Review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox

adorationTitle:  The Adoration of Jenna Fox

Author:  Mary E. Pearson

Published:  April 29, 2008

# of Pages:  272

ISBN:  978-0805076684

My Rating:  4.5/5

Jenna Fox has just woken up after being in a coma for a year and a half.  She remembers absolutely nothing of her life – she is told that her coma was induced by a horrible accident and that her memory should slowly start to return as long as she takes it easy.  Watching old home movies gives her some insight into her life, but even the movies don’t really trigger any concrete memories for her.  When she does start to remember, it is in bits and pieces, fragments of a life she doesn’t understand and one in which nothing is familiar.  She pictures people her parents don’t talk about and situations that just don’t make any logical sense.  What’s more, her body parts feel so unfamiliar and awkward – she “walks funny”, or so her classmates tell her, and her hands don’t fold together like everyone else’s.  The worst thing for Jenna, though, is the fact that her parents are always behind closed doors, having hushed, secret conversations, and her own grandmother severely dislikes and ignores her – and Jenna has absolutely no idea why.

When Jenna starts putting the pieces together and discovering the truth about herself, the book raises some powerful ethical questions.  How far would a parent really go to save their child?  What kind of rules would they break, lines would they cross, and boundaries would they push to save the most important person of all?  And at what cost?

The Adoration of Jenna Fox is a fascinating look at our changing society, an examination of the ethics involved with our advances in science, and Pearson’s interpretation of what might just be possible many years from today.  I thought the book was so interesting, because once it was revealed exactly what happened to Jenna, it sort of made sense how the technology used would be possible many, many years from now.  And the book really made me think about the ethical situations and the dilemma presented in it.

In addition, I really enjoyed the character of Jenna Fox.  I found her to be very well-developed, and I liked how the reader slowly understood what happened to her at the same pace she did.  Even though the situation she was in is not possible by today’s standards it was still so easy to feel empathy for what she was going through.  She felt so isolated, lonely, and confused, and nobody in her life seems to want to talk to her or explain anything to her.  I loved how she truly grew as a person throughout the book – she did miss out on a year and a half of teenage life, so she had a lot of growing up to do once she awoke from her coma at seventeen, and she did the growing up very gracefully.  A lot happened to her in a short period of time, and I loved how Person wrote her character to be complex and interesting.

I listened to The Adoration of Jenna Fox on CD, and I definitely enjoyed the audio version.  The narrator was great, she really captured Jenna’s personality and made the book seem appropriately creepy at the same time.

Highly recommended, as a book or as an audiobook.

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