I usually don’t like reading a book where the character doesn’t know what’s going on‐ such as, ‘I don’t know who I am/ Where I am/ Who these people are.’ It’s too confusing and it’s ridiculously frustrating, especially because as the reader, we often do know what’s going on. Usually I just want to shake the book, try to shake a little sense into the character. ‘The Adoration of Jenna Fox’ by Mary E. Pearson starts like this. But in this case, instead of being frustrating, it’s captivating.
Jenna Fox doesn’t remember who she is, who her parents are, or why she’s living in a new house in California. And neither, as the reader, do you (unless you’ve done something silly like look up the plot before reading.) Jenna doesn’t recognize her family, and doesn’t really feel like she can trust them. They try to tell Jenna that everything’s fine, that she had a little accident and was in a coma for some time, but should be getting better now. But from snatches of conversation and some weird looks and feelings, Jenna starts to believe something else is going on that she doesn’t know about.
This book takes some weird turns and, in the end, is normally a subject that I’d probably be pretty uncomfortable with. The things that happened to Jenna really give me the creeps. And, like I said, I’m usually not a fan of the whole confusion aspect. But in this book, everything works. The story is so well‐written, the pacing so smooth, that you’re never bored. The clues come in at just the right time‐ keeping you on the edge of your seat but never overly impatient. The characters are well developed, and the side plots are nearly as interesting as Jenna’s story. And‐ the part I loved the most‐ every side to the story, every differing opinion about what’s going on, is introduced and examined through the characters. In this way, I was able to see all sides of the ‘argument.’ It’s a book that’s not only entertaining and exciting, but one that makes you really think about things, no matter what opinion you started with in the beginning. I’ve never read anything quite like this.