Mark's Reviews > The Adoration of Jenna Fox

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
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"I stare at them both. Just when I thought it couldn't get worse, it does. I have a life expectancy between two and two hundred years. What's next? I back toward the door. 'How could you do this to me?'

'We did what any parent would do. We saved you.'

'Saved what? I'm a freak! You saved an uploaded artificial freak!'

Mother steps closer and in an instant her hand shoots up ready to slam across my face, but she catches herself, her hand frozen in midair. She deliberately lowers it to her side. Even in her rage, she cannot harm one cell on her treasured Jenna's face. 'Don't you dare call yourself that! And don't you dare judge us! Until you've been in our shoes, you'll never understand!' She turns abruptly and leaves the room."

Seventeen year-old Jenna Fox awakens from a year-long coma to an unrecognizable life, and an unfamiliar body. Told by her parents that she has been in a terrible accident, Jenna works to refamiliarize herself with the girl she once was, but there's something different about the way she feels, the memories she can and cannot access, and even the way she's treated by her family members. As Jenna gains more control over her memory, she arrives at the truth behind the accident, its aftermath, and her parents' fateful decision to save her life.

It had been a while since I had first read this novel (probably around when it was released), and I was a little nervous about putting it on my course syllabus. I knew I wanted another title that would incorporate sci-fi elements, would be appropriate for older teen readers, and would prompt "big" questions. This book started a tremendous class discussion, and I saw things through other readers' eyes that I never noticed before (like the way Pearson gradually increases Jenna's sentence complexity as the novel moves forward). The ethical discussions in this novel provide tremendous teaching opportunities, and coming at the novel as a parent, there are sides to the issue that I don't think teenagers would immediately see. This is a fantastic, thought-provoking book, and one that I think will stay on my syllabi for some time.
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