Tuesday, 8 September 2009

The Adoration of Jenna Fox - Book Review

I find reading teen fiction very hit and miss for me. Often, in order to appeal to the teen crowd, authors make their protagonists too angsty or unsympathetic. By which I mean, their attitudes are not explained through the story because of things that they're going through. Their attitudes are angsty because teens are, by definition, angsty. Right?


Attitude is not character, just like love is not a plot. More needs to happen. The attitude needs background so the reader can understand where the character is coming from, what the attitude is in reaction to.

Then I'll come across a book like Harry Potter or The Adoration of Jenna Fox, where whatever angst the character exhibits is explained through their own search for identity - rather than a cop out means of showing that the character is a teenager.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary Pearson, tells the story of 17 year old Jenna, who's recently woken up from a terrible accident many years into our future. It was an accident that's left her amnesiac about her life. Her parents assure her that she'll remember who she is in time, but she's not sure they're telling the truth. Or that they even know the truth. As a means of remembrance, Jenna watches videos of her former life. Videos of a much adored girl. A perfect girl. A girl she's not sure she is anymore or can ever be again. Things in Jenna's life spiral out of control as she tries to create her own identity and learns the truth behind the accident and what her parents did after it in order to save her life.

The novel examines the meaning of identity, the law, and the lengths parents will go to to save their child.

It's well written, thought provoking, delightful and gut-wrenching. A great science fiction read for teens (even younger ones, as there's no 'content' issues with this book) and adults.

Here's the book trailer from youtube:

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