The Adoration of Jenna Fox Review

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Title: The Adoration of Jenna Fox
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Square Fish
Published: April 29, 2008
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Pages: 266
Source: Personal Copy

Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox has just awoken from a year-long coma — so she’s been told — and she is still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. But what happened before that? She’s been given home movies chronicling her entire life, which spark memories to surface.

But are the memories really hers? And why won’t anyone in her family talk about the accident? Jenna is becoming more curious. But she is also afraid of what she might find out if she ever gets up the courage to ask her questions. What happened to Jenna Fox? And who is she really?
Jenna isn’t sure who she is anymore, and it’s not your normal teenage angst, crisis of conscience sort of thing. Jenna Fox truly has no idea who she is. After a terrible accident and a year-long coma, Jenna wakes to a world where she has no memories of anything except those of being a toddler. She does, however know everything about world history, and she can spew the great works as though they’re simple conversation. But Jenna no longer eats. Jenna isn’t sure what’s real and what’s not, and Jenna has to decide if she’s strong enough to find out what really happened to her while she was asleep.

I’ve really never read any reviews for The Adoration of Jenna Fox. No, I’m not kidding. There was something about this book that made me not really understand it just by reading the back cover, so I didn’t pick it up. I’m so glad I read it now though. Mary E. Pearson has created a world within The Adoration of Jenna Fox that’s neither reality nor true fantasy. It’s not a utopia, but it’s not quite a true dystopia either. That’s the beauty of the book. The world in which Jenna lives is sort of a gray area. Neither black nor white, it’s a world where ethics are blurred and morals are changed to fit the person, and it’s world that both terrifies and fascinates me.

You know those books that stay with you long after you finish them? The Adoration of Jenna Fox is one of those. It’s a bit of a slow-burning book. The prose isn’t flowery or fancy, but rather simple and succinct, letting the voice of Jenna, the narrator, lead the story. She’s believable, relatable, and heartbreaking. She has one of the most realistic and endearing voices I’ve read in a dystopian book in a while. Her confusion resonates from every page and adds to the element of mystery coursing through the book. The Adoration of Jenna Fox is the story of one girl living in a society where things changed while she was asleep, and in order for Jenna to catch up, she must discover the truth about what’s happened to her.

I can’t believe I waited so long to read this one. I give The Adoration of Jenna Fox a 5 out of 5, hands down. While this book doesn’t really fit into one set genre, I’d recommend it to both YA and adult audiences, especially those who enjoy dystopian, science-fiction and mystery novels because there’s a bit of something for everyone.

60 comments:

  1. I've seen this book a lot on blogs, but like you, haven't actually read a review (until yours). Your review explains alot, because the blurb is a bit vague apart from the whole 'dead-girl-in-limbo' thing. Thanks :)

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  2. Lately, I've come to love reading dystopian-ish kind of book. The world building in these books tend to fascinate me as well and generally, there is some sort of new rules, which are completely different from what we have now, that make the book/the world that the author creates somewhat unique.

    I have yet to read this one but it surely is in my TBR pile. Totally love the way you describe Jenna's voice there.

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  3. I absolutely loved this book and I'm glad you did too! I heard she's writing another similar to this one and I can't wait:) Great review Melissa!
    -Danna

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  4. You know Ive thought the same thing. I bought this last year on sale somewhere and its just been sitting on the shelf. Thanks for the review....must read it soon..:)

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  5. I loved this book too! I read it a few years ago because it was a Lonestar book. Great review!

    Jen

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  6. Great review Melissa! I totally agree! I just finished this one a week or two ago, and I'm still thinking about it. It really challenges our definitions of certain things, and how we view humanity!

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  7. I think I have this book but I'm surprised because the hard cover edition looks like it would be chicklit. It's the one with the hand and the butterfly in it. Great review!

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  8. Fantastic review Melissa! I haven't heard of this but I love that it's an "older" book - I tend to get caught up in all of the shiny new releases and forget about the ones sitting on my shelf!

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  9. Lately, I have been sort of addicted to dystopian fiction. Thanks for the fantastic review! I was curious about this book.

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  10. Melissa, this is the first review I read of TAoJF, and wow! I love your description of simple and succinct! My mouth is watering now.

