Sunday, August 12, 2012

Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan (CBR-IV #33)

Cannonball Read IV: Book #33/52
Published: 2010
Pages: 312
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal

Jenny was born with some sort of disease that she infects people with through touch. Basically, she's the plague version of Rogue from X-Men. If she has any skin-to-skin contact with anyone, she can kill them. Jenny killed her mother just by being born and now lives with her alcoholic father. Her condition is becoming harder to live with as a teenager -- she gets made fun of for wearing gloves all the time and she also realizes that she will probably never be able to kiss a guy. 

We meet our YA romance quota when Jenny finds out that a popular jock  at her school named Seth has the ability to heal. His power counteracts hers and they find out that Jenny can actually touch him and not kill him. Unfortunately, Seth is dating Ashleigh. Ashleigh has hated Jenny since grade school when Jenny infected her on the playground one day. It wasn't enough to kill her, but Ashleigh still apparently holds a grudge. Ashleigh has her own special power that causes everyone she touches to idolize her. Basically, Jenny steals Seth from Ashleigh and Ashleigh makes Jenny's life hell until she breaks and goes on a rampage across town.

Eh, this book was just okay. The story was alright, but I feel like it wasn't ever really brought to it's full potential. I was hoping for a Carrie-like book, but it was more YA fluff. Or was it YA? I'm not really sure because it had some fairly graphic sex (by YA standards) and really gory violence, but the storyline was YA all the way. Who was this book actually intended for? Adults who like to read YA? If so, I feel it should have had a little more depth to the story. Some of the characters were basically caricatures. I had a hard time imagining Ashleigh without her becoming a cartoon with horns on her head and a cackling laugh. It was just too much. You can convince me a character is bad without making her do and think every "bad" thing you can think of. 

Also, the ending sucked. I won't ruin it for you if you haven't read the book, but it was really bad (at least in my opinion). It was a little too far out in left field for me. I don't think I'll be checking out the other books in this series.


  1. "We meet our YA romance quota" made me laugh. It's so true.

    I'm with you on YA let down when you can't figure out who the book is being written for. I hate when an author seems to panic because it needs to fit into certain boxes to be YA, so the plot becomes fluffy and the characters become clichés.

    This is a great review. I'm going to check out more of your stuff.

  2. Thanks!

    You know how some movies are filmed with the intention of cutting them down to a PG-13, but they won't cut some violence and/or sex out so it still gets an R and no one knows who the intended audience is supposed to be? That's kind of how this book was.

    I'm checking out some more of your reviews as well. I actually just read your review of "The Scorpio Races". I've been wanting to check that one out.