Wednesday, June 11, 2008

But I *didn't* get hit by any cars.

I read this while I waited for the bus. I read this on the bus. I read this here. I read this there. I read while walking through the streets of downtown Seattle. I narrowly missed two sign posts while reading The Adoration of Jenna Fox.

I didn't want to stop reading. I wanted to know what was going to happen to Jenna Fox. I wanted to know what happened to Jenna Fox.

Jenna was in a coma for 18 months. When she wakes up she doesn't remember anything - or anyone. Not what happened to her. Not her parents. Not her grandmother. Soon little pieces of her memory start coming back, slowly, and with their return she begins to realize that the isolated world of Jenna Fox is not what it seems. As she slowly unravels what happened to her - and the implications of what was done to her - she finds that maybe it would have been better if she had never woken up from that coma at all.

It is topical. It is believable. It is stirring. It is, I think, sophisticated. It is what makes science fiction science fiction. And even with it being science fiction, I would have NO PROBLEM giving this to kids who don't like science fiction (or kids who didn't like sci-fi until Westerfeld came around) (or adults. Speaking of, Mom, did I put this on your Required Summer Reading List? Consider it added.). Mary Pearson goes beyond the generics of the genre and makes it relevant to today's world, today's emotions, and today's audience of younger readers.

I'm really into the parallel structure tonight, aren't I? *shrug* I'm tired. I can't put muster any energy for more creative writing. You'll live.

I'm not a scientist, but I am an avid NPR listener (that's the same, right?), and while Pearson's science is not something possible now or in the imminent future, it is definitely on the horizon. There is so much going on in medical technology and bioethics right now that the situations and dilemmas of the book are entirely plausible. Specifically, I'm reminded of this story.

It's an easy choice for book groups. Lots to discuss, and fun to read. I can't wait to talk to someone about it.


Anonymous said...

This one looks really good, Jackie. I added it to my ever-growing list. I've been on a teen book hiatus lately, but I think I'm almost ready to go back. Oh, and since I rarely stop to comment, I'm going to be a pain and ask, where's your Favorites of 2007 list? Inquiring minds want to know...

Rachel E.

Booker said...

I added it to my list.


Em said...

Great review! I've heard so many good things about this book, I'll definitely have to try it out. :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a really good one! And I love the cover.

Little Willow said...

This book is powerful.

Anonymous said...

Ok, you totally made me want to read the book. Now I need to find it...immediately!

Sherry said...

Erin's mom read it ; ) And liked it,too. And yeah, the health/medical thing didn't seem impossible at all.

At a baseball game? Yep, Erin does that.