Name of Book: The Adoration of Jenna Fox
By: by Mary E Pearson
Publisher: Macmillan audio from Henry Holt and Company
Copyright Date: 2008
Number of Pages: six discs
Format: YA, fiction
Reason for Reading: I wanted to re-read this in preparation for Pearson’s new book, The Fox Inheritance.
I originally read this book in 2009. At the time I gave it a five star rating and said it was the best book I’d read in a long while. I even compared it to Margaret Atwood. At the time it brought to mind Oryx and Crake.
Jenna Fox has been in a coma for over a year. When she wakes up she doesn’t remember anything-herself, her family, her friends, the world around her, basic words, or even the accident. All she has to go off of are home movies to glimpse clues of Jenna Fox. On top of that her family is acting really strange. Her grandmother, Lily, seems to hate her. Her mother has become so overprotective she won’t even let Jenna leave the house. As Jenna begins to remember bits of pieces, no one wants to answer the questions that come up. Why does she walk funny? How come her fingers won’t lace right? Why doesn’t her mother want her to go to school? Why does she feel compelled when her mother tells her to go to her room?
My initial thoughts when I first read this book in April of 2009:
The first half of the book was a mystery. I wanted to know what happened to Jenna. All they would say was she was in an accident but they wouldn’t give details and Jenna couldn’t remember. Everyone was acting so strangely you knew, as the reader, there was definitely something going on. Jenna knew something was going on. I was stunned when the details of Jenna’s accident and recovery were revealed.
I loved how intricate and complex this story was. I also liked how the year was never mentioned but details such as the second woman president being elected, a twelfth planet named to the solar system and the last wild polar bear dying clue you in that this is set in the far distant future, not to mention the technological advances.
Upon re-reading I was able to appreciate the little clues sprinkled in the beginning. I didn’t have complete recollection of the book. Honestly, I couldn’t remember why the butterfly was significant on the cover nor could I remember exactly the details of her recovery or why she didn’t remember. It came back to me pretty quickly once I started listening. This was an enjoyable re-read but it definitely didn’t have the impact it did the first time around. I was absolutely stunned when the details were revealed. I wonder if I would feel the same way if I were reading it for the first time today.
The narrator, Jenna Lamia, was absolutely fantastic. She hit all the right notes emotionally without being melodramatic. She really brought Jenna’s experience to life.
This story explores the questions of what would you do for your child, how far would you go for love, and should we put restrictions on technology and what it can do for us.