22 October 2011

Review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Series: Jenna Fox Chronicles
Official Website
Description: Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn't remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?
This fascinating novel represents a stunning new direction for acclaimed author Mary Pearson. Set in a near future America, it takes readers on an unforgettable journey through questions of bio-medical ethics and the nature of humanity. Mary Pearson's vividly drawn characters and masterful writing soar to a new level of sophistication.

Review: I've picked this book up twice in the library already, but I have never read it. I always shrugged it off, and returned it unopened. A couple of weeks ago I received the sequel, The Fox Inheritance, and was very curious about it. So, I picked up The Adoration of Jenna Fox again. And I read it. And wow, was I surprised.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox tells the tale of Jenna Fox, a girl who has been in a terrible accident. She shouldn't have lived, but she did, ad there's a huge secret covering her up. It's not that much of a spoiler, you'll find out 100 pages in, but this review will be pointless if I didn't reference it. You see, Jenna's body couldn't be saved, but 10% of her brain was salvaged. In the future, they have the technology to insert that 10% into a new, pristine body, filled with BioGel, something her father created to hold organs. She's the first of her kind, and many people are in on the secret, putting their jobs and lives at risk so this girl can survive. And she did.

But she's different than the old Jenna. She doesn't have the same personality, and she's learning, slowly, how to be a person again. It's a very sad book. No scratch that, not sad but character building. You see her growing from this frightened child to a mature woman, who is understanding what she is and what she will become.

I have mixed feelings about her parents ever since I started reading. I always think of the parents point-of-view, because I look at what my own parents would do. You really have to pity Jenna's parents, because they had to make such a hard decision, keep their daughter this way, or lose her forever. This Jenna is different, she doesn't understand or trust her parents, and unlike the old Jenna, who felt she had to please everyone, the new Jenna is making mistakes and doing her thing. She's not their little girl, she has to be different, she shouldn't stand on a pedestal. Then there's Lily, Jenna's grandmother. In Mary E. Pearson's words, Lily is a "woman of faith." Lily resents Jenna, because she put her own daughter threw so much pain and hardship. Lily can't stand Jenna, because it's immoral and not right. But in the end, Lily is the one that Jenna trusts the most, and really helps out Jenna.

This book is set in the future, so the technology is very advanced. I tried to understand the politics and science that Pearson explained, but I didn't get some of it. You don't need to understand it to understand the book, though. Since Jenna is the first of her kind, there are a lot of complications in this new body. For example, Jenna remembers things she shouldn't, like her baptism and drowning when she was 2. Also, all her memories are stored on a backup, that they kept in the house. Weird? Yeah, I thought so too.

Jenna is one of the strongest characters I've read about. This was such a unique book, and she dealt with it in her own terms. Although some actions I would not agree with, she did what she had to do.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a thorough read, anyone who would like to think beyond the pages, and anyone who's never felt comfortable in their own shell.

Because maybe, given time, people change, maybe laws change. Maybe we all change.
-The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson 

1 comment:

  1. I love it! It is so awesome and tragic and wonderful! It really makes you think about life. Thank you!
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