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A Reader of Fictions: Somebody Else's Song - Lifehouse

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Somebody Else's Song - Lifehouse

The Adoration of Jenna Fox
Jenna Fox Chronicles, Book 1

Author: Mary E. Pearson
Pages: 288
Publisher: Square Fish

Brief Summary:
Sometimes trying to improve the future backfires. Spectacularly. All of the medical advances, like vaccines, have led to a return of large-scale, unstoppable plagues, because the remaining diseases are incredibly strong. This is the world Jenna Fox lives in. She knows the facts, but she does not know herself. Who is Jenna Fox and what happened in the accident that caused her amnesia?

Although The Adoration of Jenna Fox is technically a dystopia, its main focus is more on Jenna's personal struggle with identity than on the society's problems. The futuristic society presented is a terrifyingly realistic one where medical advances have made terrible and amazing things possible. It questions what medicine may be able to do and how much we should do.

The plot advances in longer chapters of dialogue and paragraphs of description. These chapters are enjoyable and capture the reader's attention, despite Jenna's somewhat distant narration. The short chapters, generally of less than a page in duration, interspersed with the other, struck me as largely (ironic) pretentious, overdramatic and unnecessary. While the story overall does a good job of bringing ethical questions to the fore and making the reader think, these chapters hit the reader over the head with the issues. Pearson should have more faith in the reader's ability to figure some of the issues and questions out themselves.

Despite this weakness, I really did enjoy reading the book. It is quite short and likely exciting enough to hold the attention of reluctant readers. Dystopia readers will want to check this out, as will folks with an interest in ethical questions.

"Can you see me up here
Would you bring me back down
Cause I've been living to see my fears
As they fall to the ground
Cause I remind myself of somebody else
I'm Feeling like I'm chasing
Like I'm facing myself alone
I've got somebody else's thoughts in my head
I want some of my own"

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