Monday, December 17, 2012
The Adoration of Jenna Fox
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.