by Mary Pearson
Jenna has survived a terrible accident, by all accounts she should have been dead. After being in a coma for over a year, she is working to regain a semi-normal life in a small beachside town across the country from where she grew up. But as she tries to put the pieces together about what happened not just to cause the car accident, but also to her and her friends afterward, she realizes that all is not what it seems. In a world where biotechnical advances have allowed people new leases on life, Jenna is left to figure out just what makes a person a person.
While the plot was fairly easy to guess, Pearson's book raises a lot of interesting questions about bioengineering and its consequences. I thought that Jenna's struggles on whether or not her parents saving her was a good or bad thing to be quite poignant. They could only save a portion of her brain, so was she even really a person? Or was she a machine masquerading as a person? She didn't want to die, but didn't want to live if she was less than real. The premise reminded me of Eva, another book where parents overstepped societal rules and norms to save their daughter from death. It's a fantastic book that sticks with you.
Genre: Futuristic Fiction
Age Level: 8-9th Grade