This futuristic book looks at the consequences of medical advancements and asks what it means to be human.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?
I don't want to write a rave, but I'm afraid that is what this will turn into anyway. The truth is that this book was just plain amazing. The characters and back story, the questions asked and answered, the relevance of the story--it all lined up for me to make for very good reading.
Jenna is a pitiable and relatable girl who has one problem: She can't remember anything about her life. Not her favorite color, or if she had friends, or what foods she likes. She can recite literature as if were before her eyes, yet she struggles with basic colloquial English and with reading peoples' faces. These and other things about her life lead her to make a disturbing and life and altering discovery--the likes of which I'm sure you'll be able to guess before the book reveals it, but which I will not be mentioning lest I ruin the story for you.
This book had, not only some serious moral questions about how far is too far with the advancements of medicine and prosthetics, but also religious undertones that kept me satisfied. Jenna's grandmother, who seems to hate her for unknown reasons, is a devout woman, and through her Jenna comes to question the existence of her very soul. It was interesting, to say the least, reading about Jenna's identity struggle and having it put on such a profound level. It was also deeply satisfying to see how that particular struggle resolved itself.
The whole book, while focusing mainly on Jenna and her search for the truth, also shows the true life struggle of a family going through the nightmare of nearly losing a child and coming to grips with that beloved child growing into their own person. What they ultimately need to learn is that it's not about letting go so much as holding on less tightly.
Jenna struggles, not just with her humanity and the world around her, but with her role as the object of adoration of her devoted parents and the pressure she feels to be perfect and please them.
Awesome story telling, great character development, loads of depth, and an ending that you'll read two or three times before setting the book down make this lightly-scifi tale of the meaning of humanity worthy of...
An excellent book with a lot of depth and morality, and just the right amount of scifi-ness, makes this one of the best I read in 2010.