Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox

Title: The Adoration of Jenna Fox
Series: Jenna Fox Chronicles, #1
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Release Date: April 29, 2008
Publisher: Henry Holt
Cover Designer:
Meredith Pratt
Age Audience: YA
Genre: Sci-fi
Tagline: Who is Jenna Fox?
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name.  She has just awoken from a year-long comma, 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. But along with the memories come questions—questions no one wants to answer for her. What really happened after the accident?

My Review:
I discovered this book on one of my libraries’ blogs two years ago, way back when I first started reading YA. I don’t know why, but after reading the summary I came to the conclusion that this book was a contemporary amnesia-themed novel and didn’t consider reading it. But a few months ago, I was at the library and I saw it shelved in science fiction! That alone was reason enough to make me pick it up.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox was slow in places, because Jenna regained her memory and grew re-accustomed to the world slowly. But the slow pace allowed a lot of character study. Some parts of the book are written in very short sentences, there are whole pages in which each sentence is only three or four words long. I wasn’t bothered by it, because to me it wasn’t any different from reading a book in verse, but I’m pointing it out because it might bother some people.

I predicted the twist long before it was revealed, but knowing beforehand why the Fox family lived in California instead of Boston, why Jenna couldn’t eat, why no one would answer her questions, did not make me loose interest at all. The biotechnological aspect was fascinating, and it made sense from a scientific viewpoint. However, I wish that we could have learned more about the disasters. Fifteen years prior to the time the book takes place, a huge earthquake in Southern California killed tens of thousands of people. Then came an epidemic that wiped out a quarter of the earth’s population, and then six years of what was called the Second Great Depression. And that’s all we’re told. I wish those nearly-apocalyptic disasters had been explained better.

A few reviewers said they felt that the author was preaching from a pro-life stance. But, while medical ethics play a huge part in the story (things like “How far is too far?”), and Jenna makes a pro-life decision near the end, I wouldn’t say it was preachy at all. If Pearson even was trying to be an influence, she was very, very subtle about it. There were no undertones.

The end of the book was a glimpse into the future, two hundred and sixty years later. It was a good, conclusive ending, but I thought it was beak, and even a little...lonely. I can’t explain why without giving away spoilers, but the ending just gave off that kind of feeling.

While I wasn’t missing out on anything amazing, I really shouldn’t have waited two years to read this! The Adoration of Jenna Fox was a thought-provoking and very intriguing novel. Also, even though I’ve seen several people say that it’s “science fiction for people who don’t like science fiction”, I don’t think you’ll enjoy this book if you don’t like sci-fi. But, if you’re a hopeless sci-fi geek like yours truly, read this book.


  1. This does sound really intriguing! I thought it was a contemp novel when I first read the synopsis as well :)

    I have a copy I need to read soon.

  2. I have this waiting to be read, too! Great review. :)

  3. I loved this book. I was so, so surprised by the ending. It's one of those books, where you are seeing everything from the teen's perspective, and later you get an idea of what the mom must have been thinking. I dunno. It was really interesting.

    Also! I love your accordion widget... that is really cool.

  4. I've had this one on my TBR for what feels like forever now but still haven't gotten to read it yet. Your review is fabulous as now I almost feel like running to the library tomorrow and picking it up. However, as much as I love dystopian fiction it does bug me a bit when we're supposed to believe in a new world with no type of background. Still looking forward to it though!

  5. I really liked this. I thought the characters were really well drawn and the writing was poetic. Hopefully the sequel will give more info about the earth's disasters.


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