Monday, February 1, 2010

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson is yet another teen novel exploring ideas about death, life and what it means to be human.

Jenna Angeline Fox is 17 years old and she's been in a coma for a year. Jenna along with her best friends, Kara Manning and Locke Jenkins were in a terrible accident. She can't remember the accident. She can't remember her name. She can't even remember her life before. To  help her reclaim her memories, her mother makes her watch videos of her past life.

However, more than just her memories are missing. There are things about her situation that Jenna can't understand. Why can't she eat regular food? Why can't she remember her past life very well? Why can't she leave the house? Why has her family moved from New York to California while her father still works in New York at his top secret company, Fox BioSystems? And what about her mother's brilliant architectural career there?
And then there are other odd things. Why won't the birds feed out of her hands? And why is her grandmother so distant and hostile?

But when Jenna cuts her hand, she learns the unbelievable truth about what she is and what has happened to her. Filled with anger and shock, she must now deal with her new self. But what is she exactly?

Well written, although slightly predictable this novel touches on the timeless theme of what makes us human?  Is it just our bodies? Or maybe our souls and minds? Jenna must deal with her new identity. She must also forgive her parents for what they have done to her.  I didn't expect the true circumstances of Jenna's existence to be revealed so quickly in the book but it was interesting to see how maturely Jenna deals with the issues of life, death and what it means to be human.
Highly recommended.

Book details:
The adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Henry Holt and Company 2008

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