The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E Pearson
Author: Mary E Pearson. Website|Twitter
Pages: 05 April 2010 (Walker)
Book Depository: paperback
Source: Borrowed e-book from library
Plot Summary (from Book Depository):
A seventeen-year-old girl wakes from a year-long coma and is told her name is Jenna Fox. She doesn't remember the accident; she doesn't remember her life; she doesn't remember herself. Her parents show her home movies of her past, but is she really the same girl she sees on the screen?
I only discovered this book whilst browsing my library's e-book collection one day, and was very excited to see it was listed on Goodreads as a dystopian type novel. Jenna Fox has been in a coma for over a year and when she wakes up, she can't remember who she is. She's having to relearn everything, including her childhood memories and it becomes clear there's much more about what happened to her than her parents are letting on.
The first thing that got my attention about this book was the writing. There was almost something poetic about. Every chapter or so you'd get a short burst of how Jenna was feeling at that time, before it fell back into the main narrative again. I really liked it and it felt like quite a unique style. I love it when a book can draw me in like that within a few pages!
Jenna herself was a really interesting character. You felt for her because she obviously had no idea what was going on in her life, but at the same time, she was almost cold as a person because she had this absence of herself. She spends her time watching old videos of herself and trying to remember. She can't eat or drink but she doesn't know why. It made her hard to connect with in places but made you root for her in others. There's obviously a lot being hidden from her and that suspicious nature she has really added to the tension and intrigue throughout the story.
We see Jenna start a new school, as her parents have moved since her accident. There she meets other people who have seemingly had trouble in their life as well. She starts to bond with them and becomes close to one of the guys in particular. There seemed to be two boys she was interested in and I admit I got the two of them a little mixed up at first. The fact Jenna and her family has moved and that she's attending this small village charter school really add to that sense of isolation that this book has running through it. It adds something creepy to the book!
The futuristic world the book is set in revolves around the invention of Bio Gel, something which Jenna's parents were involved with. It's a substance used in medicine and has revolutionised the way people are treated when it comes to things like organ transplants, but it has also brought a lot of problems into the world. I really liked the way the book dealt with these ethical dilemmas. There was also reference to an earthquake and a subsequent epidemic which wiped out a lot of the population, so I guess that sort of makes it a post-apocalyptic novel too. It definitely stood out from other dystopian/post=apocalyptic novels I've read because it didn't seem to follow the same formula which more recent novels have stuck to. I liked that about it though.
This book really won me over with the writing, and what kept my attention was that there was obviously something important to be revealed further down the line. As these revelations came to light I wasn't disappointed. I loved the climax of the story, but I'll admit I was confused to find out there was a sequel. I think the book worked well enough on its own and enough loose ends were tied up. I'll still be checking out the sequel because I enjoyed this book, but I'm curious to see just where it goes.
What to read next: The Fox Inheritance by Mary E Pearson, book 2 in the Jenna Fox Chronicles.
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