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Jenny Pox Paperback – July 24, 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 633 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Paranormals Series

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Paperback, July 24, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This tale highlights both the inspiring strengths and the abhorrent cruelties of human nature, forcing us to run through the full gamut of emotional responses and refusing to let us return to reality until everything Mr. Bryan wants us to experience has been felt, seen, and fully absorbed." -Jenny, Supernatural Snark

"This book has it all: teenage angst, sex, drugs, hiding an evil agenda disguised as a religious quest, evil cheerleaders." -Heather, Bewitched Bookworms

"This is one of the best novels of the year I've read so far, and I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it." -Darkeva's Dark Delights

"JL Bryan has written a book that runs the gamut from young adult romance to revenge thriller to horror novel to grand fantasy epic love story, and doesn't miss on any fronts. I was, quite simply, blown away." -John Hartness, Author of Hard Day's Knight

Selected by Geeks of Doom for Top 10 Urban Fantasy Books of 2010.

Winner of a Red Adept Indie Award: #1 in Horror for 2010.

About the Author

J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on the English Renaissance and the Romantic period. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He enjoys remixing elements of paranormal, supernatural, fantasy, horror and science fiction into new kinds of stories.

He is the author of The Paranormals series (Jenny Pox, Tommy Nightmare, Alexander Death) and other books. Fairy Metal Thunder is the first book in his new Songs of Magic series. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Christina, his baby son John, and some dogs and cats.

Twitter: @jlbryanbooks
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453728406
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453728406
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (633 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,231,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
The three main characters in this story are Jenny, Seth, and Ashleigh. Each wields a different supernatural power. At first they don't know this about each other but soon they discover each other's secret. Jenny and Seth just want a normal life, but Ashleigh has other plans. Their lives are intertwined more than they realize and eventually Ashleigh's evil intentions are discovered. Jenny and Seth are the only ones who can stop her.

Jenny is the shy loner -- by necessity. She cannot touch anyone without giving them a disgusting pox or even, ya know...killing them. She has to cover her bare skin even in the summer and wear gloves at all times, hence the cruel "Jenny Mittens" nickname her classmates give her. The first couple of chapters set the stage for how Jenny has grown up living a lonely life, never able to touch or be touched without deadly consequences. I did kind of wonder how she could get through grade school unsupervised without being touched (except for the one incident between her and Ashleigh) and her power being discovered, but I decided to go with the flow and assume she was able to do this.

Seth has the opposite power to Jenny. He can heal with his touch. Their powers seem to cancel each other out and he is the only person Jenny can touch. Seth starts out as a bit of a jerk but you soon realize he is not quite himself because of Ashleigh. He turns out to be stand-up guy. Seth actually likes Jenny, and Ashleigh is none too happy about it.

Ashleigh's power is to make people feel love...love for her or love for each other. She is like an evil and selfish cupid. People become her puppets and she uses this power for her own selfish reasons regardless of the consequences to that person.
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All sorts of people recommended this book to me-friends, writers, book bloggers, people on Goodreads. I have no idea what took me so long to finally get to it, because it is just the kind of book I like. I couldn't read Jenny Pox fast enough!
This book is a lot of different things, not just another paranormal/supernatural romance. There are plenty of grusome images and vivid descriptions to delight a horror lover, plenty of high school antics and cliqueishness for people who like contemporary. There's Southern charm, rednecks, Jesus freaks, old money, mythology, religion, difficult parent/child relationships and yes, a very sweet romance.
The writing was descriptive without being annoyingly so. The dialogue was natural for both teens and people from the South. The characters well-defined.
I just really dug this book and will be first in line for the sequel!
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To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from this book. Inexpensive, young adult fiction with a female lead? However, I was surprised and impressed. As I read I kept expecting it to go wrong somewhere, but it never did. While the triangle of the evil, pretty popular girl and good but clueless handsome male lead with a female loser/outcast is common enough, it never felt old here, and it felt like a very fresh take on that sort of thing. More like that typical dynamic was just window dressing for another, deeper dynamic.

While some readers are put off by the sex and drug use in the book, I found the sex scenes relatively tame in the book. I've read smuttier stuff in classic literature. I can't recall there being a single case of graphic female-male penetrative sex in this book. There's mostly instances of nudity, kissing, etc. As for drug use... some of the teenagers smoke pot. There is an incidence of cocaine use, but not by the main characters, and it is in no way portrayed as a good or cool thing to do.

While I don't really see why this book should be marketed specifically as young adult (other than containing teenagers as main cast) it seems perfectly appropriate for a younger teen to read. The facts are, if your teen isn't homeschooled and very sheltered, they encounter kids everyday who smoke marijuana. Who have sex. Keeping them away from this book won't keep them away from mentions of drug use or hearing about explicit sex. I say this is as a college freshman-I can well remember hearing way, way more than I wanted to about people's relationships at high school and even in middle school. Perhaps this book will seem shocking to 40-year old parents out there, but to someone fresh from the perils of high school it's nothing out of the ordinary.
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I wish the grammar with Jenny Pox was as polished as it was with the other two books of the series. There's more telling than showing, particularly in the first half of the novel. I'm not a huge fan of Jenny's character, but the overall story is captivating. There was not one instance while reading this book that I thought to put it down. Jenny Pox my least favorite of the series, but it is still a great debut novel. This is one of those books that I was constantly shocked that the author "went there" and then giddy because he did. I'm fairly certain some of the scenes in this book would of been toned down if JL Bryan was published by the Big 6, so in that way, I'm happy he went the self-published route.

Ashleigh is my favorite character in this book. Despite being introduced as a mean girl, she's a villain you can't help but to love. (It was like she touched me through the parchment and suddenly I was like "Ashleigh, I'm gonna go get a sex change so we can make some babies." Midway though the operation, this feeling strangely faded away, and then I was like "Awkward.")

Seth, on the other hand, I can't get into. I don't understand why he falls for Jenny so suddenly, especially considering his relationship with Ashleigh. Granted, he probably has the best excuse ever for cheating.

I would categorize this book as high YA or NA, due to some pretty graphic scenes. If you get offended easily, this might not be the book for you. There's violence, death, and sex. If you're looking for a different sort of paranormal romance, then Jenny Pox might be for you. (B)
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