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

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
The Adoration of Jenna Fox: The Jenna Fox Chronicles, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Parents recommend
Amnesia's just the half of it for post-coma teen.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 19 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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

What 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymj15 July 11, 2019

Best Teen scifi

I've always been a scifi nerd and loved everything about it. But Jenna Fox connected with me. It was raw,interesting,thought provoking, and a very entertai... Continue reading
Adult Written byNathalie G. December 19, 2017

Sci-fi with Female Protagonist? I'm in!

This book will really keep kids on their toes and wondering about what is actually happening to Jenna and her family. Wonderful book for discussion about sacrif... Continue reading
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 ac... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byxXKarenXx May 2, 2019

I have questions...

why is her name jenna... why is it not that far in the future but still futuristic... the pacing broke my immersion and the kissing and drinking made me uncomfo... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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?

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