Description from Goodreads:
A seventeen-year-old girl wakes from a year-long coma and is told her name is Jenna Fox. She doesn't remember the accident; she doesn't remember her life; she doesn't remember herself. Her parents show her home movies of her past, but is she really the same girl she sees on the screen?
I've had the copy of this book on my shelf for ages, but I never got around to it until now. I remember that the description was really interesting when I was thinking about buying the book and at that time I was just hoarding different types of science fiction novels. But then I most likely got interested in other books, and The Adoration of Jenna Fox was a bit forgotten. Just few days ago, I was going through the paperbacks that I owned but which I hadn't managed to read yet, and my interest in it sparked again when I saw the book.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox turned out to be so different from what I expected it to be. I was anticipating some what action-fillen novel, but to my surprise there was very little action compared to the most science fiction novels. And in a weird way, I quite of enjoyed that there weren't that many adrenalin filled events. Most of the time the book was focused on Jenna discovering her identity once again, an aspect that I found really interesting. She hold no memories what had happened before her accident - and how can you have an identity if you can't remember anything that you have done in the past? No experiences? No attitudes? The author brilliantly depicts how Jenna has to start from a clean slate - every emotion is a struggle without even mentioning how she cannot remember the meaning of simple words such as 'hate'.
One of the things I really loved in The Adoration of Jenna Fox was the familial relationships. The conversations and actions between Jenna and her grandmother, Lily, suggest that they used to be really close before Jenna's accident, but now Lily seems to resent her for some unknown reason. It was really interesting to witness how they had to build their relationship again from a scratch, and how both of them had to work for it. On the other hand, Jenna didn't seem to have the greatest relationship between her parents. I don't want to elaborate this any further if you decide to read the book at some point, but I liked the depiction of how demanding some parents can be, and how the person under the magnifying glass might react to constant pressure of being perfect.
I simply loved the typography of the novel. There weren't any traditional 'chapter 1' chapters, but there were just simple headings (words, sentences) before the chapters of varying lengths. There also were poem-ish short chapters that conveyed some of the emotions Jenna experienced. Some might argue that this decision makes the natural flow of the story choppy, but I quite liked it as that was exactly what Jenna was going through - her life, identity, memories were all choppy and disorganised.
The novel is difficult to review because I liked it on so many levels and I can see why the author wrote the novel as she did, but I'm not sure exactly why I didn't like it more. The ending was rather abrupt and I didn't feel like there was any closure to the story. I'm aware that this is the first book of the trilogy, and it most likely was supposed to be a bit open-ended, but I just didn't find it to my liking. Also, I know that the lack of eventful scenes isn't for everyone as well as the emotionless narration (especially in the beginning). The back of the paperback describes The Adoration of Jenna Fox as "a gripping psychologic thriller", and even though it was really interesting to find out the mystery behind Jenna's accident, but I can't exactly call the novel a thriller.