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

 
(i)

 

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.

Violence

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.

Sex

Teens kiss.

Language

A few uses of "dickhead."

Consumerism
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.

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?

QUALITY
 

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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Teen, 14 years old Written byrakshithav0525 July 15, 2015
 

Must Read!!

The book is really good and I'm grateful for my school to add this book as a summer reading. This book would tell someone how a life is valuable and what a parent would do to save their child. For anyone who don't want to read this book, please don't judge a book by it's cover. It's really interesting from the first page and makes you want to flip through pages to know what's going to happen next.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Teen, 14 years old Written byLady JJB October 12, 2011
 

Good book

I like the book.You have to read every part or you never know whats happening in the book. I also think you have to at a age where you can understand whats happening in this book
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 14 years old Written byAlinaW. July 24, 2010
 

Amazing sci-fi book deals with mature stuff in an amazing way!

The Adoration of Jenna Fox was probably one of the best books I've ever read. The book is basically about a teen girl named Jenna Fox recovering from an accident that made her lose her previous memories as well as the accident. She lives with her nervous, wants-a-perfect-child mother and her cold, mean grandmother Lily. Eventually, after watching home movies of her life and remembering certain memories, she puts together the details of her accident as well as her previous life with her best friends Loche and Kara. One of the things I found really intresting in this book is that it's set in a future time period where things like a massive earthquake rip across California and kill millions of people, the over-use of antibiotics start a pandemic which kills a 1/4 of the world population, and science has advanced far beyond cloning. This book was great because it really made me think about what is ethical, and how much of a human are you with only 10%, the butterfly of the brain. It also brought up different issues, like the dynamics of a family after a tragedy occurs, and how letting go can sometimes be the best thing. Another very intresting thing in this book was the afterword, when the author answered some questions about the book, and revealed that her idea for The Adoration of Jenna Fox came when her daughter was diognosed with cancer, and then a few years later, her younger daughter was diognosed with the same type. This is part of the reason I think the feelings are so real and rough and pure. This was an amazing book I would recommend to teens who aren't usually big sci-fi fans as well as teens with a love of science or The Hunger Games books. Fabulous!
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