Customer Reviews for

The Gardener

Average Rating 4.5
( 68 )
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(45)

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(11)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Reviewed by Karin Librarian for TeensReadToo.com

Will there ever be a day when the world runs out of food? What if the entire planet was facing starvation? Should scientists be trying anything and everything to find a solution to this possible problem? Some think they should.

The reader will know, just by looking a...
Will there ever be a day when the world runs out of food? What if the entire planet was facing starvation? Should scientists be trying anything and everything to find a solution to this possible problem? Some think they should.

The reader will know, just by looking at the cover, what the major plot of the story involves and that, paired with the very clear foreshadowing in the beginning chapters, leaves no question. S.A. Bodeen again deals with controversial issues involving medical ethics like she did in THE COMPOUND.

Mason doesn't know his father. The closest Mason has come to seeing him is a video of his dad reading The Runaway Bunny, but even the video doesn't show his father's face - only his hands turning the pages of the book. The only visible, distinguishing mark is a blue butterfly tattoo on his father's arm.

Mason's uneventful life is transformed one night when he goes to confront his mother about the secrets she's been keeping. His mother works at a nursing home, so he is surprised to find she is taking care of four comatose teenagers. After his mother is called away for a meeting, Mason puts in the video of his father reading The Runaway Bunny. He is shocked when one of the teenagers starts talking - a beautiful girl about his age. She is scared to death and feels the need to escape, and Mason can't stand the thought of abandoning her.

The events that follow lead Mason and the girl into unknown territory. She doesn't remember much about where she came from or even her name. The only thing she knows is the intense fear she feels when she thinks about going back and seeing the Gardener, but when her health starts failing Mason has no choice but to take her back. What he discovers changes his life forever.

I was hoping THE GARDENER would be creepier than it was. It really had the potential to be...after all, the tag on the cover says, "This Greenhouse...Grows Humans." Come on, doesn't that sound creepy?

THE GARDENER is a fast-paced story, and even though I wanted it to be scarier, it was still fun to read.

posted by TeensReadToo on May 17, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Sweet Bun, Sour Meat

At first glance, The Gardener soumds like a good book. Original theme, interesting summary, etc, a type of book I would like. However, a few turns into the pages and I realize how horribly wrong I was. The main charatcer has no personality, just a puppet to the plot lin...
At first glance, The Gardener soumds like a good book. Original theme, interesting summary, etc, a type of book I would like. However, a few turns into the pages and I realize how horribly wrong I was. The main charatcer has no personality, just a puppet to the plot line. Short, choppy sentences cam be found everywhere, and the main baddie is no different from all the other countless villans I read.
To sum up the story, the main character finds a girl and magically falls in love with her the second he sees her, but wait, suprise!, the goverment wants her.
The book was agony to read, and I do NOT recommend this to anybody who doesn't want to slap their foreheads and shake theirs heads. This is just not a good book.

posted by 1689784 on November 10, 2011

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  • Posted May 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Karin Librarian for TeensReadToo.com

    Will there ever be a day when the world runs out of food? What if the entire planet was facing starvation? Should scientists be trying anything and everything to find a solution to this possible problem? Some think they should.

    The reader will know, just by looking at the cover, what the major plot of the story involves and that, paired with the very clear foreshadowing in the beginning chapters, leaves no question. S.A. Bodeen again deals with controversial issues involving medical ethics like she did in THE COMPOUND.

    Mason doesn't know his father. The closest Mason has come to seeing him is a video of his dad reading The Runaway Bunny, but even the video doesn't show his father's face - only his hands turning the pages of the book. The only visible, distinguishing mark is a blue butterfly tattoo on his father's arm.

    Mason's uneventful life is transformed one night when he goes to confront his mother about the secrets she's been keeping. His mother works at a nursing home, so he is surprised to find she is taking care of four comatose teenagers. After his mother is called away for a meeting, Mason puts in the video of his father reading The Runaway Bunny. He is shocked when one of the teenagers starts talking - a beautiful girl about his age. She is scared to death and feels the need to escape, and Mason can't stand the thought of abandoning her.

