It was a pretty easy decision, when invited, to participate in Mary Pearson's blog tour for FOX FOREVER. If you've read THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX you might think it were a complete story, and in some ways, you might be right. However, upon finishing the last book in the trilogy I find that not only is it my favorite of the three, but it feels to me as if the entire series were leading to this point - that this is the story you were meant to take to heart.
While I plan on discussing that in a review post next week, here is a passage that I selected from FOX FOREVER for Mary to tell us all a little bit about, and the question I posed:
Q: The scene beginning on page 73 and extending until page 78 set up a really nice dichotomy of what a Non-pact was - just people doing things that normal people do, and no different than anyone else. I half expected that Xavier was trying to make a point to Locke by saying these are the people you'll be protecting but it was quite the opposite - Locke realised that all on his own. Was this passage always included and what about it makes it important for you?
The below is an abridged passage from pages 73-76. Mary summarises, "Locke is on his way to secretly have dinner with Xavier, trying to follow the directions he was given. He thinks he's only having dinner with Xavier and sharing a can of beans at most."
Xavier was clear. Don’t walk in a straight shot. Double back. Watch. And make sure it’s dark [ . . .]
The neighborhood appears to be deserted. It’s an area of run-down row homes and apartments that I think date back to my time. Most look like they’re ready to fall down with a good wind, but I’m guessing the real estate around here is free for the taking and that’s probably the right price for Non-pacts. Some of the lots contain nothing but mounds of rubble and weeds, like the earth is swallowing up the decaying neighborhood in gradual bites. [ . . .] This has to be the blackest, most depressing place anyone could live.[ . . .]
Halfway down the alley I hear murmurs and music [ . . .] I turn left and find myself looking into a huge [ . . . ] courtyard. Dozens of people occupy it. At least sixty. Scavenged chairs, sofas, and crates form a circle around a bonfire in the middle. Children run on the perimeters, laughing and playing tag. I take a few steps closer. Slabs of meat cook on an open grill in one corner, and in another three men and a woman play a violin, a guitar, a flute, and something that looks like a small harp. A little farther over, three old women laugh, trying to persuade some young children to dance with them. [ . . .] The sounds of all the activity bounce off the surrounding walls and blend together in a pleasant rumble.
[ . . .]
I can’t move. I can hardly think. I just watch until Xavier spots me and waves me over. Heads turn. A young girl with long braids squeals and runs and grabs my hand like she knows who I am and she drags me over to Xavier. “Locke’s here!” she says [ . . .]
Xavier and I sit beside each other in chairs, both of us silent.
“You have children,” I finally say.
“I didn’t expect this.”
“You thought I lived in that basement? And only ate stale
nuts? Non- pacts have lives too.”
Kaye, you’ve chosen one of my favorite passages from the whole book. Yes it was always included and I thought it was so important to show that the shady characters Locke was dealing with, the Non-pacts, had actual lives outside of their business with him. That even though they were poverty stricken, living on the fringes of society with next to no rights, they had built lives of enormous value. Suddenly Locke’s efforts had a much more real face and meaning.
But, wait - what if you don't have an e-reader and happen to live in the United States or Canada? Then here is your opportunity to win a complete set of The Jenna Fox Chronicles courtesy of Mac Teen! No addresses are collected in the form - if you win, you can send it to me where I will forward it on to the publisher for your prize. :)
You can visit Mary on her Twitter account (@marypearson), via her official website, or by following her on Pinterest. Summaries for The Jenna Fox Chronicles are available on Goodreads. A very kind thank you to Mary and the wonderful people at Macmillan for their participation in this wonderful tour.