Jenny Pox: Book Review

Jenny Pox
(The Paranormals, Book 1)
By JL Bryan

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, and her life begins to change. Jenny feels herself falling for him, but first Jenny must learn to use the deadly pox inside her to confront her new enemy, a girl who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.

"This tale highlights both the inspiring strengths and the abhorrent cruelties of human nature, forcing us to run through the full gamut of emotional responses and refusing to let us return to reality until everything Mr. Bryan wants us to experience has been felt, seen, and fully absorbed." -Jenny, Supernatural Snark

Selected by Geeks of Doom for Top 10 Horror/Urban Fantasy Books of 2010.

Winner of a Red Adept Award: #1 in Horror for 2010.

Not recommended for readers under eighteen.

Note: Jenny Pox is FREE on Kindle at the time of this posting.

My Review: Jenny's super power is the plague. Consequently, she is forced to avoid physical contact with every living being. Fortunately (or unfortunately), this isn't a difficult task given that fact that everyone in her school avoids her like the plague (haha) anyway. Due to an incident in kindergarten and a calculated campaign by a popular, manipulative school mate (Ashleigh), Jenny's peers shun her. Isolated, Jenny has only her drunken father and a three-legged dog for companionship. When her dog is hit by a car, she finally meets the one person on earth who is able to endure her touch.

I downloaded this book at the recommendation of another blogger, but it took me a while to read it. I don't know why I waited so long. This book is amazing. It's so refreshing to read a book with a heroine who truly has a dark side. So many paranormal YA or NA books feature the same tired heroine with the same tired characteristics, but Jenny Pox really stands out from the crowd. Jenny's not a wimpy, shy, overly modest, clingy gal with no self-esteem--she's a girl who avoids other people because it's a matter of life or death. She isn't thrilled with being an outcast, but she's accepted her grim reality and is determined to make the best of things. And when she finally finds the one person who makes her feel human, she's determined to hold on to him. She learns to accept her paranormal curse and cultivates her powers, turning her curse into a gift she can wield at will. I enjoyed watching her evolve and grow as a character.

This book contains some very graphic violence and sexual scenes. As stated in the product description, this book is NOT recommended for readers under eighteen. As the parent of teens and young adults, I know darned well most high school students are exposed to sex and violence on television, movies, and in the hallways at school, but I'd at least use caution before choosing this book for kids under sixteen. For anyone over the eighteen who does not have tender sensibilities, this book is a must read.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars