Whatever we believe can vanish. Believing in something doesn't make it so. (from The Adoration of Jenna Fox, page 131)
I picked up this gem of a book on a whim. I needed something short and fast-paced to get me back into my reading groove after spending over a week on a nearly 600-page book. And it's been sitting on my shelf for awhile, ever since Serena (click to read her review) finished it, pressed it into my hands, and told me it was a must-read. Now, I don't like to tell Serena she's right too often (hee hee), but I must admit she's onto something with this book.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson is a YA novel told from the point of view of Jenna Fox, a 17-year-old girl who has just woken up from a coma following an accident that put her out of commission for 18 months -- an accident so severe that doctors didn't expect her to live. Jenna survived against all odds, but she doesn't remember a thing about her life before. She doesn't know if she has any friends or why her grandmother doesn't seem to like her, just that she's living in a different state in a new home...and that something's not quite right.
You find all this out in the first few pages, and that's all I'm going to tell you about the plot. Seriously, it's best that you don't know much at all. Just go with the flow and uncover all the secrets along with Jenna. You'll be glad you did.
This is one of those books that you don't want to put down because you just have to know what's going to happen next. It's creepy and thought-provoking and heartbreaking. What makes a person who they are? How far should a parent go to save their child? Those are just a couple of questions Pearson raises, and even after turning the final page, the answers still aren't clear to me.
Although the first person viewpoint can be limiting -- all we know of Jenna's family and her classmates are her thoughts and interactions with them -- Pearson used it well. We know only what Jenna knows, and it helps make Jenna's feelings of frustration and confusion real to us. While it's not a perfect book -- parts of the story were predictable, though no less enjoyable -- it was the perfect book for me at the time.
After reading so many glowing reviews, I had high expectations for The Adoration of Jenna Fox, and I'm happy to say they were met.
Disclosure: I borrowed The Adoration of Jenna Fox from a friend.