Title: Jenny Pox
Author: JL Bryan
Publication Date: July 2009
Classification: YA Novel
Challenge: Outdo Yourself
Summary from Barnes and Noble:
Jenny’s touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague. She can’t control her power, so she devotes her life to avoiding contact with other people in her small Southern town. Her senior year of high school, she meets the one boy she can touch…but if she’s going to be with him, Jenny must learn to use the horrific power inside her to survive his devious, manipulative girlfriend, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.
I knew I had to read this book after hearing from both Ashley @ The Bookish Brunette
and Loretta @ Between the Pages
about how amazing the book was. Now normally Ashley and Loretta like books that are a little out of my own personal taste range, meaning they like zombies and some grotesque things. I tend to shy away from all of this stuff because well I’m a Disney princess girl and zombies, blood, guts hanging out, faces falling off, people puking up blood, yeah none of that really works for me. However, JL Bryan might be bringing me over the to darker side of life, lol.
Now that my personal baggage is out of the way I can start the review by saying that this book wasn’t entirely what I expected but I still thought the story was great. So obviously the story is about Jenny who can actually kill people of they touch her skin for long enough, this has kept her isolated from everyone for her entire life. This is until she gets to learning more about Seth, who is already dating a evil bitch named Ashleigh.
Most of the book plays out in alternate view points between Jenny and Ashleigh. This often involved being in Ashleigh’s head far more than I wanted to be. Seriously, Ashleigh is twisted to the max, she is suppose to be about love and Christian values and I couldn’t help but laugh a little during the whole novel while Ashleigh turns the idea of Christian values on its head due to the fact that she does some very unChristian thing, and by some I mean she is the opposite of a religious leader. Of course this queen bee makes live very difficult for Jenny and the entire town.
Now I loved Jenny and Seth and sometimes it broke my heart to watch how neglected and out of place Jenny was and felt for good portions of the novel. I just could not imagine everything that Jenny must have to live with and the horrors she has faced due to Ashleigh and her crew running the school. I also enjoyed that the author was not afraid to step on the lines that divide a teen book from an adult one. There are some sexual scenes in this one which didn’t bother me but might not be appropriate for younger teens.
Now almost everything worked for me in this twisted high school drama except for the fact that on the sidelines, Jenny sometimes had to do some nasty things with her disease powers that didn’t sit quite well with me. (keep in mind I love flowerly and pretty stories, I don’t do gore or scary things) As the novel went on I got used to some of Jenny’s powers and by the end of the book, while I wasn’t thrilled with the disgusting things she could do, it really didn’t bother me all that much near the end, hence JL Bryan’s take over of my former ways!
One more small thing that started to annoy me a little as the novel went on was the fact that at times Ashleigh’s bitchy personality and her quest for world domination got to me. It is mentioned over and over how evil she is and the things she is doing to unsuspecting people in town throughout the whole novel. I like that she is evil and that we really get to understand how bad she really is but at one point I was saying “ok I get it the girl is evil, can we move forward a little”. This problem cleared itself up by the ending, and wow what an ending it was, it completely turned the whole novel, everything I had been reading, on its head. I immediately forgot some of my small concerns about the novel and was floating on a cloud of bliss. Needless to say I loved the ending and I thought it was great how this all came together in the end and now I’m currently dying to read the second book, Tommy Nightmare.
Overall, I did have a few minor details in the book that I didn’t care for, mostly due to personal opinion, but I still thought the novel was great in the end. It really does put everything into pre
spective on how people are not always what they seem. This book gets 4.5 hearts from me and I can’t wait to go get book two.