Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: Jenny Pox by JL Bryan

Jenny Pox (The Paranormals #1)
Eighteen-year-old Jenny Morton has a horrific secret: her touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague, the "Jenny pox." She lives by a single rule: Never touch anyone. A lifetime of avoiding any physical contact with others has made her isolated and painfully lonely in her small rural town.

Then she meets the one boy she can touch. Jenny feels herself falling for Seth...but if she's going to be with him, Jenny must learn to use the deadly pox inside her to confront his ruthless and manipulative girlfriend Ashleigh, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.

* * *

Not recommended for readers under eighteen.

Kindle Edition, 312 pages
Published (first published July 22nd 2010)
ASIN: B003X9775G
series: The Paranormals #1
literary awards: Geeks of Doom Top 10 Urban Fantasy and Horror Books of (2010), Red Adept Award: #1 in Horror for (2010)


I don’t know that there are words enough to even marginally describe how much I love Jenny Pox.  I would have to describe it in facial expressions and hand motions, which on a blog, would look something like this:

[cue crickets chirping]

So, what you’ll read below is my best effort. [crickets still chirping]

Bryan is a master.  My wife has known this for some time.  I am just coming to this realization.  Now I want to devour this entire series.  Jenny Pox is like nothing that I’ve ever read before.  And it’s set in South Carolina! I’ve been reading this off and on since February on my iPhone’s Kindle app.  I’m glad that I’ve stretched it out, it would be too much to handle in large chunks!

Jenny Pox is emotionally charged.  It’s fast paced and easy to read.  It would be no problem for most people to read this in a few days, if that long.  I recommend taking your time, digesting it in manageable pieces.  There’s a lot going on, a lot to fret over, a lot to become enraged about.

Jenny is strong, there is depth and maturity to her character, as well as vulnerability.  Seth is somewhat weak, and I know that part of it was Ashleigh’s doing, but the dude needed to grow a set.  I instantly loved Jenny, Seth took some time.  For me, it was easy to insta-hate Ashleigh, and never stop hating her, only to loath her more.  There’s such a realness in the way Bryan writes his characters, that you believe in them.

There were parts of the story that had me thinking, “This is so unrealistic.”  Or, “That would/could never happen.”  This is a fantasy book at times.  There is a need to suspend some reality when going into this.  Really.  I’m being straight up with you here: this is not contemporary with a little fantasy thrown in, this is full-on fantastical.  Bus it’s not hard to believe the world of Fallen Oak, SC.  It is realistic, and the people are genuine, and react genuinely.  Then the supernatural/paranormal aspects come into play, and you’re sometimes going all “WTF just happened?” But it works, and it works well.


5 Moons: Read it!

Get to reading,
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  1. This sounds really good - not what I was expecting at all based on the blurb! I think this one will have to be added to my TBR!

  2. I have never heard of this book before, but you have made me very curious! :)

  3. Oh my gosh, this sounds awesome. This is the best write-up of this book I've ever read. WHY haven't I read it yet?

    I love the way you describe the characters! (lol'd at 'insta-hate')

    AND yay for Carolina books!


Thanks so much for the comment love!