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The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary/Sci-Fi

Release Date: 5/25/10

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About the Book: TroDyn is the company that runs the small community that Mason lives in. But TroDyn has many secrets and Mason is about to get involved in a big one. While helping his mom at the nursing home she works at, Mason plays a video of his Dad reading The Runaway Bunny to a group of comatose teens. The video is the only knowledge Mason has of his father. During the reading, one of the teens wakes up and tells Mason they have to run and he needs to help her. Mason can't leave her so he helps her leave. Soon Mason discovers this girl is part of TroDyn's biggest, and most gruesome, secret.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I really liked S. A. Bodeen's other novel, The Compound, and while The Gardener had a similar feel and a mystery to unravel, I didn't think it was quite as thrilling.

Try not to read the back cover or any synopsis of the book because it gives away the big secret that Mason uncovers. That information isn't revealed until about midway through the book, but the cover and blurb pretty much give it all away. The story is somewhat slow moving to start, but it is pretty action packed. There's a creepy overtone of "could this really happen" that adds to the suspense of the book.

I had a couple of things I didn't like though. First, I thought the book ended too quickly. Everything was resolved fairly soon and I wished there had been just a bit more. So much of the story is leading up to Mason discovering the big secret and that takes so long to happen that there's not much left once he does. I also thought the "romance" between Mason and Laila was somewhat silly. She barely talks throughout the book and the whole thing takes place over the course of about two days. Yet he's so in love with her by the end of the book? I just didn't buy it.

The book isn't incredibly fast paced, but has enough of an interesting plot to keep reader's engaged. It is an interesting look at ethics and what lengths people will go to to survive. It could lead to an interesting discussion. Reader's who enjoy mysteries, thrillers and dystopian would most likely enjoy The Gardener.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC sent by publisher for review


  1. I've been trying to avoid reading about this one, but they make it hard putting it on the cover. Still it sounds good. Nice review.

  2. I loved "The Compound" and was stoked to read this one, but I agree with you...after reading the premise on the cover, etc. I was disappointed with the actual book. Sigh.

  3. Great review! I've wondered whether this one is a good one to try out! Your review was very informative.

  4. I LOVED The Compound. Read it at my desk when my students were working. I just couldn't put it down. I've read some good reviews of this one. Thankfully I haven't read the summary too closely, so I'm drawing a blank about the complete premise - guess that's a good thing :)

  5. I have both The Compound and The Gardner to read I'm thinking I might read them in reverse order and save the best for last!


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