The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Jenna Fox has awoken after lying in a coma for the past year following a horrible accident to discover that not only does she not remember the house or the people she is with but has absolutely no memory of her life before the accident. Her mother encourages her to piece her life back together by watching home videos of herself that span every year of her life - each neatly cataloging every moment of Jenna Fox's growth and development. As an only child, she is obviously her parent's pride and joy but Jenna finds herself rebelling against their strict rules without really understanding why.

Oh, and did I mention it's set in the future after the world has been plagued by epidemics and violent sicknesses due to too much genetic engineering of plants and medicine? Yep. It's one of those fabulously creepy dystopian books. My cuppa tea.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox was one of those suspenseful books that kept me constantly trying to guess The Big Secret. Hints are dropped along the way and little by little Jenna begins to remember things from her past; ultimately revealing an all together not unexpected twist. Jenna is a compelling storyteller with a very clear voice. I loved that she often would mistake the meaning of a particular word or phrase since she had no idea what it meant - often substituting an alternate meaning that usually was more accurate than the originally intended meaning. Watching her slowly put together all the pieces of her story was a fascinating look at how a person facing total amnesia might react.

I felt that the relationship between Jenna and Lily, her grandmother, was extremely real. Right from the start, Jenna gets the feeling that Lily doesn't like her but knows at one point she must have loved her like any normal grandparent. As their relationship develops, their conversations contain some of the most searching and realistic interactions in the entire book. Though unsure of what to make of Jenna, Lily is constantly pushing her to think for herself and to act on her decisions. Sounds like an ideal grandma to me. That said, the other secondary characters were pretty flat by comparison. Her parents were at times, almost stereotypical in their quest for the perfect daughter and even her interactions with other teens left me feeling a little like "huh?" There was one kid in particular, Dane, that the author just sorta introduced as being weird and then competely dropped which was weird. I felt like the book resolved itself in such a way that still left me with questions but with enough answers to satisfy me - although I could have competely done without the epilogue. It really just didn't work with the overall tone.


Unknown said...

Hi :)
Thanks for the great review.
It sounds intriguing.
Would you recommend it for a one-time read?
All the best,

Michelle said...

Yes! It is an engrossing read with a intriguing plot - just don't think too hard about some of the characters and you'll be fine! Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get through it in one sitting however - you won't want to put it down!

Anonymous said...

sounds interesting! Dystopian fiction is my cup of tea too.


Michelle said...

xalwaysdreamx - isn't dystopian lit just great though? I just love the extreme circumstances they always creates.