Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A writer I follow on twitter linked me to an Amanda Hocking blog post, which in turn linked me to this book. I'm quite glad that odd chain of events occurred. This was a rather macabre but awesome tale of Jenny Morton, the unfortunate bearer of the "Jenny Pox". Any living thing she touches, dies.
At first Jenny is a wallflower, doing her best to stay out of sight and mind of a rather nasty piece of work named Ashleigh. Ashleigh is all sugar and spice and everything nice to people who can give her what she wants, but anyone on her bad side may very well imagine they've stepped into "hello, this is your life on steroids... in hell". As a thoroughly nasty creature, I spent a great deal of the book wishing she'd get a massive dose of karma. Jenny's emergence as a more confident person put Ashleigh in her place briefly, but even the girl who doesn't fear snakes, spiders and ghosts knows to fear the picture-perfect cheerleader.
The ending is rather gruesome and serves as a declaration of independence for two of the leads, which in turn opens the door for a more proactive sequel, one in which the leads may need to abandon the shackles of normalcy and embrace their natures and pasts if they are to make something worthwhile of their current lives. There is a rather sweet romance running through-out, which affected each of the main characters in profound ways. I can only imagine that the author is an animal lover, because Rocky the dog was quite simply the most inspired choice of catalyst to trigger these changes.
Well worth a look at, and I'll definitely be checking out the sequel.
A few minor niggles were to be had on the ebook version,which had a few formatting errors that occasionally distracted.
I would, personally, not classify this as YA - rather paranormal fantasy or horror fantasy. Even though the novel features teens, there are some rather adult scenes in it.
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