Monday, April 13, 2009

Stacy's Review of this month's book: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson

I love the voice of Jenna Fox. She's very direct, straightforward, pared down, which allows you to wonder about the same things she's wondering about. "I used to be someone. Someone named Jenna Fox. That's what they tell me. But I am more than a name. More than they tell me." Jenna has woken up from "a coma" with no memory of who she is, or what has happened to her. Her parents encourage her to watch endless DVD's of herself growing up, seemingly documenting every important moment of her life, showing what she comes to think of as her parents' "adoration of Jenna Fox." Her narrative is interspersed with even more pared-down free verse poems which are very affecting."There is a dark place.A place where I have no eyes, no mouth. No words.I can't cry out because I have no breath. The silence is so deep I want to die.But I can't.The darkness and silence go on forever.It is not a dream.I don't dream."This book is one of those remarkable science fiction books that bring us to ask the most basic ethical questions, questions about the meaning of life and self. As Jenna begins to remember things from her past, the memories raise even more questions for her about what has happened to her, and what her parents are keeping from her. I read this book in one afternoon because I couldn't put it down. I love the ending, where the author manages to bring everything full circle without tedious explanations or an overly simplistic plot.