Book review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Walker (5 April 2010)
ISBN: 978-1-4063-2031-6
• Amanda Donovan

The Adoration of Jenna Fox is a fast paced and thought provoking thriller set in the scientific future.  Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox has just woken up from a year long coma after a tragic accident.  She does not remember her family, the accident or even herself.


One day she could not walk and the next she could.  Jenna intrigued me from the opening pages of the book.  I read it quickly as it was impossible to put down. I can highly recommend this Young Adult book.

Mary E. Pearson is a skilful writer who places intriguing clues in every chapter to keep the reader guessing.  She slowly unravels the mystery of Jenna Fox.  As I read, many questions formed in my mind.  Why did Jenna seem so empty in the opening pages?  Why had her family moved to a remote cottage after her coma?  Why did she desperately need friends?  What had happened to the two friends she knew before her coma?  Why did her hands not fit together? I had to keep reading.

This book is written in the first person and present tense.  The main characters are well developed, but some of the supporting characters, especially Dane were undeveloped.  I wanted to know more about him and if he was the same as Jenna.  The short chapters of prose that appear at the beginning of each chapter added a lot to the story and were partly responsible for it being such a thought provoking page-turner.

Jenna is a typical rebellious teenager who wants to leave her stark bedroom; she wants to go outside to taste freedom. The garden birds that feed from her neighbour’s hand fascinate her, but they will not feed from Jenna’s hand.   Even though she seems empty and robotic I had an immediate empathy with her character.  Her greatest need is to make friends.

Mary E. Pearson brings many ethical and moral questions to light.  Jenna finds out that she has survived after a car crash.  Her Father is a scientist who rebuilds her using futuristic technology.  However, Jenna questions if she really is alive and wonders where her soul is now.  This was such a poignant part of the book. How far should you go to save a life of a child?  Did Jenna’s parents go too far in their adoration of Jenna Fox?  This book is set in the not too distant future, and it is a scary thought that this could happen in my lifetime.

Watch the book trailer here:

The film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 pictures and the Director will be Brad Silberling.  The release date is unknown.
© Amanda Donovan May 2010

About batcatz

Creative Writing MA graduate
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