Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson

Don't tell Donnie, but I bought book today at our junior high book fair. Books really are to me what shoes are to other women...I can't say "no" when I'm in a store full of them! Our librarian told me how amazing and haunting it was, and that I would love it. I'm three chapters into it and I'm already hooked. I'm about to finish this post and pick it up again, but I thought I would leave you with a synopsis of the book from Publishers Weekly. I can't wait to find out if it is as chilling as it sounds!

Sometime in the near future, Jenna Fox, 17, awakens from an 18-month-long coma following a devastating accident, her memory nearly blank. She attempts reorientation by watching videos of her childhood, "recorded beyond reason" by worshipful parents, but mysteries proliferate. Jenna can recite passages from Thoreau yet can't remember having any friends. As memories return, however, Jenna starts picking at the explanation her parents have spun until it unravels. Pearson (A Room on Lorelei Street ) uses each revelation to steadily build tension until the true horror comes into focus. Even then Pearson does not stop; she raises the ante in unexpected ways until the very last page. Clues are supplied by the supporting cast: Jenna's father, who made his fortune in biotechnology; a classmate whose loss of limbs has turned her into a crusader for medical ethics; Jenna's Catholic grandmother, who is hostile to her. A few lapses in logic- if Jenna's father is world-famous and the family in hiding, why does she enroll in school under her real name?-can be forgiven in favor of expert plotting and the complex questions raised about ethics and the nature of the soul.
Part of me is deeply sympathetic to the basic storyline: when does medicine go too far? Yet, if something happened (God forbid) to either of my babies, I would want to use every advantage medicine offered to keep them with me (of course in a non-vegetable state). Okay, let's quit talking about's ooooging me out to even THINK about that! Eeesh! Go buy the book and let's read it together!

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