Book Review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox

The Adoration of Jenna Fox

Mary Pearson

Henry Holt & Co

272 pages

Jenna Fox is a teenage girl who has woken up after being in a coma for over a year.  She cannot even begin to wrap her head around what has happened.  All she knows is she is now in California with her mother and grandmother and she has no recollection of the past year, or her entire life for that matter.

I started this book not realizing there was a dystopian slant to it, but things were odd straight off the bat.  Jenna’s grandmother Lilly is acting completely bizarre, for one.  It’s almost as if she dislikes Jenna, and it was impossible to pinpoint why she was acting that way towards Jenna.  Then there’s the fact that there are locked doors . . . what are the adults in the family trying to hide?  Not to mention, why are they in California now and why is Jenna’s mother so against her going to school.

As you can see, there were clues straight from the get go that made it obvious to me that this book was much more than I expected it to be.  The second half of the book became extremely interesting as Jenna’s circumstances were unveiled, and the ethical aspect of that became one of the main themes of the book.  It was also very thought provoking for me and I was never able to completely decide my stance on the issue, even now that I have had a week to ruminate over it.

I found the ending to be . . . interesting.  I am not sure whether I can appreciate the epilogue.  I found it to be kind of unnecessary and I felt like it was just kind of tacked on there, but at the same time, I felt a weird sense of solace knowing how everything turned out. Obviously I am a bit conflicted, and I think it is due to the execution of the epilogue.  It just seemed to be poorly done, and I think Pearson could have added a lot to the story had the epilogue been more deftly written.

Overall, dystopian fiction has become a bit tedious for me recently so I was glad that this book was able to capture my interest.

Other Reviews:

Rhapsody in Books

Hey Lady, Watcha Readin’?

S Krishna’s Book Reviews

Maw Books Blog

Galleysmith

The Zen Leaf

Eclectic/Eccentric

Devourer of Books

I borrowed this book from my local library.

This book counts towards the YA-D2 challenge.

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10 Responses

  1. I was very conflicted by this one too, and not just about the epilogue. But I agree with you that it was interesting enough to rise above a genre that I too have gotten a little tired of for the most part.

  2. This sounds thought provoking and unsettling. Too bad that the epilogue threw things for you.

  3. Liking/not liking this book seems to be a simultaneous occurrence for many readers. I found the book to be really predictable, but for some reason I wasn’t upset by that.

  4. I have been hesitant to try any dystopian fiction, but this sounds like a book I might want to give a try..

  5. I really liked the idea of this one but felt a little bit like Pearson was hitting her readers over the head with the message a little too vigorously at times.

  6. I remember enjoying it, but boy I don’t remember much about it (besides basic plot). Hm…wonder what that says about it 🙂

  7. I was really disappointed in this book … but that could have been because I went in expecting quite a bit based on some rave reviews I’d seen. I agree with you about the epilogue, but I felt the whole book felt underdeveloped. It had potential but I think it was squandered.

  8. I really enjoyed this one, but I thought the ending was rushed and the epilogue was just tacked on. I’m glad it’s there, though. And I loved not really knowing what to expect when I started the book, though I did figure out what was going on for the most part early on.

  9. Hmm, I’m not really sure I would classify this as dystopian. Maybe I’m just not remembering correctly, but I’m pretty sure what was going on was going on either just in her family or on a small scale, it wasn’t society-wide, right? Maybe I’m totally forgetting, but I would be more likely to call it speculative fiction, or maybe even science fiction.

    • It was a society wide issue, with mandates being placed on biogel and how much can be used, but I feel like Pearson did not focus on that aspect as much as she could have. The focus on society wasn’t as present as in most dystopian fiction.

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