Mason is like many other teenagers - he lives with his Mom in a small town. Only his town is owned by a large corporation called TroDyn, which produces genetically altered plants in the name of sustainability. The only thing he knows about his father comes from a DVD of his Dad reading him a children's book. Other than that, he has never met the man before. Then one day he discovers his Mom is hiding her past from him and goes to confront her at Haven of Peace, her place of work. From there, Mason meets the most beautiful (and curious) girl he has ever seen, and the adventure of his lifetime takes off. In the following twenty-four hours, Mason will learn about himself, his family, the new girl he loves, and will find himself confronting some very complicated situations.
Like many other readers, I have been into the whole dystopian-lit trend as of late, so this was an anticipated read. The Gardener has a creepy and cool premise that will get readers to think about the food supply around them. There were times in the story that I thought were a little too contrived, such as Mason learning about autotroph snails in Biology class the day before rescuing a genetically similar girl, or the fact that there just so happened to be a free ATV for Mason and Jack to use right when they needed an escape. Additionally, in that sense the plot was enormously predictable. All that aside however, and this was a fast-paced, easy-to-understand science fiction read. I especially liked the scene in Portland's very own Powell's Bookstore. Yay for Powell's! The Gardener would also be a great pick for the reluctant male reader. S.A. Bodeen is definitely an author to watch.
Overall Rating: 4 Stars