My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is one of those YA books that really reminded me it was written for a younger (teen) audience. I liked it, but found it predictable. On the other hand, I don’t think my daughter would know where it was going. She’s reading it now, and I’ll be curious how it unfolds for her.
Summary via Goodreads.com:
Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox has just awoken from a year-long coma — so she’s been told — and she is still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. But what happened before that? She’s been given home movies chronicling her entire life, which spark memories to surface. But are the memories really hers? And why won’t anyone in her family talk about the accident? Jenna is becoming more curious. But she is also afraid of what she might find out if she ever gets up the courage to ask her questions. What happened to Jenna Fox? And who is she really?
In many ways, I think of this book as an excellent example of “Science Fiction for beginners”. There are some really interesting issues in this book, both science fictional and every day life. It’s a look at identity, at what shapes a person, and how much “you” must remain to continue as yourself after a life changing event.
I think the issues are given a fair examination, with the good and bad side of the medical issues presented, even if Jenna’s situation clearly leans towards a particular view.
I don’t want to talk too much about these aspects of the book, I think it’s better to watch them unfold as the story progresses.
The absolute strength of the book is the character of Jenna herself. She is beautifully written, down to the snippets of poetry that start each chapter. I enjoyed seeing Janna’s relationship with her family unfurl, and watching her make new friends. Best of all was watching Jenna discover exactly who Jenna Fox is– complicated enough for any teen, but much more so for her.
I think this would make an excellent discussion book for teens, and possibly for adult book clubs that dabble in YA and that are interested in trying SF.