I finished reading this book several days ago, but I wanted to let the experience stew for a bit before writing this review. My reason for the stall tactics? I loved JENNY POX but I was having a hard time putting my finger on just why it had captured me so.
Was it the top-notch writing from author JL Bryan or the unique and creative plotting? Yes, to both. But that wasn’t all. Perhaps it was the shunned main character Jenny, who lived her whole life unable to make skin contact with another living thing for fear that they will die from her touch? She couldn’t even pet her dog! I felt connected through sympathy with Jenny and that involved me in her story from page one.
Or maybe it was the way Bryan humanized Jenny and the supporting cast of characters letting them make good decisions along with bad ones? Unlike many protagonist in contemporary fiction, Jenny isn’t an unblemished saint and the story is so much the better for it. But you’ll have to read the novel to see what I mean.
The answer I’ve finally settled on is this: JENNY POX as a whole is a cohesive, captivating novel and Bryan has seemlessly addressed all the issues that can make or break a book (plot, fleshed-out characters, fresh voice, etc.) with such a tender touch that it’s hard to pick just one reason that I enjoyed this book. To me, that is the mark of a great writer. I look forward to reading Bryan’s next novel TOMMY NIGHTMARE. In fact, it’s sitting on my desk calling my name so perhaps I will start on it tonight!