Wednesday, March 21, 2012

YA Sci-Fi: The Jenna Fox Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson

*these reviews may contain spoilers*
Title: The Adoration of Jenna Fox
Series: Jenna Fox Chronicles #1
Publisher: Henry Holt
Date: April 2008
Format: hardback
Acquired: purchased
Read: because I wanted to read the sequel
Pages: 265
Reading time: two days

From GoodReads: Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn't remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers? 

My review: I loved, loved, loved The Adoration of Jenna Fox! It's so different from most of the other recent YA sci-fi releases, focusing on identity, guilt, and expectations rather than dystopian or post-apocalyptic scenarios. It's also quite thrilling! I thought I had the background to the plot all figured out, only to find that I was missing several crucial bits! Overall, I thought the novel was very well-written, though I found one part about Jenna's time in the "box" before she awoke to be underdeveloped and therefore a little confusing. Also, her parents are so creepy! It makes me glad to have parents who are supportive but not perfectionists.

Title: The Fox Inheritance
Series: Jenna Fox Chronicles #2
Publisher: Henry Holt
Date: August 2011
Format: ARC
Acquired: from publisher
Read: for review (disclaimer: I received my copy of this book in return for an honest review.)
Pages: 291
Reading time: two days

From GoodReads: Once there were three. Three friends who loved each other—Jenna, Locke, and Kara. And after a terrible accident destroyed their bodies, their three minds were kept alive, spinning in a digital netherworld. Even in that disembodied nightmare, they were still together. At least at first. When Jenna disappeared, Locke and Kara had to go on without her. Decades passed, and then centuries. Two-hundred-and-sixty years later, they have been released at last. Given new, perfect bodies, Locke and Kara awaken to a world they know nothing about, where everyone they once knew and loved is long dead. Everyone except Jenna Fox.

My review: The ending of The Adoration of Jenna Fox didn't leave much room for a sequel, but Pearson solved that pretty well in this second book of the series. Again, the novel is different from so many of the recent YA sci-fi books because it focuses more on concepts of humanity rather than dystopian scenarios. Pearson's vision of the future is well-done, covering more than just the immediate issues surrounding Locke and Kara. The potential results of many of the current issues in today's world are explored in addition to the basic plot.

But...I didn't enjoy The Fox Inheritance as much as I did the first book. I couldn't always tell what direction characters were headed towards, which made it frustrating at times when they seemed inconsistent. Overall, the book just didn't seem as well-developed. Towards the end, I quit really caring about the outcome. The storyline wasn't boring, but it was dragging a bit and simply lacked the ingenious spark of The Adoration of Jenna Fox.

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