Monday, 29 December 2008

The Adoration of Jenna Fox - Mary E. Pearson

I read this thanks to all the bloggers who mentioned it as one of the best reads of the year. I *had* to get it!
The verdict: a stunning book.
It was so perfect in the writing, using short, incisive sentences that went straight to the essence of the emotions.
The story is the kind that would hook me anyway, but the writing was what made it so special.
I love when I find these gems in YA fiction.
The fact that it's sci-fi it's an added bonus for me.
The search for identity, the questions of what is (or where is) the soul, of what makes a human being human, of what is ethical and what isn't, of how far science can go...they are all subjects that fascinate me, ever since I watched "Ghost in the Shell" and "Blade Runner".
But this is not your usual sci-fi novel. I just hinted at the fact that this is something unique. We get to know Jenna very slowly. She has just woke from a long coma, and at first she doesn't remember anything. Not even her parents, or herself. Not even how to smile. Then she starts regaining bits of information, but some of her memories are too vivid, and some should simply be impossible for her to remember. All the answers will come, but they will be given gradually, a surprise after the other. Just when you think you had a huge shock, another chilling thing is revealed, and then another and another. If you're anything like me, it'll be very hard for you to stop reading, you'll just drink it in one go.

Jenna's search for meaning and truth also bring up questions about spirituality, about its place in a world where science can do almost everything. But to talk about how it is dealt, it would inevitably bring up details about the plot that I don't want to spoil. I just need to say that it creates an interesting ground for debate. Was it right, was it wrong? Should we? What would you...? And what about God?
What I loved about the book is that it doesn't try to take sides or give straight answers. It just lays down the questions, because they need to be asked. Than it leaves it up to you.
The ending was what made me think this. I wouldn't have expected it, and it shows how you could never have just one-side opinion about it.

I couldn't agree more with those who recommended this book as the must read of the year. Definitely one of the best YA I came across.

other reviews:
Dewey
Maw Books Blog
The Compulsive Reader
Eva's Book Addiction (contains spoilers)
I heart reading
Karin's Book Nook
Bookworm 4 life (contains spoilers in the quotes)
Book Obsession
Savvy verse and wit
Becky
Suey
Melissa
Em
Book Addiction
Kelsey at Reading Keeps You Sane

got any more? Please let me know!

7 comments:

bookworm4life said...

Thanks for the link. It truly was a terrific book! I'm glad you liked it.

Serena said...

I loved this book a great deal. It was fantastic. Thanks for linking to my review.

I will add yours.

Nymeth said...

I need to read this book. I just know I'll love it too. And! I just realize that this would bit the Sci-Fi Experience.

valentina said...

you're welcome bookworm;)

Serena, I haven't found one single person who hasn't liked it yet! it's amazing.
and you're welcome:)

Nymeth, I'm doing the Sci-Fi experience too! Very excited, cause I think it's a genre I need to explore more.

mariel said...

I have read so many glowing reviews of this book that I really should hunt a copy down! Sounds great, thanks!

valentina said...

you definitely should,mariel, it's a stunning book!

Em said...

Great review! You definitely hit on a lot of things that make this novel so intriguing. for me, I couldn't get past some of the science but I can't argue that it was definitely a book that's hard to put down. :)