Saturday, March 5, 2011
Review: Jenny Pox by JL Bryan
Jenny Pox came highly recommended to me, with numerous commendations by several indie bloggers. It's a well-written young adult fantasy novel about a girl whose touch can kill. Inevitably, she meets and falls in love with the one boy out there with the power opposite to hers, a healing touch. And just as inevitably, he is connected to the novel's villain, who may have powers of her own...
The story's simple, almost predictable structure actually works in its favour, ratcheting up the tension a little as Jenny and Seth move toward the Carrie-esque ending we all know is coming. Jenny is characterized very well; Seth a little less well, and Ashleigh, not much at all beyond
'she's evil.' As a non-young adult, I confess I would have been happy to spend less time at the Halloween parties, abstinence meetings and church groups these teen characters spent much of their time on, but I think that's my problem and not the fault of the author.
I did find, overall, that I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would because it was a little too grim and gloomy for my taste. Jenny has a miserable, joy-less life and her burgeoning love for Seth just made it even more gloomy because I knew it couldn't end well. I can see why others rated this book so highly. It's original, creative, hits the right buttons for a teen audience etc. But it was just such a sad book to me. I have to mark it down for that.
3/5, but if you have more gothic and tween-age tastes, feel free to bump that up a little.