I've been waiting to read The Adoration of Jenna Fox for four years, ever since I happened upon it while browsing in B&N. I bypassed it, but everyI've been waiting to read The Adoration of Jenna Fox for four years, ever since I happened upon it while browsing in B&N. I bypassed it, but every time I saw that novel from then on I would say to myself "I'm going to read you one day" (I said it in a Southern accent too, but thats irrelevant). Well, I finally did. All that hype, four years worth, and I am not disappointed in the least, as a matter of fact.
Jenna Fox is a 17-year old girl who has just woken up after an 18 month coma. She doesn't remember anything, not her parents, herself, even some simple words are completely foreign to her. It's not long before Jenna starts putting together the pieces of what happened to her doing her lost year and a half, and what she reassembles makes her question if she really is Jenna Fox at all.
I loved this book. It's speculative and self-reflective, and although the "mystery" of the story isn't too difficult to piece together, the book focuses more on the questions that arise from the conclusion. Don't let the presence of scientific elements discourage you from reading it, the technicality of it is soft, and serves only as backgrounds for the moral questions of the story.
Jenna is good protagonist. Never stereotypical, never one-dimensional, she is actually curious, intelligent, and emotional. I could both relate to and understand her emotions, even though her situation was so far from anything in my own life. Some times she understands more than the reader, and sometimes the reader understands more than her. It's a nice balance, and the writing, lyrical and circular, complements her voice perfectly. I loved Jenna and I loved the writing. Although I didn't quite feel for them as completely, Jenna's parents and grandmother also had a spark that made them breathe off the page. They weren't perfect beings, but they were human beings.
This novel truly made me think. It provided not with blind entertainment but with earnest questions. My favorite line from the book: "These thoughts are mine alone and no one else's. They exist no where else in the universe but within me." How do you go about thinking about that? I'll be considering that for days...
The reasons why this novel did not receive five stars? Well, there were a few. The weakest parts for me is when I felt Pearson was trying to hard to conventionalize the novel. Like the romance between Jenna and Ethan. The book would have been better without it, but Pearson probably added it in an attempt to draw in readers who are all about the "hawt guys" and "twu luv". Another unnecessary addition was Dane. He was added just to provide an antagonist and a definite bad guy. The novel didn't need an antagonist. The doubt alone in Jenna's mind was conflict enough. Also, the epilogue was sucky and I felt it undermined the message of the story. I turned what I thought was the last page all content and dazed, but then I noticed the 260 years later.....grrrr. So that's it? Every thing is happy? They get to live forever with no consequences? Isn't the whole point of the book is that there ARE CONSEQUENCES???
Anyway, this was a great book, somewhere in between Unwind and Never Let Me Go in terms of bio-ethical speculative fiction. It doesn't have the action-y, more commercialized vibe of Unwind, yet it isn't quite as introspective and thoughtful as Never Let Me go. It's somewhere in the middle.