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The Adoration of Jenna Fox (The Jenna Fox Chronicles) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—Mary Pearson's novel (Holt, 2008) provides a thought-provoking and intriguing examination of what really makes us human and where to draw the line with fast developing technological and medical advances. Jenna Fox wakes from a coma more than a year after having an "accident." With no memory, she slowly learns to function physically, but she can't seem to connect emotionally. Written in a beautiful symphony of revealed memories, Jenna slowly begins to recognize that a secret is being kept from her and something complex and dangerous is going on. As she realizes that she essentially died in the infamous "accident" and was reborn through her father's controversial discovery. Jenna begins to question biomedical ethics and human nature. Narrator Jenna Lamia excels at evoking the haunting, yet detached way that Jenna begins to connect the events in her life. Combining science fiction, medical mystery, and teen relationships into an excellent package that is satisfying from beginning to end, this is a must-have for all collections.—Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT
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Lamia invests the characters in this science-fiction story with a variety of textures and tones. Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox wakes from what she believes is a year-long coma, becoming reacquainted with herself by watching recordings made by her doting parents. Lamia artfully voices Jenna’s increasing awareness as she gathers clues about her past. Speaking deliberately enough to allow us to identify with the teen’s emotions and engage directly in her questions and beliefs about her restored body and the science that has made restoration possible, if not ethical, Lamia never allows the thought-provoking, tense story to drag. Smoothly moving between ages and genders, Lamia’s performance is unified and dynamic. By contrast, a concluding author interview sounds unrehearsed and candid, even if the content adds another layer of ambivalence to the novel’s question of how to cope with what we can and should do in matters of life and death. Grades 8-12. --Francisca Goldsmith
Top customer reviews
Jenna asks haunting questions about just how much of your 'self' is really tied up in your memories. How much can you remember or forget before you're a different person? How much of you is just the sum of your parts? The Adoration of Jenna Fox isn't shy about asking these questions, and one of the best things about this novel is that it doesn't try to answer them for you. Instead the reader is left to ponder this out for themselves, as there really is no 'right' or 'wrong' in the ending. Jenna's frequent in-between chapters moments of introspection leave lingering thoughts to trickle in later for you to think about.
While I loved Jenna's character, I found some of the others rather shallow. The 'romance' that takes place in the novel is very much a side-story, and is actually rather sudden. I wish Ethan & Alyss' characters would've been fleshed out further then just 'we're not normal like everyone else is'. Much of the novel revolves around Jenna's interactions with her parents, I couldn't find it in me to genuinely feel for them. Much easier to appreciate was Jenna's interactions with her grandmother Lily who was a perfect tool to force Jenna to BE someone and not just be the person her parents think she is. Lily refuses to let Jenna just be the person her parents think she was, or the person who watches from recorded movies.
Having read the summary for The Fox Inheritance beforehand, I knew some spoilers about The Adoration of Jenna Fox going in that made the story both less dramatic at the beginning, and perhaps more-so towards the end. I would definitely recommend reading it before The Fox Inheritance at the very least, and to everyone else regardless.
Overall, I highly recommend this novel.
So here goes: The science (fiction) is sloppy. To avoid going into spoiler-level detail, let me just say that there are multiple problems with Jenna feeling anything, given the state of her endocrine system. Despite the Internet, there is little detail about the outside world beyond some references to killer antibiotic-resistance bacteria, a healthcare monitoring agency, and a big earthquake. The most imaginative gadget in this near future world is a Netbook. The power dynamic between Jenna and her parents should have been used to generate far more dramatic tension. Other than Jenna's grandmother Lily, the characters are more character type than fully formed people (including Jenna). And the students at Jenna's near future alternative school all serve as counterpoints to Jenna and her fundamental struggle, each one neatly placed to get her to reflect on a specific aspect of her identity.
And does she ever reflect. Perhaps as a middle aged man I cannot relate to the endless musings of a teenage girl. At least half the book is a dull internal monologue on the nature of self, of what it means to be alive, what it means to be human. But then teenage boys and the middle aged also have such monologues. While it is nice to know that others think such thoughts, I do not really need to hear every one of them. And while life decisions derived from all the musings were articulated as action, it was often underwhelming action.
Nevertheless ... I was hooked by the initial mystery. I thought I had it figured out only to be proven wrong. I found the development and a couple of the twists intriguing and well thought out. And I liked the end, the way Jenna came to terms with who she was, which had a refreshingly small amount of musing. In a nutshell [SPOILER ALERT] I thought the attempt to retain one's humanity after being turned into a machine was an interesting twist on the classic story of puppets (and androids and computers) trying to become "real boys."