Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #1) by Mary E. Pearson

The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson 

Rating 3.5/5

I liked this book a lot. Even though it takes place in a post-event future, I hesitate to call it a dystopia. There is very little "world-building", and aside from the biotech integral to the story, not much about this future is described. Which leaves us in a bit of a murky world that is hard to distinguish from the present. However, this is an introspective type of story, told in the first person of a (somewhat necessarily) self-absorbed teenaged girl whose sphere of living starts off extremely constricted and controlled and only gradually widens. Thus, the scope of this story doesn't call for the world-building that's so important in the dystopian genre. 

It wasn't hard to guess very early on what had happened to Jenna. What's pleasantly surprising is how much more to the story there was after the "reveal". This book explores issues like identity, technology, and ethics from a particular subjective perspective (Jenna's) without becoming overly moralistic. But it's also a relatable coming-of-age story with a likable imperfect protagonist. 

I wasn't that keen on the final chapter which leap-frogged into the future to briefly let us know that everything turned out well. There were also a couple of under-developed characters that didn't seem to fulfill their potential to impact the plot. I also think the Fox family dynamic was over-simplified. They were way too functional for a family who had gone through everything they had. But, this is a YA novel, not Jonathan Franzen. 

Overall this was an easy to read, thought-provoking story that's of above-average quality for the YA genre.

See my reviews of The Fox Inheritance (#2) and Fox Forever (#3)

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