2009: 23. The Adoration of Jenna Fox

“I used to be someone.

Someone named Jenna Fox.”

The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Mary E. Pearson

This was, for the bulk of the story, a really excellent and thought provoking young adult book - and then the author tacked on an epilogue that, while providing a happy ending of sorts, in my opinion really took away from the power of what had proceeded it.  I suspect that either 1) the publishers forced the author to make the ending a little bit lighter, because what had gone before was so heavy (in the 1960’s sense of the word), or 2) the author fell in love with her characters, and couldn’t leave them on a down note.  Either way, it put a dent in my enjoyment of the novel, which I otherwise was very impressed with.

And perhaps enjoyment isn’t the right word, because this is a pretty dark story, and it touches on pretty deep issues - question of faith, and humanity and biomedical ethics, and what exactly it means to be human.  I actually found it pretty profoundly upsetting to read in parts, though I thought it was extremely well done.  The story is about Jenna Fox, a young girl who has been in a terrible accident.  When she awakens from a coma, she finds herself living with her family in a new house, and trying to reconfigure her life from her spotty memory.  Her dad is on the other side of the country, her mom is spending her time distracting herself by redecorating their new home, her grandmother recoils at the sight of her.  Jenna can barely remember who she is, but she slowly starts to realize something is wrong with her - more than just the accident.

As I said, the book is creepy (in a good way) and heartbreaking and moving, and made me feel ill at times, but made me think, and I really liked it - until the epilogue, which I just thought was dumb and false to what had gone before.


Date/Place Completed: February 2009; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction, YA, Library Book

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017