It's the future, after the Aurelius virus killed millions of people and antibiotics and stopped working at all. And Jenna Fox is awake. After a horrific accident, of which she has no memory, and a year of unconciousness, of which she has no memory, 16-year old Jenna Fox is awake. Did I mention that those first 15 years...she has no memory of those, either.
Jenna has stepped into what feels like someone else's life. She remembers some things, basics--what a subway is, but not a single instance in which she rode one--but there are words that she can't remember the meanings to, and people she should know, but doesn't.
On top of that, things in Jenna's world just don't seem quite right. There are inconsistencies in her parents' stories of that blank year and their current living situation, things that just don't make sense. And then there's her grandmother, Lily, who just doesn't seem to care about Jenna anymore at all, even though Jenna knows from watching family home videos that she used to.
Jenna figures out the big mystery in the middle of the book, and the last half of the novel has her trying to figure out her new world, and whether she even has a place in it. This book is rife with ethical conflicts, questions that we haven't faced yet, but which are looming over our heads.
I'm not sure what to say about this book. I enjoyed it, certainly, and I didn't want to put it down after I'd started reading it, but it wasn't quite as much as I was expecting. I'd read really positive reviews of it, and while I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to a teenager or pre-teen looking for a compelling science fiction book with good characters and an interesting premise, it just didn't quite live up. It stumbled over that science fiction hurdle of dealing with Really Big Issues without the book feeling didactic.
Still, though, a really