Summary: The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen is a tense and suspenseful page turner, much like her previous book, The Compound. The tagline caught my attention immediately: “This greenhouse…grows humans.”
Mason’s life is quiet but imperfect. He & his mom manage to get by on her meager salary from Haven of Peace nursing home. He’s used to strangers staring at him thanks to his gargantuan size and the huge scar on his face from a dog attack when he was young.
Mason’s life becomes much more exciting when he digs into his mom’s papers and finds that she’s been keeping secrets from him – more secrets than he had imagined. Determined to know the truth about his mom and to discover who his mysterious father is, Mason sneaks into Haven of Peace to demand answers. Instead, he gets a mystery more intriguing than he had counted on.
Mason ends up on the run with a resident of Haven of Peace; a girl his own age who doesn’t know who she is. Their pursuers not only include the typical "men in black" types, but also more residents of Haven of Peace; teens just like her. Solving her mystery may lead Mason to all the answers he has sought. But is he ready? And what will he do once he knows the truth?
The science-fiction elements in this book inspired me to do my own research and see how much of the background in the book was true. I love it when a book can get me so interested in a topic that I have to know more.
What is right? (morality)
Grades 7& up
Areas of concern (content):
Foul Language: 2 instances
Nudity/Adult Content: none