Mason has never known his father, but longs to. All he has of him is a DVD of a man whose face is never seen, reading a children's book. One day, on a whim, he plays the DVD for a group of comatose teens at the nursing home where his mother works. One of them, a beautiful girl, responds. Mason learns she is part of a horrible experiment intended to render teenagers into autotrophs—genetically engineered, self-sustaining life-forms who don't need food or water to survive. And before he knows it, Mason is on the run with the girl, and wanted, dead or alive, by the mysterious mastermind of this gruesome plan, who is simply called the Gardener.
Will Mason be forced to destroy the thing he's longed for most?
The Gardener is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
Bodeen follows her riveting debut novel, The Compound (2008), with another high-concept thriller. Fifteen-year-old Mason, a hulking, quiet guy with a disfiguring facial scar, dreams of majoring in biology at Stanford. To do so, he ll have to hitch his star to TroDyn, the local bioengineering firm known for its support of future scientists. But Mason s alcoholic mother violently objects to his applying for TroDyn s internship, and Mason s father is out of the picture. When Mason discovers a secret that his mother s been hiding, he confronts her at her job at a nursing home (owned by TroDyn) and learns that she cares for four catatonic teenagers, one of whom a scared, stunningly beautiful girl awakens and escapes, with Mason s help. All paths lead to TroDyn and a secret project that involves creating autotrophs organisms that can create their own food, a theoretical solution to coming world famine. A preponderance of coincidences and a too-tidy epilogue mar a fast-paced, meaty read that asks readers to consider the costs of science overstepping its bounds, even in pursuit of the noblest goals. Ages 12 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Very suspenseful and good story
A pretty good book-biggest issue was it was very predictable.after the first little bit I could guess what the "big twist" at the end would be.
Best book I've ever read
This book has definitely caught my attention