From the very first page of this book I was hooked. Perhaps it was the mystery of what happened to Jenna that made her lose her memories or trying to puzzle through with her why she doesn’t feel emotionally connected to them. Either way, this was a book I could not put down. The characters were believable and the situation was interesting. I empathized with the main character’s desire to have friends and understand her place in the world.
I think this book would be good as part of a multidisciplinary science curriculum. (Please bear in mind that I have not started school yet to become a teacher so take this with a grain of salt.) It would be good to facilitate a discussion about bioethics and the impact of technology. The back cover says “How far would you go to save someone you love?” This is part of the real heart of the bioethics debate. Scientists rationally sitting in their lab creating technological breakthroughs are a long way from a mother who wants to save a child or someone who wants to save their own life. Until one is in that kind of situation, it is hard to say what one will do.
The parts of our brain that process logic and thought are not the parts of our brain that deal with emotions. Some emotions are too powerful to deal with rationally. We think we have created a way to deal with the questions that come up by legislating boundaries, but those limitations are weak compared to the love of a parent for a child.
This is the power of literature. It allows us to explore this space and these ideas without having to actually go through the experience. We can have the discussion as a group and really get to the heart of the matter using a novel as a common framework.
Days after reading this book I am still pondering two questions. What would I do to save my son? How would I feel if my parents went to extreme lengths to save me? I am left thinking about what it means to be human. What are the limits of good and bad science?