Wednesday, September 14, 2011
A Review of the Novel JENNY POX--Which Blew Me Away!!
Where do I start? I guess with "WOW!!!"
I'm wasn't too sure what to expect from this book. It was highly recommended by the Bookish Brunette Blog and I was intrigued by the premise. There is a glut of books out there with teenagers with special powers, so I was a little leery. But this novel is something altogether different and refreshing.
I would not define it as a young adult novel, or paranormal romance in any way. I wouldn't call it Urban Fantasy either. Honestly, it reminded me of Stephen King in his heyday. I'm sure people would compare it to the novel CARRIE, but I like this book so much more. It resonated with me in a very deep way, whereas CARRIE never really did.
The lead character's power is terrible and devastating, not only to her own life, but the lives of others. Seeing her suffering and struggling to survive the pitfalls of her life AND high school was quite painful at times. Anyone who has dealt with bullies will sympathize with her immediately. She not only suffers from her gift, but also the isolation caused by it. Her father, though a loving man, is also an alcoholic, so Jenny's life is not ideal in anyway. Her character development was very well done and I enjoyed how she evolved from a girl who tried to disappear from view, to someone who stands up for herself and the people she loves.
Though the villain of the piece is the popular girl in school, she is not a cookie cutter creation. Ashleigh has a power of her own and wields it with cruel intentions while hiding behind the guise of a beautiful, perfect, angelic Christian girl. I knew a few girls just like her growing up, so I found Ashleigh particularly frightening. She so effortlessly plays those around her while using them it is quite disturbing. I liked her as a villain and I never felt her character was a cliche.
Seth, the boy both girls fall for, was a little more difficult for me to connect with at first. But as the book progressed I came to understand why as he broke away from Ashleigh's influence and began to show his true character. Seth suffers from being manipulated by Ashleigh and it alters his personality significantly at times. There is one particular scene where she uses her power to ensnare him that was chilling and disturbing. But Seth does show his true colors and by the end of the book, I really did like his character.
The supporting cast of characters in the book are also well-defined. The description of the town, the school, and the people that surround Jenny was very well done. I was completely engrossed in the narrative and reluctantly put the book aside a few times when I needed to eat, sleep, or take care of my own writing. I finally gave up reading the book in increments and devoured it in one big reading marathon. It was worth it.
Though the book does feature teenagers, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under 17. There is drug usage, sexual content, and graphic language along with some very intense, violent, and horrific scenes that stole my breath away. This book is a powder keg of vivid imagery, wonderfully drawn out characters, and superb plotting.
I highly recommend it.
Buy the paperback
By the Kindle
Posted by Rhiannon Frater