Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson


Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a year-long coma and she's still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. Her parents show her home movies of her life, her memories, but she has no recollection. Is she really the same girl she sees on the screen?

Little by little, Jenna begins to remember. Along with the memories come questions--questions no one wants to answer for her. What really happened after the accident?


Character Development: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Overall Enjoyment: 8/10
Ending: 8/10
Voice: 9/10
Setting: 10/10
Recommendation: 10/10
Total Score: 65/70

Grade: A+

Age Appropriate?

Cussing: Some, but not very much.
Alcohol, Drugs, etc: One scene of teen drinking (though it is special circumstances...not necessarily a negative part of the plot...) several mentions of teen drug use/drinking/smoking.
Sexual Content: Not much.
Disturbing Images/Violence: Conversation surrounding a graphic fight.


The power in these pages is astounding! Mary E. Pearson surprised me--her distinctive voice is quite present, but the plot and the themes and the meaning behind her words was so heavy and terrifying, I was in awe.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox is an artful novel that follows the thought process, pausing occasionally for semi-poetic psychological breaks and quoting Thoreau's Walden throughout. Jenna must have been a difficult character to take on, what with her unique situation and her history, but Pearson's writing makes it seem almost effortless. Told in first person, the progression of her character as she recovers memories and makes discoveries about herself was flawless. No, beyond flawless--amazing. This strange and twisted future world Pearson has created, of medical-political tension where ethical principles are tested, was fascinating and intriguing. Thinking back on it, I wonder, Why?

While it was a frustrating and enlightening emotional journey, this book left me with more questions than answers. But that's the point. Jenna's real journey--her recovery and discovery, etc--left a few loose ends hanging to wonder over. However, her actual journey, the one beneath the physical reality of the plot, the emotional stuff--that was where the true story was. It's an important, curious story indeed, that will leave you asking, Where is the line between what is Human and what is not? And what does that make us?

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