The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson is easily one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read. Ever. It’s decades in the future in America; doctors have fallen into the habit of playing God, but their medicine has been rendered useless ever since they began pumping people full of antibiotics endorsed by major pharmaceutical corporations. Jenna Fox, who has just woken up from a coma with “amnesia”, has been affected by this, but to what extent I can’t say because it will spoil the story for you. Throughout the book, Jenna must rediscover her past to learn who or what she truly is. At the same time, she must keep it a secret because she is afraid people will think she is a monster, and she doesn’t want to jeopardize her and her family’s freedom. The Adoration of Jenna Fox seemed so eerie to me; as medicine and technology keep advancing I do think what happened in the book could be possible in reality.
Released: April 2008
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
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Synopsis: Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn’t remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?
Awesome storyline aside, I really appreciate how many of the characters in this book grew and changed throughout. In most books it seems only the main character grows, and the rest of the characters only encourage the growth. But, in The Adoration of Jenna Fox, opinions of supporting characters change over time regardless of the magnitude, and these impact their perceptions of themselves, the world, and their relationship with Jenna Fox.
While I very much enjoyed the story, I did have trouble appreciating the way it was written. Everything was stated so matter-of-fact from Jenna’s point of view– cold and calculated. However, I think if it were written any other way, the story wouldn’t have the same impact on the reader. I’m also left feeling a little confused about one of the characters. Everyone made such a big deal about him, warning Jenna to stay away from him, but he rarely made an appearance in the story. You see, I can’t even remember his name, and I’m not entirely sure why he’s such a bad person. At one point, he and Jenna have a confrontation of sorts, but I don’t understand his motivation.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I liked the development of the storyline and the development of the characters. But, above all, I loved how the story questions both bio-medical ethics and humanity. It does so in a way that is not overly philosophical or pretentious, and it will appeal to both teens and adults.