Jenny's Reviews > The Adoration of Jenna Fox

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
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's review
Mar 05, 2013

really liked it
bookshelves: audiobook, young-adult

I listened to most of this on audio, only switching to print near the end so I could finish more quickly (the Code Name Verity audiobook arrived, and I know I won't be able to renew it because there are so many holds). This is one of those cases where the audio actually makes it a better book: the reader, Jenna Lamia, is absolutely amazing. She captures the character Jenna's tone of confusion, wonderment, and curiosity perfectly, and she does the other characters' voices well too (Jenna's parents, her grandmother Lily, her neighbor Mr. Bender, her schoolmates Ethan and Allys).

The Adoration of Jenna Fox is set in the future, where apparent medical breakthroughs (e.g. powerful antibiotics) were pushed to excess, leading to a powerful, resistant virus that wiped out a significant number of people. In the wake of that disaster, the Federal Science Ethics Board (FSEB) was created to monitor the medical industry and put controls in place.

Jenna knows little of this when she wakes up from a coma in a house she doesn't recognize. She was in a terrible accident and lost much of her memory; her mother and grandmother give her hours of video of her childhood to watch to help her remember, but she soon realizes there are things they aren't telling her. When the reader learns that Jenna's father is the inventor of Bio Gel, a piece falls into place (though it takes Jenna a little longer); when Jenna insists on going to school and her new classmate Allys gives a presentation on the FSEB, another piece of the puzzle clicks.

Initially I thought that the twist might be even more sinister, and that Jenna's parents had created her - and taken all those hours of video of every year of her life - as a medical experiment, but that turned out not to be the case. The truth is startling enough for Jenna, leading her to face some difficult questions about humanity, identity, and morality.

I'd give the book a 3.5, but the audiobook gets 4 stars.

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