The Adoration of Jenna Fox  - Mary E. Pearson "I think that maybe forgiveness is like change--it comes in small steps."

Eighteen months after a horrible accident, Jenna Fox wakes up. But something isn't quite right. She no longer lives in her home in Boston, her mother acts funny, and she can't remember anything. As the questions build, Jenna starts to figure out something isn't quite right and the answers to her question could be more than she bargained for.

Just when you think all YA scifi is going to be dressed up tepid romances, a book like this comes along and smacks you in the head. That's what this book did to me. This book was simple and intelligent and dared to focus on something other than what boyfriend the main character will kiss.

Jenna Fox is our main character and protagonist. She awakes from a coma and can remember nothing. Her journey is one of relearning who she is and how the accident has changed Jenna. Not to mention, the questions that crop up during Jenna's rediscovery are fascinating. How do the events in our lives change us? Who has the right to choose where we end up, what happens to us? How far should we allow genetic mutation and other scientific advancements? When is enough enough? Where do we draw the line? What makes a person a person? Is a parent's love justification enough for a radical change? When should people draw the line between being nice for other people and doing things for him or herself?

One of my absolute favorite quotes in this book is one of the greyed sections where Jenna seems to be in intense thought:

A bit for someone here.
A bit there.
And sometimes they don't add up to anything whole.
But you are so busy dancing.
Delivering.
You don't have time to notice.
Or are afraid to notice.
And then one day you have to look.
And it's true.
All of your pieces fill up other people's holes.
But they don't fill
your own.


WOW! When I first read that, I stopped and really thought about that. How often have I given and given and given and then realize that I am empty, that I am exhausted, that I have nothing left for ME and me alone? Much too often for my liking!

The cast of characters is small, but it keeps the focus tight on Jenna and her struggles. Her parents, Matthew and Claire, are dynamic and rich characters. They desperately love their only child and want the best for her, making decisions that might not be what Jenna would want. Does that mean they care less? No, but it does mean they are like any parent: they struggle in letting their daughter go. Lily, Jenna's grandmother, is a woman of faith, one who thought her granddaughter would die and is struggling with Jenna being alive. Her reactions are understandable, her encouragement to her granddaughter heartening, and her own love for her only daughter, Claire, resonates with the love Claire has for Jenna. Mr. Bender proves to be a great friend, despite the age difference, looking out for Jenna and letting Jenna come to him with questions about her life. And then her friends, Ethan and Allys, give a new dynamic on humanity, how far is too far.

The events in this novel could easily have taken place in the near future, with a few moderate exceptions. However, even with these advancements, the story is timeless, just like a good scifi novel should be. I've already stated many of the questions that passed through my mind while reading, but what I do love most is how this novel is for every teenager and every parent. At its heart, it's not about secret science and technology; it's about family and love, it's about growing up and growing into your own person. And no matter what year it is, that is a struggle that will go on as long as the human race.

I really enjoyed this novel, found myself easily absorbed in it. While this is technically a scifi novel, I would recommend to anyone. The message transcends time and space; the characters are endearing; the story addictive. Definitely did not regret the hours I spent reading this!

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
Moderate. I think there were a few f-bombs, but most of the rest was mild.
At one point, a man tries to force himself on a woman (she defends herself). A debate occurs on whether a woman would be able to have biological children (not graphic).
A young man was arrested for acts of violence. Nothing graphic is shown.