Genres: Young adult, science fiction.
Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn’t remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?
Spoiler note: This review does not contain any spoilers.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox was completely not what I expected at all. I always see it mentioned on dystopia lists and so I expected it to have more of a traditional feel to it since it was released before the YA dystopia trend. The synopsis does not give much away about the storyline. On the other hand, that’s all there really is. I’m no expert on the definition of ‘dystopian’ but I personally would not consider this a dystopian book. This is because it’s a very personal and enclosed journey: Jenna’s. We’re only exposed to a handful of characters and get little information about the society she lives in. We get little hints and snapshots of dystopian themes (e.g. control over medical decisions) but I see this as more of a ‘general’ science fiction with a medical thriller sub-genre. This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy it – quite the opposite, I just thought I should give my opinion since I am participating in ‘Dystopian August’.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox is an extremely thought-provoking novel. The story raises philosophical questions about personal identity, morality, and issues surrounding bio-ethics. I wish it had been set as recommended reading for my philosophy course as it would have given the class a lot to debate about:
“Are the details of our lives who we are, or is it owning those details that makes the difference?”
“The dictionary says my identity should be all about being separate or distinct, and yet it feels like it is so wrapped up in others.”
This is the reason why I enjoyed the book even though, compared to others I’ve read recently, it’s very slow-paced and uneventful. The writing style is also relevant and note-worthy: Jenna’s struggling to recover her memories, and find out the truth, but we only find out plot details if 1) Jenna is present, and 2) Jenna thinks about it, and acts on it, afterwards. It made me feel as if I were Jenna. It’s wonderfully unique.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox makes me want to read more “medical thrillers” as bio-ethics is an extremely interesting subject! If you have a slight interest in psychology, philosophy, and medicine & technology, I recommend this novel. The sequel (although it’s more of a companion novel), The Fox Inheritance, is released 30th August.