Monday, December 17, 2012

The Adoration of Jenna Fox

4/5 stars

When I looked at the goodread ratings I wasn't sure what to think about The Adoration of Jenna Fox.  My friends loved it, my friends loathed it. Nobody seemed to agree.  But the library had the audiobook, narrated by the incomparable Jenna Lamia, so I decided to find out for myself.

I was pleasantly surprised.  A lot of the reviews mention the ending.  So I went into the book expecting a horrible and terrible ending.  What I got was abrupt and an epilogue, but I'd built up something entirely else in my head and was glad that it wasn't what occurred.  The epilogue leaves a lot unanswered, skipping a lot of ethical discussions and leaves everything neat & tidy.  But like I said, I didn't mind.

The story begins when seventeen year old Jenna Fox wakes up from a coma.  She doesn't have any memories of who she was or her life before the accident.  She doesn't know who Jenna Fox is and if she's even that girl anymore.  This is a contemplative book.  There is a plotline, but what this book is about is what it really means to be human.  What makes us us?  The book explores that topic as Jenna struggles with her identity.

Without spoilers this book is hard to review.  It's science fiction without being focused on the science.  It explains the science enough, especially considering that it's really a character driven novel, but that's not what's most important in this story.  The science is meant to be a backdrop to set up the conversation about identity and the ethics of medicine. I liked having that conversation with Jenna and taking her journey of self discovery (even though some things were painfully obvious to us before they were to Jenna).

The narration by Jenna Lamia is perfect for this book.  Her soft spoken, doubtful voice is perfect for Jenna, combining with the story to make for an excellent listening experience.  I think my negative expectations helped this novel, I enjoyed it very much.


Judith said...

I'm glad you liked it. This book didn't do it for me, though. I couldn't relate to Jenna at all, and that's always really important to me. It's interesting how different perceptions of a book can be :) Great review!

The Disordered Librarian said...

I'm glad you liked this book! I loved it too! I have a signed copy of the second one but I haven't gotten around to it. I'm actually glad you posted a review because it reminded me of some of the things I forgot from the first one. Good job not giving anything away!

Unknown said...

I listened to it as an audiobook to, and I really enjoyed it. But then when I read The Fox Inheritance years later (I reviewed it today on my blog, by chance) I couldn't remember the plot of The Adoration of Jenna Fox. I guess it's just one of those books that it's interesting to read while getting through it, but then it doesn't leave a lasting impression.

I'm glad you liked it though! Perhaps you'll like the sequel too. :)

Cassi Haggard said...

Judith: I think this is a very divisive book. I'm always curious about those since some people love them and some hate them and it makes me wonder why.

Disordered Librarian: Thanks! It's a hard book to review without revealing something. Let me know how the second one goes! I was so confused when I heard there was a sequel since it had an epilogue so I had to go check it out myself.

Rachel Bradford: I'll have to check out your review. I'm a little curious about the sequel since it's hard to do a sequel after an epilogue wraps everything up.

Kara_Malinczak said...

I still need to read this, but I'm really glad you liked it, Cassi. I know the reviews are very mixed, but your opinion matters to me so when I finally get to it, I am hoping I will like it as much as you did.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

I'm afraid I'm among those who didn't much care for this. Not that I hated it like many readers did, I just didn't care either way. Like you, I guessed the mystery too soon and the rest just failed to grab me.
Great review!