with a large quantity of drugs. As a young woman who spent nearly two years behind bars. As a woman who had more than one gift, that of writing and that of advocacy.
In her incredible journey, Keri experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows, but she came out on top. In fact, with a job now as a reporter for multiple outlets, one who speaks for the rights of prisoners, while revealing flaws and corruption in a broken prison system, Keri is now a woman who has become a hero.
Keri's life was never easy. The expectation of perfection was what she struggled to achieve while on the ice, but it was this struggle that opened the doors to some of the tragic experiences she endured. However, this strong young woman never gave up on life (well, she did have a particularly sad experience along this vein), but she soldiered on, and now proves to be a fine example for anyone who rises above tragedy and hopelessness, proving to be a beacon of hope, strength and courage for anyone who reads her story.
Her life experiences were difficult to read, and the life she experienced behind bars was devastating and heartbreaking, but she kept a light shining. A light that would get brighter once she was on the other side of those prison bars. She got a second chance in life, one that she grabbed with both hands, and one who proves that anybody and everybody can be redeemed. She was and her light continues to shine.
Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
Please also enjoy my detailed YouTube video review -
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Keri Blakinger is the author of Corrections in Ink, a memoir about addiction, incarceration and building a life after it all.
In her day job, she is a staff writer at The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news site dedicated to covering the criminal justice system. Her work focuses on uncovering the worst parts of American prisons, and exposing flaws in the county's criminal justice system. Before coming to TMP, she covered prisons and prosecutors for The Houston Chronicle and her work has also appeared in VICE, the BBC, the New York Daily News, The New York Times and more.
She was part of the Houston Chronicle team whose coverage of Hurricane Harvey in 2017 was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Two years later, she wrote a piece for the Washington Post Magazine's Prison Issue, which won a National Magazine Award. Currently, she lives in Texas.