    The events that follow lead Mason and the girl into unknown territory. She doesn't remember much about where she came from or even her name. The only thing she knows is the intense fear she feels when she thinks about going back and seeing the Gardener, but when her health starts failing Mason has no choice but to take her back. What he discovers changes his life forever.

    I was hoping THE GARDENER would be creepier than it was. It really had the potential to be...after all, the tag on the cover says, "This Greenhouse...Grows Humans." Come on, doesn't that sound creepy?

    THE GARDENER is a fast-paced story, and even though I wanted it to be scarier, it was still fun to read.

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 29, 2010

    The Gardener

    The best part of this book for me was the strong male's point of view. Not that Mason never showed emotion because he did, though it never came across as cheesy or over the top. He does have his issues, quite a few actually. However, I didn't feel that he was really whiny about them. Mostly he just seemed matter of fact. Like this is the life I've been dealt, now let's deal with it. I think the issue that he has the most trouble with is not knowing anything about his father. Luckily, he has a great best friend Jack, and he helps Mason maintain some fun and spontaneity in his otherwise boring small town life. Jack also tries to keep Mason grounded when things take a turn for the strange. The Gardener was a fast paced read that left me thinking about the world and the things we do in the name of science for days after I had read it. I definitely recommend it, especially if you enjoy speculative fiction (Fiction that extrapolates from some phenomenon or theory and postulates "What if?".) If you are looking for a guy to love, some romance on the run, twisted with a bit of mystery, then I think you will enjoy this as much as I did.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2012

    This book displays a creative blend of science fiction with real

    This book displays a creative blend of science fiction with real places, events, and theories. The confusing high school life Mason lives by is displayed beautifully in Bodeen's novel. Mason, of whom has a scar on his face from a dog attack as a young boy, has never met, nor remembers his father, as his father is revealed to have only been around when Mason was very young. Mason is offered a scholarship to a scientific organization known as TroDyn. His mother forbids him from accepting, however, Mason finds that something about his mother's work is a little... off. His mother works with four kids, of whom sit and stare, lifelessly, at a television screen. According to their records, they have some form of brain damage. Mason finds himself attracted to one of the kids, a girl his age, however she is as comatose as the other three kids. That is, until he plays the disc of his father reading to him, which snaps the girl out of her trance. The girl insists that they escape for fear someone or something is after her.

    This book was probably the one of the most enjoyable Summer reading books I've ever read, and I highly suggest reading it whenever the chance is given.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Gardener was an intriguing, fast-paced adventure!

    The Gardener was an intriguing, fast-paced adventure! S.A. Bodeen's approach to Mason was well-written and helped me establish a means of his character. In his younger years, he was attacked by a dog and lived with the constant attention to his facial scar. I sympathized with Mason off the bat and gained respect for his courageous attitude. Once he visited his mother's job in the nursing home, his ability to roll with the punches surfaced. A girl, who he was automatically attracted to, snaps out of an awkward trance by the voice of his father reading on a DVD. His initial instinct was to get her help by escaping from the Gardener who she continually brings up. Half of the book questioned who this mysterious Gardener was and why this girl was lost and confused.

    As the answers unraveled I couldn't believe the scientific experiments that went on behind closed doors. I don't want to give too much away but the creativity behind the theory of creating humans to be autotrophs was fascinating. I just wished Bodeen would of presented this experiment with a little more detail. During the runaway period, Mason and the special young lady formed a bond which I thought was sweet. My only negative aspect was the cover's false premise. It didn't actually live up to my expectations to a thrilling Sci-fi. However, The Gardener's plot was still an innovative approach to the slow destruction of our world. I might not agree with it but, I truly thought it was an original idea from start to finish. Finally, I enjoyed this novel and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Young Adult Male Read

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2013

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Awesomness

    Its the kind if book that you wish was a trilogy. Its quite goooood

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2010

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