Saturday, June 28, 2008


Jenna knows there was an accident. She knows she almost didn't survive. She knows she has been in a coma for the past year. But the only reason Jenna knows these things is because her parents told her, otherwise she has no memory of anything.

Life is beginning to unfold around Jenna. She and her mother and grandmother moved to California where the climate is warmer and supposedly better for her recovery. Her father still works in Boston and is only able to visit occasionally. Once again, she knows this only because she's been told the information. Another source of information are the disks she watches endlessly. Each one is a record of her life, and her mother's hope is that they will help trigger Jenna's memory. So far, Jenna has enjoyed the disk from year seven the best and watches it over and over.

Memories do start returning, but along with them are odd sensations. There is the feeling that she is hearing her old best friends from Boston. Sometimes their voices sound so real, like they are right beside her. There is also the feeling that people are not being entirely truthful with her. After meeting a neighbor, Mr. Bender, Jenna questions just exactly how long they have lived in this new house. When she starts to ask questions of her mother and grandmother, the answers she gets don't seem to fit together well, causing an unfamiliar sense of rebellion to creep into what she remembers as her normal desire to please.

Jenna insists on attending school which opens up her world. Her parents' choice is a small alternative school with tiny classes and students from some unusual situations. This exposure to others her age encourages Jenna to question more and more about her past and exactly how she came to survive such a serious accident. The information Jenna gathers doesn't make her more comfortable; instead she learns that her loving parents may have taken things a bit too far. Her continued existence seems to be the result of scientific research that has been pushed beyond the limits of most accepted ethical standards. Is what her parents decided something she can live with and for how long?

THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX takes a look into the future. Many things are already possible today, and the future is sure to create even more medical breakthroughs that will bring into question medical ethics. How much will science be able to do to preserve life and how much is too much? Author Mary E. Pearson has created a book that will have readers thinking about where the line should be drawn.

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