    One thing that has really annoyed me about Dystopian fiction lately is that everyone's "voice" sounds the same. But if Pearson managed to break away from the norm then I can feel hopeful again!

    Brilliant review, Bee!

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  11. I've seen this one recommended to me many times on Amazon and you're right, I've never seen a review. I had no idea it was a dystopian. I also thought it was a series but that might be the Jemma Doyle series I'm thinking of. What a great review. You know how I feel about dystopian novel, but I think I might like this one. And it's cheap on Amazon right now.

    Heather

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  12. I've got a copy of this on my shelf I need to read, you'll definitely got me wanting to bump it higher on the list. Great review!

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  13. I should have bought this book when I saw it as a bargain book once! Great review!

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  14. I enjoyed this one too- and haven't seen this cover.

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  15. Oh a sleeping-beauty-awakens story! Very original! Your review was excellent - now I want this book! Thanks!!!

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  16. I really haven't heard much about this one either so I'm super excited you reviewed it! And you gave it a 5 which means I need to add it to the list. I love the ones that stay with you, they're something special:) Excellent review Melissa!

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  17. I really like this book, so it was fun to read your review of it. I got one of my book groups to read it (all adults), and we all thought it was great.

    And, if I may suggest --- Robin Wasserman's Skinned series was a good follow-up to Jenna Fox. :)

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  18. Thanks for a great review. I've had this on my "to read" list over at Goodreads for a year or more but still haven't gotten it up to the top of my list.

    I may have to bump it up a few notches based on your thoughts. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  19. Thanks for stopping by my blog/following. Returning the love :]

    I've probably seen this book at the library because it sounds so familiar. But it looks like something I'd enjoy! Great review.
    And I agree with Jo 2 comments above me--Skinned is a really good series!

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  20. I have seen this book, well the translated copy at the library lately, but I everytime I just ignore it. ;( OMG, I need to get back and get this one. It sounds soo good and I like dystopian stories. Great review, Melissa.

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  21. Oh man. I need to get this one. I really sounds interesting. I love the book that is straight forward and lives in a grey area. Plus I have to say I do love the cover. :)

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  22. I remember reading this one a couple of years ago, and I don't remember all the details of the plot, but I do remember all those feelings you described... unraveling the story along with Jenna, trying to figure out everything that happened. It's definitely a book that makes you think and reflect on it afterward, which is awesome. Great to see a review of it, as I don't think I have for a couple of years.

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  23. Great review, Melissa. I read this in 2009 and was fascinated by it. You're right about the synopsis too, I still didn't really have an idea what it was about until I read it. And boy was I happy I read it. Most of the time, I don't remember the details of a lot of the books I read because I read so much, but I remember Jenna well enough.

    It is that good.

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  24. I have only heard good things about this one. And a 5, then it must be nice. So yes this is one YA book I would like to read

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  25. I have this book on my TBR-pile! You made me really eager to read it!! Really great review :)

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  26. I absolutely loved this book. Heard it on audio, which was great. I agree it's 5 out of 5, hands down.

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  27. This was a Truman award nominee and I read it last year. I liked the concept of this book, but I found the ending less than satisfying. Still I agree that Jenna's confusion resonated throughout the book and her voice was unique. This is an amazing review and I hope it convinces others to read this book as I feel it is a book well worth the time.

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  28. wow!! sounds like this one is awesome! thanks for the great review, melissa!

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  29. This one has been on my list for ages, but for some reason I never picked it up until yesterday. I'm really excited to get to it -- especially after your great review!

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  30. I don't know what's been keeping me from reading this one, but your review has me dying to get my hands on it asap. I really adore books that stay with you for awhile. Amazing review Melissa (:

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  31. Awesome! I've read maybe a couple of reviews on this one and I can assure you they were both very positive, as well! You would think such a highly thought of book like this would be popular on the blogs...

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  32. I'm really curious about this book! I have it on my TBR list, but I'm thinking I need to bump it up a bit! It just sounds so fascinating! Great review :o)

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  33. Amazing review. I'm so glad you found me so I could find you! I can't wait to read more and (eventually) send you my book to review too!

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  34. I first read this one a couple years ago, and I have to agree with you, it is subtly unnerving. I found the ending in particular unsettling - did you as well?

