The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

The Adoration of Jenna Fox

Written by Mary E. Pearson

13+ readers   
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Nominated for the Nebula Andre Norton Award 2009

A brilliant, haunting thriller which probes chilling psychological depths. Jenna has one year missing from her life: she’s moved from sixteen to seventeen in a coma. As she gradually comes back to life, her father calls her recovery a miracle and tells her that over time all the connections will return. But Jenna doesn’t know who she is and what her life was like before. And her mind is somewhere else altogether. Where does Jenna get her life from? What are her parents hiding?


The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

This is a chilling, page-turning psychological thriller set in a clinical future that may be closer than we think. 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? When the memories start to come, they come with questions - questions no one wants to answer. How did the accident happen? Why does her own grandmother hate her so? And why does she feel her parents are hiding her away? Who is Jenna Fox? Feature-film rights of this title are sold to Fox 2000 and translation rights sold around the world. This is the holder of a Golden Kite Honor Award, nominated for the 2009 Nebula Andre Norton Award. 'Expert plotting and complex questions raised about ethics and the nature of the soul' - Publishers Weekly , Starred Review. 'This novel is truly unlike any other I have read and is a breath of fresh air in the often predictable world of teen literature' - ELLEgirl .


Review of ‘The Adoration of Jenna Fox’ by Books for Keeps [4 stars]

Jenna wakes up in a house she does not know, with a mother and grandmother she does not know, and, most disturbing, a self she does not know. She is 17, so you might say that she is going through the kind of search for an identity that we all do at that age. But in Jenna’s case it’s a very self conscious process. She has had an accident that has wiped her memory, and has to re-discover herself through video discs that chronicle important occasions in her past. At the same time, she becomes aware that they are living in secrecy, that her mother is taking more than usual care about what Jenna eats and drinks and that her grandmother somehow resents the situation they are all in. It is sometime in the distant future. The possibilities and repercussions of re-engineering humans, including lifelike prosthetic body parts, have become so great that certain applications have become illegal; and Jenna’s father is a bio scientist who has made a fortune from discovering a means to transplant any organ without rejection. So who or what is Jenna? Pearson’s depiction of Jenna’s discovery of herself is fascinating. Her search for self consciousness is integrated with a search for an immediate past that her parents wish to keep from her and an emotional history that she only gradually comes to understand. The speculation on what it might it be like to have the brain of an adult and begin life from almost nothing like a baby is cleverly done, with some witty play with language, as Jenna meditates on its variety and ambiguity. I am not so sure about the fellow students that she meets at her (very) small and private school or about the discussions around bio-ethics, the nature of souls and the frequent quotes from Thoreau’s Walden. I assume something important is being said but I am not sure exactly what. Not that it matters too much. The pleasure in reading the book and its distinctiveness comes from its imagination of a mind coming to know itself and the world around it.

About the Author

Mary E. Pearson on herself: as a child

I was born in Southern California and grew up in a tiny house in a suburb of Los Angeles. As a child I was very quiet in school rarely saying a word. The one thing I excelled at was reading and writing, and the praise I received from my teachers motivated me to read and write more. At home I was given a lot of freedom and spent most of my time outdoors playing with my best friend, Jana, who also grew up to be a writer but in the educational field. We joke that all that time we were left to our own creative devices (and sometimes creative trouble) helped jumpstart our future writing careers.

As an adult

I went to college at Long Beach State University where I earned a BFA and later went to San Diego State University where I received my teaching credential. I write full time from my home in San Diego where I live with my husband and two very spoiled golden retrievers. I am also the proud mother of two beautiful daughters and one terrific son-in-law. When I am not writing or reading I love to garden, cook, take long walks, and travel.

Things you didn't know about Mary E. Pearson

1. She surfed when she was a teenager.
2. She loves Mexican food.
3. She once slept with a black widow (and was bitten!)
4. She loves to go barefoot.
5. Her favourite place to eat is outdoors.
6. The movie Alien scared her silly.
7. She loves everything about ducks—from their flat orange feet, to their clownish quacks.
8. She is short!
9. She can skip rocks on a lake three times, but stinks at Wii.
10. She speaks fluent-fay pig-latin

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Book Info


272 pages
Interest Age: 13+


Mary E. Pearson
More books by Mary E. Pearson

Author's Website


Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

5th April 2010




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