The Adoration of Jenna Fox – Review

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The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Age: YA
Genre: Sci-Fi
Location: Los Angeles/Boston

When seventeen year old Jenna Fox wakes up from her year long coma, she is still recovering from the accident that caused it, the accident that she wasn’t supposed to survive. Despite the large memory gaps, Jenn is now filled with questions that she can’t ask, and her parents won’t answer, Jenna sets out to discover who the real Jenna Fox is, and what happened to her in that accident.

First of all, I really enjoyed this book. It is well written and the topic is clever and interesting. I think young readers who enjoy this book will eventually move onto read Phillip K. Dick or any of the other authors in the cyberpunk genre.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox covers a lot of hot topic issues; medical ethics, friendship, identity, cloning, truth, the list keeps going. As Jenna awakes from the coma, she is slowly trying to piece together the puzzle of her life. She lived in Boston, but now she’s been moved to California. She had friends and went to school, now she is all alone. She forgets simple words and has to constantly look them up in the dictionary. The secondary characters, Jenna’s schoolmates when she does finally go to school, were somewhat lacking. There was a lot of build-up for the dark pasts of the other students, but for whatever reason, the author didn’t pursue it. I think all of the characters and the storyline could have been fleshed out more had it been a longer book. Its a short read, only 265 pages, so a lot of information, conflict, climax and resolution is crammed in there. I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending. It felt too…neat? expected?

The other concern with this book, was basically the concept. The premise of this book is virtually exactly the same as another teen book, called Skinned by Robin Wasserman.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox: 16 year old girl is in a terrible car accident that she wasn’t supposed to survive, her body burned so badly. To save her, her parents upload her brain into another version, a clone.

Skinned: 16 year old girl is in a terrible car accident that she wasn’t supposed to survive, her body burned so badly. To save her, her parents upload her brain into another version, a clone.

The really funny thing is that both books were published virtually a month away from each other, so they were written around the same time, presumably. I only read a third of Skinned, and Jenna Fox is a much better written telling of the tale. Skinned seems to pick up where Jenna Fox left off and continue the saga, the ethics and the morals of medical ethics in regards to cloning and playing God.

I’m glad to see an emergence of this type of sci-fi in teen literature though, I devoured Phillip K. Dick’s books all through my senior year of high school.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox
by Mary E. Pearson
Square Fish, 2009
ISBN 0312594411
265 pages

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The adoration of Jenna Fox

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2 responses to “The Adoration of Jenna Fox – Review

  1. I felt the same kind of . . . ambivalence about this book. It was interesting but left me a little cold. I didn’t realize there was a previous book with a similar concept. Thanks for the review.

  2. I LOVE THIS BOOK!

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