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  35. WOW, that is a great rating. I wasn't too sure if I wanted to read this one or not. Perhaps I will.

    There is still time to enter my Steampunkery Giveaway!!!

    Mad Scientist
    Steampunkery & Book Reviews
    Forbidden Steam  Adult- even the Mad Scientist gets naughty!

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  36. Wow. 5 out of 5? I remember reading a lot of reviews on this one when it first came out, but it kind of got put on the back burner in my head for awhile. Since you liked it so much, I might have to go out and try to find a copy. If nothing else, it's more likely to get read when it's sitting on my shelf staring at me then when it's just on my Goodreads to-read list! lol. Thanks for the review!

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  37. I have heard good things about it but now I am definitely ordering it after your wonderful 5/5 review. I love books that just linger afterwards in your thoughts :)

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  38. I feel the same as you---I had not read any reviews but have heard people say it's a great book. Awesome review and I'm putting it on my TBR list now. Thanks Melissa!

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  39. Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. I think it's one of my favorite reads of 2010. I've never read anything quite like it.

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  40. I loved this book! It's one of the best I read last year--if not ever. I agree that the thing that made this book so interesting was the neither-here-nor-there nature of the world; it was very much like our own world with it's shifting moral compass and progress at all costs mentality. I loved the religious undertones of this one as well, and the relationship between Jenna and her grandmother was very interesting.
    Totally an underrated book. Great review!

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  41. I recently got this book. I haven't read any reviews on your still now. I only picked it up because it looked interesting when I saw it at the bookstore. Great review! I can't wait to read it now :)

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  42. Thanks for a great review. Being newish to book blogs I dont tend to know about many of the older books. This one sounded so good that after I read your review I hopped over to amazon and downloaded it for my kindle. Then I remembered I'd been so excited to look it up that I'd forgotten to leave you a comment. So here I am back to do just that :D

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  43. Glad you enjoyed this one! I"ve had this on my book shelf since it came out and just haven't gotten around to reading it yet! :( I'd heard good things, thanks for bringing it back on my radar! Great review.

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  44. I loved The Adoration of Jenna Fox too. It's actually what inspired me to start blogging :)

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  45. Oh..Now I'm glad I kept this one on my wish-list. I was thinking about letting it go. And from your comment on my review of The Replacement, YES! He is a great character. Another refreshing thing about the book is that I'm not waiting for a year for the next in the series! I love a great series, but it's nice just to read a stand-alone every once in a while. It helps me stay sane. :)

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  46. Great review! I was wondering how this book would turn out when I saw that you were reading it. The cover speaks a thousand words! I also wanted to say that I noticed that you listed Owl City as one of your favs, I LOVE OWL CITY OMG! Hahah :)

    xo,
    Lah

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  47. This cover is better than the other versions. :') Thanks for the great review, I've added it to my wishlist.

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  48. That sounds like such an interesting world--definitely going to read this one!

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  49. Great review! Interestingly, this one has also been on my wishlist for ages and ages, even though I don't know all that much about it and I haven't really read all that many reviews either. I must pick it up soon!

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  50. This one sounds really interesting! Great review Melissa :)

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  51. I have to comment on the prose. I haven't read this book yet, but what i have noticed amongst all the dystopian fiction novels that I've read so far, all the books dont' focus on lyrical writing, but rather keep it stark, simplistic and succinct - thereby somehow making it so much more of a powerful read. The Adoration of Jenna Fox is a book that I want to read as well. I love how you describe it as a book that's not black or white, but rather a grey area - it makes me even more curious about it than ever. Fantastic review Melissa!

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  52. I read this one back when it was first released and absolutely loved it, so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it just as much as I did. Have you read Mary's other book The Miles Between? It's not as good as this one but it's pretty high up there!

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  53. Oh, how I *love* The Adoration of Jenna Fox. I've read it at least three times. I completely agree that it stays with you long after you've finished it, and I *love* the sense of mystery. Lovely review for an amazing book.

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  54. Awesome review! I heard about this book, but now I really want to read it!

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  55. I LOVED this book and am a big fan of Pearson.

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  56. This book sounds great!! Love the review, thanks =)

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  57. I have this one on my TBR pile. Now I can’t wait to read it :)

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  58. I have read her other books and they are divine, can't wait to read this one =)

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