The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson: Young Adult Book Review
by Mary E. Pearson
In this science fiction novel set in the not-too-distant future, Jenna has been severely injured in a car crash. As the book opens, she’s just awakened from an 18-month coma, but with total amnesia. Though allowed to watch recordings of herself for each year of her childhood, Jenna still doesn’t remember anything, which motivates her to keep searching. Step-by-step, Ms. Pearson parcels out clues to the unfolding mystery of Jenna’s identity.
Her first discovery is that her family has recently moved to a different part of the country, but no one is willing to tell her why. Then, she senses that although her parents love her more than life itself, her grandmother seems repulsed by her. Why?
Jenna quickly discovers that she is, for all practical purposes, in hiding. Why? She isn’t allowed to attend the local high school, although her parents do enroll her in a special school with students who have problems similar to her own. And what are her problems? Nothing on her body works quite right anymore. And why can’t she remember anything about her family or friends, and yet her knowledge for her schoolwork is enclyclopedic?
Why is she haunted by images of “darkness and silence [that] go on forever”? And what about the voices she hears? Are they really her friends that died the night of the accident? Or is she imagining it, because she feels responsible for their deaths?
When Jenna has answered each of her questions, as well as discovered that her world renowned biological engineer father used illegal means to save her, she has a lot to think about. Her father broke the law to save her, but should he have? But there’s more ...
Jenna is responsible for the ultimate fate of her friends who died in the crash. With stakes that couldn’t get any higher, she makes a courageous choice and risks sacrificing herself for them.
Horrifying and thrilling. I defy you to try to put this one down.