Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson


These memories descend out of nowhere, giving me pieces of who I was, but their significance is lost. I sigh and resume my walk, not knowing if this memory is important, or just more of the jumbled trivia of Jenna's life, like sock shopping. Maybe that is all my life is composed of, trivia that eventually adds up to a person, and maybe I just don't have enough of it yet to be a whole one.

Even when The Adoration of Jenna Fox was making the blog rounds, and getting rave reviews I didn't really feel a desire to read it. The title turned me off. The weird cover with the butterfly turned me off. It just didn't look like something I would enjoy reading. Then one of my favorite bloggers, Lenore reviewed it and really raved about it (and Mary Pearson's newest book, The Miles Between which I already bought!) In fact, I think this is the phrase that really drew me in, "Mary E. Pearson knows how to deliver an intelligent, satisfying YA novel with mega crossover appeal." (that's blurb worthy)

When I was at Comic Con over the summer I had the good fortune of attending a panel with YA fantasy authors and Mary Pearson was on that panel. Afterwards, I went ahead and bought the book so I could get it signed and I really enjoyed talking with her. (and of course mentioned Lenore in our conversation!) As a result, I've been looking forward to reading Jenna Fox ever since.

Last week, I was suffering from serious readers indecision. Nothing I picked up was sticking even though it was all good...books I thought I would enjoy in a different frame of mind. I grabbed this book because it was small, because Lenore loved it, and because I needed something totally and completely different.

I loved it. From the very first, I was completely sucked in to the story. Jenna wakes up from a year and a half coma and she doesn't really remember anything...that's not exactly accurate though, she remembers facts and how to do things but she doesn't remember anything personal. And despite her mother's desperation for her to remember, other circumstances seem odd. Her mother doesn't want her to go out. Her grandmother is treating her strangely. Her father is living across the country. And Jenna doesn't know why.

I am unwilling to really say anything else as this book is best left unspoiled. I will say that it's one of the finest explorations of identity, self, and what it means to be human I've ever read. It's jam packed with thought provoking questions and ideas, wrapped in a story that is completely fascinating. I love it and think it deserves all the praise it received.

Rating: 5/5
Source of Book: Bought it
Publisher: Henry Holt




Amy

14 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

I just read this review on another blog, and this blogger could not have been more passionate about this book. She dared anyone to read it and not totally fall in love with it. Well, that was it for me...on my list it went. I'm so glad to see you feel the same!

Meghan said...

Well, you certainly made me want to read this one! I've seen it around before but your review is really convincing.

Beth F said...

I have had this one since it came out -- sitting here unread. Sigh. Will get to it eventually.

S. Krishna said...

Well, I'm definitely reading this one now! It's been on my TBR list for awhile, but the weird cover turned me off as well. It goes to show how much difference a book cover can make!

bermudaonion said...

I added this to my wish list after I read Lenore's review. So glad to see you loved it too.

Violet said...

I've never really felt like reading this book until now, the cover and the title turn me off too, I'll definitely have to give this one a try.

Anna said...

Glad you liked it. I borrowed Serena's copy ages ago but haven't read it yet.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

sarah Pekkanen said...

Wow, you and Trish both loved this one! that's enough for me... I'm getting it.

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

I loved that book too! I think it would be such a great book club book, because there is so much to discuss about it!

Serena said...

This is a book I continue to recommend to readers looking for YA with more depth. I really loved this novel and cannot wait to pick up Pearson's latest.

Meg said...

Definitely want to get my hands on this one soon! You definitely piqued my interest by mentioning the exploration of humanity and identity... books on those topics seem to get me every time!

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

It's sitting on my shelf right now. I WILL get to it soon!

Nymeth said...

You know, I think I had forgotten just how much I wanted to read this. Thank you for reminding me!

Gwendolyn B. said...

O.K. I've been on the fence about this one. I'm at least putting it on my wish list after reading your enthusiastic review. Glad you finally found the right book at the right time!

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