Thursday, March 4, 2010

Review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

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.

26 comments:

Alyce said...

I've been seeing a lot of positive reviews for this book, and added it to my wish list recently. I'm hoping I'll be able to get it through paperbackswap soon.

Tricia said...

This is a book that has stuck with me since I read it, and I really enjoyed it. Great review!

Blodeuedd said...

Nice review, and good of you not to give anything away. it truly sounds like that kind of book where you have to discover ti with her

Dannie said...

great book, great review. glad to hear you enjoyed.

Suko said...

Darn! I wish you were hosting a giveaway for this one, Anna. It sounds so good. :)

Janel said...

I'm always intrigued when people limit the plot synopsis in a review and say you just have to read a book. Curiosity will get me every time!

avisannschild said...

I've been in a YA mood recently, so I really want to read this one. I've only seen positive reviews of it so far!

Melody said...

This book is awesome, isn't it? And so thought-provoking! I can't wait to read the rest of her books.

Staci said...

Yay for reading this one!! I loved it and thought it was an excellent book that really made you stop and think about things!!

Haleyknitz said...

mmm this sounds a little bit like "Memoirs of a teenage amnesiac"... have you read that? if not, it's pretty good. you should get your hands on it if you can!

Serena said...

I LOVED THIS BOOK. I cannot recommend it enough! I wonder what friend you borrowed it from...lol...

I'm glad you liked it too.

Dana said...

This book sounds so good! I've somehow managed to miss hearing about it until now, but now I'm definitely going to add it to my TBR. Loved your review!

Violet said...

This book is on my wishlist but I didn't know it was I guess I will have to read it since it comes with such strong recommendation.

Lenore said...

It is one of those that brevity really appeals. I enjoy Mary E. Pearson's books a ton. Great crossover YA.

Tara said...

I thought this book was great! I loved how it unfolded, what a unique story.

Dar said...

I've heard really good things about this book Anna. I'll have to read it one of these days. I'm glad you liked it.

Lisa said...

Half way through the book, when Pearson let out Jenna's secret completely, I was baffled. I was so surprised by how much she got out of it and explored after that!

Jennifer @ Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

I read this book in 2009 and it was a great read. I really enjoyed it, and recommended it to friends. Glad you enjoyed it.

Kristen said...

Ok, you had me until creepy. Now I'm back to waffling on this one.

bookmagic said...

Sounds like a good one, thanks for the review!

Stephanie said...

This sounds wonderful!

Literary Feline said...

I've heard great things about this book and am glad it lived up to your expectations. Thanks for your great review.

Toni said...

Fantastic. I'd be up for reading this one. Great review and great recommendation from Serena.

Andreea said...

I've been seeing a lot of positive reviews for this book and I will check it out. Great review!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Book sounds wonderful and I have a total cover love crush here!

Nice review!

Anna said...

Thank you all for stopping by to read my review and leave a comment. I hope those of you who haven't read the book will give it a try. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Haleyknitz: Thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to look for that one.

Kristen: It's creepy, but not a scary kind of creepy.