Author: J.L. Bryan
Genre: Paranormal - Horror
"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." ~See it on Goodreads
Well I finally got around to reading Jenny Pox, it had been on my TBR list for quite a while but it kept getting overlooked. I'm not usually big on Horror books but I've been venturing into that genre recently and I've actually found a few I really liked, Jenny Pox being one of them. This book was definitely one of the more creepy ones I've read lately but I still really enjoyed it.
I really liked Jenny, she has such a sweet and genuine personality. She's definitely a loner and not by preference mind you, she tries her best to keep to herself and stay away from people so she won't hurt anyone. I felt so sad for her throughout the book because of how alone she really was, but she really dealt with her situation in a mature way. All those factors combined just make her an all around likable and believable character and I couldn't help rooting for her. As for Ashleigh's character.. Oh. My. Gosh. I absolutely despised her! She's such a calculating, manipulative, and vindictive person, and she makes Jenny's life miserable. and as much as I hated her, I have to say Ashleigh was a amazingly well crafted character. Sometimes in books characters can come off as unbelievable because they have no flaws and that can kind of take away from the story, but Ashleigh did have weaknesses and flaws and I think that made her character seem more real and believable, which added to the creep factor because I for one wouldn't want a crazy whack job like that hanging around in my town.
There is some romance in the book and I think that gave a nice break from the horror element of the story. Although, at first I wasn't a huge fan of Seth. I didn't dislike him, but at the same time I didn't love him either. As the story went on though he grew on me and I really liked him and Jenny together as a team and I also wanted them to be together as more than that, and they have some crazy good chemistry.
I know a lot of people compared this book to Carrie by Stephen King, but seeing as I've never read that one, or any of Stephen Kings books (horrible I know :p) I can't really give an opinion on that. But there are definitely a good amount of deaths, some violence, drug use, sex, and gory descriptions throughout the story. They state after the blurb on the Goodreads page for the book, that this isn't recommended for readers under eighteen. For me personally, I definitely wouldn't recommend this book to young teens under sixteen and I would still be cautious about recommending it to anyone over that age due to the content.
I thought the writing itself was very well executed. Throughout the story the POV shifts between Jenny's and Ashleigh's POV's and sometimes time kind of overlaps and the story is shown from both of their POV's at the same time. I know some readers don't like shifting POV's and can find it confusing, but I personally don't have an issue with it and I think the author did a great job of making things flow smoothly and seamlessly from character to character. The ending of the book took me by surprise for sure, as I just wasn't expecting it to end that way at all. But I think it was a smart idea and will lead up to the second book rather well, and it definitely has me wondering what's going to happen next.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and I'm really glad I finally got around to reading it!
(Also, I read this book as part of the Once Upon a Read-A-Thon hosted by Pure Imagination earlier this year)