Monday, November 8, 2010

December Pick

Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox awakens after more than a year in a coma to find herself in a life—and a body—that she doesn't quite recognize. Her parents tell her that she's been in an accident, but much of her past identity and current situation remain a mystery to her: Why has her family abruptly moved from Boston to California, leaving all of her personal belongings behind? Why does her grandmother react to her with such antipathy? Why have her parents instructed her to make sure not to tell anyone about the circumstances of their move? And why can Jenna recite whole passages of Thoreau's Walden, but remember next to nothing of her own past? As she watches family videos of her childhood, strange memories begin to surface, and she slowly realizes that a terrible secret is being kept from her. Pearson has constructed a gripping, believable vision of a future dystopia. She explores issues surrounding scientific ethics, the power of science, and the nature of the soul with grace, poetry, and an apt sense of drama and suspense. Some of the supporting characters are a bit underdeveloped, but Jenna herself is complex, interesting, and very real. This is a beautiful blend of science fiction, medical thriller, and teen-relationship novel that melds into a seamless whole that will please fans of all three genres.—Meredith Robbins, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School, New York City


Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I kinda liked it. I figured out what was going on pretty quickly, so I got frustrated that Jenna didn't figure it out as quickly. But, it raised some interesting questions about what truly makes us who we are.

Favorite Quote:
"I begin laughing. Shelf life? My God, I have a shelf life!"
"It's not that unusual."
"Stop! I have a shelf life, for God's sake! That is unusual." pg 128

Lucinda said...

First off, THANK YOU CANDY! I am so glad you keep a list of the books you reads so you could help me out this month.

I really liked this book. It made me think. I also think it is a great book for a young adult reader.

"Why do you hate me?" I ask.
She doesn't answer. She studies my face. Her chest rises, and her head tilts slightly. "I don't hate you , Jenna," she finally says. "I simply don't have room for you."

I rub my hand across the label, soaking the name in through my skin. Jenna Angeline Fox. I should have asked long ago. It makes me feel whole. A beginning, and end , and a middle. Why is it that the unknown is always so frightening? Angeline. I close my eyes in the darkness and whisper the name, I feel my feet on the floor, my place in the world. I belong here. I deserve to be here. How can a middle name do all that? Are the details of our lives who we are, or is it owning those details that makes the difference?

p.s.... I don't have a middle name. ;)

Do certain events in our lives leave a permanent mark, freezing a piece of us in time, and that becomes a touchstone that we measure the rest of our lives against?

Annell said...

I thought this was a very interesting book. I kind of figured out what was going on beforehand, but am glad everything was explained. I really like Jenna's new friends and how loyal and non-judging some of them were. I, too, liked the question that was raised on what truly makes us human.

Favorite Quotes:
"I can hear her voice lifting weights off me I didn't even know were there." pg. 147

"I am an oaf. My timing is off. But I had to get it out. Some things you have to tell, no matter how stupid they may sound. Some things you can't save for later. There might not be a later." pg. 168

Lauri said...

This book kind of reminded me of Peter Dickinson's "Eva". Both leave you with the question of "what would you do for your child?".
I can't say I figured out the end early like Linda and Annell since I read it before I was past page 43. I still liked the book anyway. It makes you think about it after you are finished which is always a good quality in a book.

"Everyone should have each least one friend" page 17
"She nearly shakes me with her sideways glances." Page 43

Candy said...

I thought this was a thought-provoking book. I liked all the different definitions of humanity: Jenna, Dane, Ethan, Allys, Mr. Bender--even if they was a bit heavy-handed at times, the author certainly got the point across!

My favorite quotes:
"My timing is off. But I had to get it out. Some things you have to tell, no matter how stupid they may sound. Some things you can't save for later. There might not be a later" (168).

"I'm afraid I am becoming something that the old Jenna Fox never was and maybe ten percent isn't enough after all. I am afraid of Dane and that the something that everyone says hs is missing is the same thing Father may have left out of me, too, and that Senator Harris is perfectly right about it all and Father is perfectly wrong. . . . And I'm afraid that Claire and Matthew Fox will discover that the new, imporved Jenna doesn't add up to three babies at all and never did and everything they risked was for nothing. Because when all is said and done, I am not special at all" (213).