The Gardener by S. A. Bodeen
(This review is based on the Advanced Reader Copy of the book.)
The videotape of my father was never meant to be seen by me, and were it not for a chow mix ripping apart half my face, the man might have remained only a mysterious void. But it was that day when I was five, that day of growls and blood and pain and screams, when I first heard my father’s voice.
Read an excerpt
All Mason has of his father is a DVD of him reading Runaway Bunny–showing just his arm with a butterfly tattoo. When he plays the video in the same room as a few comatose teens, one girl wakes up. She doesn’t know her name or remember much about her life at all. All she knows is that she needs to get away–and Mason decides to help her.
This was a very fun read for me. I went into it thinking it was a dystopia, but I wasn’t disappointed when I discovered it’s not quite one. It still had that feel. If you like dystopias, you’ll like this.
I was surprised that this book had a prologue that I actually liked. I’m a bit anti-prologue. This one was a few pages long, but it wasn’t some confusing moment taken out of the climax of the story. It was really just giving interesting backstory (the excerpt paragraph is the first bit of the prologue). It’s not completely necessary to read it, but if you’re a prologue-skipper, I suggest reading this one. It’s good, I promise.
Mason is one of my new favorite guy protagonists. He’s a huge hulk of a guy with a scarred face, but his personality is so far from the bully stereotype that his looks put him into. A fun character for girls to like, but also a nice character for guys to like. (Yay–another book for teen boys!)
The story itself is also great for both guys and girls. There’s enough romance to please everyone but gross out no one. And there’s enough action that nobody is going to get bored. It’s a very exciting read. I do wish that the cover wouldn’t give away what’s kind of going on, because I’m one of those that likes to figure things out. But I didn’t enjoy it any less already kind of knowing what was going on.
I couldn’t tell from the end if this would have a sequel or not (I’m hoping it will). I’d definitely keep reading if there were more books. It was a fun one.
*news about the gardener*
S. A. Bodeen can be found on the web at www.rockforadoll.com. Looks like she usually does picture books under Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen.