***jaglvr*** (USA: PA) (2008/08/19):
THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX – Mary E. Pearson
Age Recommendation: Grade 9+
Release Date: April 29, 2008
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Reviewed by: Jaglvr
Rating: 5 stars and Gold Star
What makes us human? How far would you go to save your child? What is ethically and morally right and wrong? These are heavy questions that the author will make the reader ponder long after the last page has been turned.
Jenna Fox has just woken up from over a year long coma. She doesn’t remember anything, but has fragments of memory that she is slowly trying to piece together. There are people there that say they are her parents, and another woman that is her grandmother. Left with the video disks of her life, she starts to watch and ponder “Who is Jenna Fox?”
There has been an accident, but no one will talk to her about the details. As she slowly heals, Jenna questions everything and starts to fill in gaps. After a little while of recovery, she pushes to attend school and begins to attend a local charter school. There she meets an odd assortment of classmates. Alice has medical issues of her own, and starts to explain the federal ethics board to Jenna. Each person is allotted 100 lifetime points to be used for medical reasons. Alice has prosthetic limbs and explains that limb replacement is relatively low on the point scale. Other procedures would be worth much more. Dane is a neighbor but something seems off with him. And Ethan has a dark side all his own.
As Jenna discovers the world around her, the secrets and mysteries that are her life slowly start to be revealed. Remembering what Alice has explained about the lifetime points, Jenna comes to realize that there are even deeper secrets about her that she must uncover. Her parents have moved her from Boston to California. Is it to protect her from those that were involved with the accident? Or does it have more far reaching medical and ethical implications?
Without wanting to give away the plot twists and hidden mysteries of the story, I will tell you that the issues Ms. Pearson raises will cause you to ponder how far science should be allowed to explore. As Jenna tries to discover, the reader will also be forced to wonder how much of us do we need to keep us truly human? Ms. Pearson makes the reader question if it’s truly the flesh and blood that makes us human, or is there something further inside that gives us our identity. Comparing the lack of emotion that Dane has with Jenna’s unwavering questioning of everything, it shows the reader that things are not always black and white. The majority of us live in the gray area that is between the two extremes.
Read THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX to find out what it means to sacrifice everything for love and how to really be human.