Jenny Pox | J.L. Bryan | Reviewed by Anjali
Sunday, 7 April 2013
Recently, I purchased a Kindle. This isn't a post about that, don't worry. But ever since I got it, I've been downloading free e-books like a maniac. Jenny Pox, by J.L. Bryan, was one of those books. Because it was slightly a 'oh-hey-look-a-free-book-that-has-a-weird-title' book, I didn't really know what it was about, or even what genre it was. All I knew was it was free. Sad right?
Turns out it was actually a good book! It follows the story of Jenny Morton, a teenage girl living in Southern America who has a secret: one touch from her, and you will die. She has 'Jenny Pox', a nick name so given to her by her own hate-club, Ashleigh, the school head cheerleader and all around horrible person. Jenny and Ashleigh had an encounter when they were little, and Ashleigh, though people said she made it all up, hasn't forgotten about it. If Jenny touches someone, blisters and boils and all things puss-ridden cover them and quickly eat away their flesh. If she doesn't control it, people die. Turns out it's kind of a horror story. Jenny barely gets through each day of torment at school, being bullied and called names because of the gloves she always wears to ensure she doesn't touch anyone and kill them (it's actually quite considerate, really). She can't even touch her own father, who has to cover up completely to give her a hug. Basically, her life is void of all human contact and has been since the day she was born.
That is, until, she discovers there is someone she can touch: cue boy and love-interest of the story. Seth is the only person Jenny can touch without killing...and it's because, he too, has a secret. Dun dun dun! I won't tell you what it is, but the story follows Jenny and Seth trying to be together and staying away from Ashleigh (who was actually Seth's ex-girlfriend). As well as this seemingly normal love story element, Jenny Pox is a bit of a supernatural-horror-fantasy sort of genre, but at the same time, I'm finding it a bit difficult to pin down one specific genre. Some people around the internet have said it's YA...but I would be hesitant to label it as so. It's probably not really suitable for readers under 18, though...but then again, I don't know what people are reading these days.
Written in third person, but jumping between the three main characters' perspectives, it's well written and Bryan has done a good job creating a crazy world that is hard to get out of. With supernatural/paranormal powers, evil and manipulative characters, a three-legged dog (or is he?), a loving father, a couple of sex scenes that probably weren't needed (and were a bit explicit for me...be wary if this isn't your thing!), a town full of highly religious southerners and an ending that I did not expect, Jenny Pox was a quick read and an un-put-down-able one. I read it in about 3 hours, and am really looking forward to the next three books (all of which are under £4 on the Kindle store and I've already bought).
I haven't read much horror or paranormal novels, so I can't think of novels that are similar, but if you like a bit of supernatural-romance, or paranormal with blood and guts and a bit of love, then you'll probably enjoy this!
This review was written by regular reviewer Anjali, get to know her here.
Image from GoodReads.
Post author: Anjali
Anjali is a New Zealander with a love of DIY, photography, travel, Harry Potter, binge watching TV shows, and blogging over at This Splendid Shambles. Oh and books. She loves books. Her favourite genres are YA, dystopian, and fantasy.