Pub. Date: 11-9-10
Publisher: J.L. Bryan
Series: The Paranormals
Age Group: Young Adult
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.
This series initially appealed to me because the story sounded unique and got a great review by one of my favorite authors, Amanda Hocking. This book had so many different elements that I truly loved: romance, horror, gore, poetic justice, sexuality and a relatable protagonist. I feel the need to point out right away that this is NOT a book for the squeamish! The author is very descriptive regarding some very intense and disturbing situations. Also, this book has some mature sexual situations that I'm not used to seeing in a YA novel. However, I didn't feel like it took away from the story and it didn't make me uncomfortable, so it was fine--I just wanted to put that out there.
I like how relatable Jenny's character is; not because I can infect the plague upon anyone who touches me-- but because I know what it's like to feel like an outcast (much like everyone else out there who has probably felt this way at one time or another). I couldn't help but feel empathy for her and I truly wanted better for her.
Because of Jenny's condition she is forced to distance herself from everyone (making her a social pariah), until she meets Seth. I was a little reluctant to like Seth at first, but after a while I relented. He seemed to awaken something in Jenny that she was never capable of, or allowed to render, before. I will say that I was initially annoyed at how fast their relationship seemed to progress, but by the end of the book I understood why it did.
The character of Ashleigh was just plain awful, and to say that she was the quintessential "mean girl" would be an understatement. She was a huge reason as to why several people went out of their way to taunt and berate Jenny, unjustified. The hate-fueled relationship between Ashleigh and Jenny reminds me of the stigma that goes along with being "different", and that it's easier for people to jump on the hate-bandwagon than it is to try to think for yourself and show a little humanity for the people and things you don't understand.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely make it a point to read Tommy Nightmare, the next one in the series. I can't wait to find out more about Jenny's abilities, and those like her. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. =)