Title: Jenny Pox
Author: J.L. Bryan
Sypnosis: Jenny is a shy, small-town South Carolina girl whose touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague. She can’t touch anyone for long without killing them. Her life is painfully lonely until she meets a boy named Seth with the opposite power, a healing touch. Jenny’s love for Seth brings the wrath of Seth’s beautiful, popular and devious girlfriend, Ashleigh, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all–the power to inspire love.
Please join me tomorrow as I interview J L Bryan about Jenny Pox. I will also have two copies of Jenny Pox to giveaway!
It’s always a gamble agreeing to read any book for review, and it’s one that paid off when J L Bryant approached me to read Jenny Pox.
Jenny Pox has a rare cross appeal, though difficult to categorise with a blend of urban fantasy, paranormal romance and a touch of horror, its characters and storyline offers something for both the mature YA and adult reader.
Jenny is born with an unimaginable power, a curse that her father teaches her to control to protect herself and the residents of Fallen Oak. Jenny’s eccentric behaviour leaves her socially isolated in her small town and as she grows to adolescence she feels that more keenly than ever, until Seth changes everything.
There are moments of real tenderness, creeping unease and outright horror through the story. As we learn more about the trio, we are drawn into the story. The pace of the story is builds well to the confrontation involving the trio and townspeople in a ‘Carrie’-esque showdown. I feel the piece was well-edited and the writing style accessible for both the YA and adult audience. Jenny Pox is a character driven novel and as such relies on the actions of its three main protagonists, Jenny, Seth and Ashleigh.
Jenny is a complex and interesting character. Despite the challenges she faces she is remarkably well-adjusted and while her strength makes her admirable, her vulnerabilities ensures she is likeable. Bryan has captured by the uniqueness of Jenny as well as the traits she shares with any teenage girl. I think most people can identify and empathise with some aspect of her character. There are moments for example when Jenny is running through the woods where you can feel her exhilaration and loneliness.
Seth is not as strong perhaps, he has an incredible power but is too weak willed to be a real hero. Even as he emerges from Ashleigh’s influence, he lacks any real conviction in his thoughts or action. I’m not sure if this was deliberate or if he was not as well developed as an individual. His part in the story is somewhat peripheral, serving more as a catalyst. The development of the relationship between Seth and Jenny is sweet though, and the romantic element provides a needed counter point to the darkness.
Ashleigh is beautiful, popular and bitchy. Styled as a “mean girl” she hides a talent she has twisted into something dark and oppressive. Bryan skillfully wraps Ashleigh’s ability to manipulate in the morass of political and moral correctness, an aspect of the story I found appealing. I thought she made an ideal antagonist, a character that you love to hate.
The only thing I didn’t care for in Jenny Pox was the mythic explanation for the threesome. This didn’t fit for me somehow and I didn’t think it was strictly necessary. I thought the conclusion did leave the way open for some sort of sequel and I’d like to see a continuance of Jenny and Seth’s story.
I really enjoyed Jenny Pox , it has great characters, an interesting plot and is well written. I’m thrilled that the author agreed to be interviewed on my blog tomorrow and I invite you to return to find out what he has to share about Jenny Pox. PLUS I will have two e-copies of Jenny Pox to giveaway. Don’t miss your chance!
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6 thoughts on “Review: Jenny Pox by J L Bryan”
I haven’t heard of this one before, but it sounds good. Thanks 🙂
This sounds like a great book! Nice review. I’ll be checking out the interview for sure