The Adoration of Jenna Fox: The Jenna Fox Chronicles, Book 1

Common Sense Media says

Amnesia's just the half of it for post-coma teen.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Parents break the law to save their child, but the book does a good job of weighing what the sacrifices were and how their controversial decisions affected their child.


Jenna is almost attacked by a male classmate, and she fights back before help arrives. Jenna breaks dishes in a rage and cuts open her hand. Vague flashback descriptions of hospital procedures, brain and burn damage, and a car accident that kills teens and lands one in a coma. Mentions of an epidemic and natural disasters that killed scores of people.


Teens kiss.


A few uses of "dickhead."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Jenna drinks wine in front of her parents to shock them.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sci-fi book includes some kissing between teens and violence that's mostly mentioned in flashback, including an epidemic and natural disaster that kills scores of people and a car accident that kills teens and lands one in a coma. One male student almost attacks the heroine, but help arrives on time.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

When Jenna Fox wakes up from an 18-month coma, she remembers nothing, and she's in rural California in a broken-down house with her mother and grandmother instead of her home in Boston. All she has is every highlight of her old life on disc -- her life as the perfect daughter that her parents adored so much that deals were made to make sure they wouldn't lose her, even after an accident she wasn't supposed to survive. But once Jenna starts to unravel her parents' secrets, can she live with the decision they've made?

Is it any good?


This sci-fi story definitely gets you thinking. Not only about what kinds of ethical decisions humans will have to deal with in the future (way beyond cloning), but also about what the cost is of not letting go when it's time, both in the regular "empty nest" parent sense and the grieving sense. And all of that is wrapped in a taut mystery that Jenna dramatically unravels. Because of what Jenna's father does for a living, readers will be clued into the big secret way before Jenna is, but luckily there are more revelations in store.

Some of the characters in Jenna's new life seem too conveniently placed -- like her friend Allys with artificial limbs who volunteers for the medical ethics board, as well as both a love interest and a neighbor who have big secrets. But within Jenna's family, the tension feels real, and her grandmother is a great mediator between the strict order her parents try to maintain and the fierce need for independence of any 17-year-old. If the author followed today's trends, there would be hundreds more pages dedicated to Jenna's budding romance and her bickering with her mom. So it's refreshing that Pearson sticks to the heart of her story and leaves the rest to readers, whose imaginations will definitely still be reeling for days afterward.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Jenna's parents. Do you think they made the right decision, even if it was against the law? What about Allys' parents? Teens, what would you do if you found out your parents were keeping such big secrets from you? Also, why do you think Lily told Jenna some of the things her parents tried to keep from her? Also, on a deeper level, do you think Jenna has a soul?

Book details

Author:Mary E. Pearson
Genre:Science Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Henry Holt & Company, Inc.
Publication date:April 29, 2008
Number of pages:265
Publisher's recommended age(s):13 - 17

This review of The Adoration of Jenna Fox: The Jenna Fox Chronicles, Book 1 was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Parent of a 10, 12, 13, and 15 year old Written byMelissaB August 18, 2009

A little sci fi, girl main character, but not a "girl"

Had some mild language that was unecessary and a character that was a bad guy/nemesis, but you never find out why.

What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byKay9 June 30, 2009

sorry just need to save it somehow

Kid, 11 years old Written byBwahaha March 14, 2011


I like it. I'm currently reading it and I only have 40 pages left. It's a pretty good book for anyone who likes sci fi

What other families should know
Educational value


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