From: the public library
In a nutshell:
Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox emerges from a coma feeling quite altered from her past self. The slow return of her memories do not really help, as she can remember purchasing a pair of socks more clearly than the accident that nearly destroyed her life.
Jenna’s parents are overwhelming her with protectiveness, while her grandmother remains strangely aloof. As her parents have moved the family from Boston to California while she was in a coma, she knows no one but her family at first. She does make new friends with a couple of similarly outcast kids at an alternative charter school, but even then, Jenna knows there’s something radically, even dangerously, different about herself.
I read The Adoration of Jenna Fox before I left for vacation and it’s a fast read. The premise is very intriguing and while I had some ideas about the mystery that is Jenna Fox, there were details in the revelations that I didn’t see coming.
Pearson sets her book somewhere in the near future. The futuristic elements take current technologies, threats and societal changes and push them to a plausible ‘next level.’ For instance, Jenna’s grandmother works to preserve genetically diverse plants. That is something people are doing today, but in Pearson’s future version of the world, the lack of biodiversity is almost total.
I didn’t completely care for the writing style. I’m not sure if this is a YA thing, but Pearson used a lot of short choppy sentence fragments in her writing. I think the point of this technique is for impact and power, but it doesn’t have that effect on me. Here is an example:
Choice I needed it like I needed air. But no one could hear me. No one could listen. No words. No sound. No voice. I couldn’t even dream myself away. Choices were made. None of them mine. At first I wondered if it was hell. And then I knew it was.
To be fair, this particular excerpt is one of several passages in the book that are set apart from the rest of the text, breaking away from the story to convey Jenna’s darker, more submerged memories and feelings. So the whole book doesn’t look like a stanza of song lyric. And while the sentence fragments are most concentrated in these breakaway passages, they are pervasive in the rest of the book. It’s not that sentence fragments should be completely avoided but for me, they cease to be effective when used so much.
Despite this detraction, I did find like the story’s musing on science and ethics. I wonder if The Adoration of Jenna Fox could prove a good “dipping in your toes” book for kids who don’t think they like science fiction.