The Adoration of Jenna Fox – Book Review

Title: The Adoration of Jenna Fox
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian
ISBN: 0805076689
Pages: 265
Year: 2008
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Source: Dunedin Public Library
Rating: 5/5

Plot summary:

17-year-old Jenna Fox wakes up from a year-long coma to a life she doesn’t remember. She has no memory of the accident that changed her life but she can recite whole passages of Walden. Her secretive parents and uncaring grandmother only further confuse Jenna.

Other Books I’ve Read By Author: None.

Why I Picked Up This Book: Jennifer really liked it and I’d heard good things, but I really just requested it on a whim.

My thoughts:

Loved it. Go read it now. Right now.

I left the plot summary pretty thin because I had no idea what I was walking into when I picked up this book and I think that made the experience even more enjoyable than it otherwise would have been. I was immediately curious and dying to know what was going to happen. I read it in a weekend and would have read it in one sitting if I could have.

This novel deals with the issues of bioethics, the increased use of science and technology in our lives, the essence of identity, and the lengths a parent will go through for a child. I disagree with the “young adult” label for this book. Pearson is generally a YA writer and the protagonist is 17, but the themes are mature and would appeal to readers of any age.

This book is dystopian, but it’s a really scary dystopia because it is so close to our own world. There is no clear date for the story, but it hints at 2040 or so. And decisions that our society has already made are to blame for the current state of affairs in the novel. It may be less “dystopian” than some other novels, but the fact that it seems entirely possible makes it somewhat worrisome.

If I had to pick something I didn’t like about the novel, I would say that I could have done without the epilogue at the end (but I tend to be one that hates epilogues). I thought the final scene before the last section was so touching that it should have ended the novel.

I’m having a little difficulty articulating what it is about The Adoration of Jenna Fox that I loved so much. It just has that extra something that makes a book special. I know it’s only January 20, but I anticipate this one cracking my top 10 for 2010.

Memorable Passages:

“Maybe that is all any life is composed of, trivia that eventually adds up to a person, and maybe I just don’t have enough of it yet to be a whole one.” p. 174

“One small changed family doesn’t calculate into a world that has been spinning for a billion years. But one small change makes the whole world spin differently in a billion ways for one family.” p. 256

Will I Read This Author Again?: Absolutely.

Other Reviews:

26 thoughts on “The Adoration of Jenna Fox – Book Review

  1. Jennifer @ Mrs. Q: Book Addict January 21, 2010 / 11:16 am

    Really glad you liked The Adoration of Jenna Fox. I’ve read nothing like it before, and it kept me thinking how far would a parent go to save their child? Great review!

    Oh, I have an award for you!


    • Michelle January 21, 2010 / 1:44 pm

      It really did make me think. And has stuck with me. The sign of a good book.

      Thanks again for the award. I’m not sure how to pass it on. I can figure out top commentators for this domain, but that’s not really an accurate reflection.


  2. Maria January 21, 2010 / 4:31 pm

    Great review Michelle! I really want to read this now…


    • Michelle January 21, 2010 / 6:46 pm

      You should. Immediately.

      (I’m trying a new email notification plugin. Can you let me know if you got an email with this response? Thanks.).


  3. Shweta January 21, 2010 / 11:06 pm

    I reviewed it 2 days back. Same reaction of course. It is a book to be read by everybody. Loved your review.. Your blog looks really good.


    • Michelle January 22, 2010 / 8:18 am

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m going to check out your review this morning.


  4. Dominique January 22, 2010 / 12:25 am

    This sounds really great! I’m going to keep my eye out for a copy.


    • Michelle January 22, 2010 / 8:18 am

      I think you’ll love it.


  5. Bina January 22, 2010 / 7:40 am

    Oh, another dystopian YA book πŸ™‚ This sounds like a really great book, I wouldnΒ΄t have thought it from the title. Just checked the library catalog, they have it, score!


    • Michelle January 22, 2010 / 8:19 am

      The title fits the book but really doesn’t give you any clue about what the story is about.


  6. Vishy January 22, 2010 / 8:21 am

    Interesting review! So you have given it a perfect 5/5, is it? You must have really liked the book πŸ™‚ Will add it to my ‘TBR’ list.

    I was intrigued to know that you borrowed the book from ‘Dunedin Public Library’! So is there a ‘Dunedin’ in Florida? I knew that there is a Dunedin in New Zealand, because we watch cricket matches which take place in Dunedin. But it will be fascinating to know that there is a Dunedin in Florida too. The New Zealand Dunedin is pretty cold and so the Florida Dunedin must be a contrast to it πŸ™‚


    • Michelle January 22, 2010 / 9:20 am

      Yes. Definitely a 5/5. I used to be liberal with that rating, but this one is for sure a 5.

      Yes, I live in Dunedin, Florida. When I first moved here and would google things, it would take me to the New Zealand version. Thus, I have inadvertently visited the Dunedin, NZ library website as well. “Dunedin” is actually gaelic for Edinburgh.


      • Vishy January 22, 2010 / 10:03 am

        That is interesting! ‘The Adoration of Jenna Fox’ must be like Nadia Comaneci’s perfect-10 performance!

        Interesting to know about Florida’s Dunedin πŸ™‚ I am sure many of my cricket-following friends will be surprised – I can’t wait to tell them πŸ™‚ Interesting to also know that ‘Dunedin’ is Gaelic for Edinburgh. I didn’t know that. So is some of the architecture of Dunedin inspired by Edinburgh’s architecture? I also checked in Wikipedia and found that the population of Dunedin (Florida) is around 36000. That is really amazing – I have to envy you πŸ™‚ You must be having lots of space and greenery and no crowds.


      • Michelle January 22, 2010 / 10:32 am

        I don’t think the architecture is inspired by Edinburgh, but we have Highland Games and lots of Scottish events. It’s not strange to see someone in a kilt walking down the street.

        I actually live in the most densely populated county in Florida. But parts of Dunedin can be a little haven from the madness. Crowds of people aren’t a problem around here, but traffic is horrendous.


  7. Vishy January 22, 2010 / 2:15 pm

    That is interesting! Interesting to know that Florida’s Dunedin looks like Scotland at times with people wearing Scottish kilts πŸ™‚

    Sorry to know that traffic is not so good at Dunedin. The silver lining is that maybe you can listen to some audiobooks when you are driving πŸ™‚


  8. Nymeth January 23, 2010 / 5:21 pm

    Why haven’t I read this yet?! Bad, bad me. You’re not the first person I see saying that about the epilogue, which only makes me extra curious πŸ˜›


  9. Spencer Rutherford April 1, 2011 / 11:22 pm

    Just finished reading it. An astounding read that had me thinking about my own identity, faith and the changes that effect them every day. I wonder just where I’d be 260 something years down the road?

    I think my favorite passage from this book had to be this one:
    “Jenna Angeline Fox. I should have asked long
    ago. It makes me feel whole. A beginning, an end, and a middle. Why is it that the unknown is always so frightening?
    Angeline. I close my eyes in the darkness and whisper the name. I feel my feet on the floor, my place in the world. I
    belong here. I deserve to be here. How can a middle name do all that? Are the details of our lives who we are, or is it
    owning those details that makes the difference?


  10. Joelle August 27, 2012 / 11:15 pm

    Loved this book:) One of my all-time favourites


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