The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson (final thoughts)
Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox is relearning her life. After waking up from a year-long coma, she remembers nothing, and only knows her name because it was one of the first thing the people she’s supposed to call Mother and Father told her after she woke up. Now that her motor skills have returned, the only thing her parents ask of her is to watch videos of her former life, the Jenna Fox that she is supposed to be. Hours upon hours of video. Slowly memories start to return, but they spark more questions than they do answers. These memories, coupled with her grandmother’s cold behaviour towards her, cause Jenna to feel that something isn’t quite right.
I really enjoyed The Adoration of Jenna Fox. Pretty much every review of it I had seen was a rave, so I was expecting quite a bit from it. I felt it lived up to the hype. First of all, the writing is fantastic. The story is told by Jenna and I was completely pulled into what she was going through. Also, I loved that it tackled tough issues. What makes a person human? Can the soul, or essence, of a person be retained? How does mortality, knowing that there will be an end, define a life? Should medical advances be limited before they become, well, too advanced? Mary E. Pearson tackles all of these throughout the book, without providing the answers on a silver platter. Although the story takes place in the future, the time period is never actually given and these issues, even the medical ones, seem to be relevant right now.
Even though Jenna’s situation was unique, she was still a seventeen-year-old girl who longed for friendship and affection. I think that wanting to break free of child your parents remember you as and trying creating a new identity is something any teen can relate to.
I had two small issues with the book, that in no way detracted from the wonderfulness of the story. First, I was hoping for more background information on Dane, a guy from Jenna’s neighborhood. Although I can see how he influenced Jenna’s character growth, the way he was introduced and kept popping up in the story it seemed like he would play a more integral part in the overall story. Secondly, I loved how the last chapter ended, full of ambiguity, and felt that the epilogue was unnecessary.
Overall, this is one that I highly recommend.
My rating: 8/10