Monday, August 29, 2011

Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan : Review

Title: Jenny Pox
Author: J.L. Bryan
Series: The Paranormals #1
Pages: about 300
Genre: Paranormal
Source: Won from Supernatural Snark ages ago

GoodReads Description:
Jenny has a secret. Her touch spreads a supernatural plague. She devotes her life to avoiding contact with people, until her senior year of high school, when she meets the one boy she can touch, and she falls in love. But there's a problem--he's under the spell of his devious girlfriend Ashleigh, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all. Now Jenny must learn to use the deadly "Jenny pox" she's fought her entire life to hide, or be destroyed by Ashleigh's ruthless plans.

My Review:
HOLY AWESOMESAUCE...J.L.Bryan is a WONDERFUL author. I was seriously floored with how much I loved Jenny Pox! I won it in a giveaway a while back, and I hadn't really gotten around to reading it. I'll be honest...the only reason I bumped it to the top of my TBR was because I needed a "J" for my alphabet but now, I'm seriously going to have to drop everything and go read Tommy Nightmare as soon as I can get my grubby little hands on it! I remember reading The Haunted Ebook way back when it first came out, and the same fantastic writing style mixed with interesting and believable plot and characters made Jenny Pox just as good if not better. I almost have no words for it. The story is so original...and creepy...and just awesome. I can barely handle it!

 I absolutely LOVE J.L. Bryan's characterization. Jenny is sweet, strong, and even remains empathetic despite being ostracized by the majority of the town, who have been the only people she's known her entire life. I'm not as good of a person as Jenny is. I feel like if people treated me the way they treat poor Jenny, I would have poxed the whole g*****n place ...end of story. Of course, we actually want to like Jenny, so that doesn't happen. Jenny is a beautiful person for dealing with her curse and still caring for those who isolate her. And then when those she loves need her, she turns fantastically bad ass which is a fantastic thing to behold. Jenny’s relationship with Seth is amazingly well written as well. It's tentative and unsure at first, and then develops into something sweet and fun. It isn’t rushed and actually seems realistic…well, as realistic as it can be with a girl who infects people with a deadly disease with a single touch and a boy who heals them.

I think the most interesting character was the villain, Ashleigh.  Consider for a minute these people: Sauron and the One Ring, Lord Voldemort, Hitler. What do these men all have in common? They are slightly less evil than one Ashleigh Goodling, resident mean girl of Fallen Oak. Ok maybe Hitler still has one up on her...but she comes pretty freaking close. This chick was the anti-christ incarnate. She is a classic example of killing with kindness. She has that super irritating skill of being able to say absolutely nothing wrong, but being able to cut down your confidence, abuse your self esteem and change your own words around to mean something totally different than what you said for her own purposes. Ashleigh manages to manipulate pretty much the entire town for her own ambitious ends. Even people who don't agree with Ashleigh are helpless to stop her, because she's always a step ahead of everyone else, setting them up to fail. It is up to Jenny, who has to deal with her curse as well as Ashleigh’s hate, to basically stop Ashleigh from taking over the town. 

One of my favorite themes in this book was dealing with the attitude of the American South. The referencing of racism as if it was an acceptable and understandable thing was kind of a shock to me. I believe the quote was something like..."Hunky McHunkster had a great body and was on the football team, but Ashleigh couldn't date him...he was black..." I know it was for the benefit of characterizing Ashleigh and providing a background of the attitude of the community, but it was still odd to see something written out like that. My neighborhood growing up is literally one of every kind of ethnicity imaginable. Our neighbors next door and adjacent were both African American families. The next door neighbors on the other side are Chinese, and the ones directly across the street are of Indian origins. The rest of the subdivision is just as diverse, and I can’t imagine judging anyone based on their skin color. This definitely is not the case in the south. The religious overtones of the work are juxtaposed against the racist background to create a nice irony. This book gives a great depiction of the troubles that the American South currently struggles with, including racism, religious discrimination, etc.

The ending was simply amazing. I was going to be seriously upset because of all the death and destruction going on, and when righteous judgement sweeps through South Bend...boy does it...but then you get a seriously unexpected twist and then everything is right in the world again. Well...other than pretty much 97% of the town being dead...but they were racist sheep bastards anyways so no skin off my nose. I have yet to find a paranormal book that is as original and captivating as Jenny Pox in YEARS! At the very end, a twist brings to light exactly what is “wrong” with Seth, Jenny and Ashleigh, and opens up possibilities for the next book Tommy Nightmare. I was SO excited to hear that there was going to be a sequel! The book ends with a nice tie up of loose ends, and there isn’t a cliff hanger (thank god) but there are openings for another story which I look forward to hearing in the next book.

I will definitely give this book a 5 Keys out of 5 along with my recommendation for every single one of you readers out there to go find a copy for yourselves. I currently have a paper copy, a copy on my nook, and one on my kindle...just because it's that awesome and I wanted to make sure I have a copy everywhere I go....THAT good people. I wish there was some like...award or something I could give J.L. Bryan for seriously rocking my face off. I think I put Jenny Pox down once....for about 3 minutes and then I picked it back up because I couldn't stand not finishing it. I'm sorry if I'm blathering on and on...but I enjoyed it sooo much and I wanted to share the love! Check it out! oh, and Happy Monday to my lovely followers!


  1. This sounds like a fascinating book! Thanks for another wonderful review.

  2. holy awesome sauce? LOL that just made this review EPIC!

    I want to read this book like NOW it sounds amazing seriously spreading the plague! thats so different and sounds super interesting - great review as always

    u rock!

  3. I have this book on my Kindle but haven't had a chance to read it yet! I'm so glad I read your review, because now I'm excited to read it!!

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  4. You are so lucky you had the opportunity to read this book, I've been dying to read and review this one and your review confirmed my need for it!

  5. I read another review of this book recently, and it also gave it very high praise! This definitely looks like something different and it really has me intrigued. I’ll have to add it to my TBR list!

    Kelsey d

  6. Every time someone writes a review for this book they end up saying it was great. It seems so interesting and I need to read it as soon as possible.