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April 5

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Book Notes: The Gardener by S. A. Bodeen

by Ann-Katrina

The Gardener I’m coming upon three quarters of this book and I’m on the fence about it.

On one hand I love the premise and it’s swift. Using recent biological discoveries, Bodeen weaves a conspiracy story around the bioengineering of children who only need sunlight to survive. Despite this scientific angle, which could easily get boring too quickly, the story doesn’t slow down much as Mason takes it upon himself to rescue one of these children and winds up on the run from the people who created her.

On the other there is a plot-by-numbers feel to it and the puppy love Mason has for Laila feels inorganic and wedged into the story. Suspense is feigned; there are tense moments, but it’s easy to predict what will happen next. For instance, when the unnamed girl sees a picture of Dr. Emerson, she immediately recognizes the scientist. When Mason and the girl go to Dr. Emerson’s lecture, surprise surprise, Dr. Emerson takes one look at the unnamed girl and recognizes her. No big deal, until it’s turned into some amazing and earth shattering event. Plus, Mason mentioning how cute Laila (aka the unnamed girl) is every few pages and using it as a way to explain why he’s going to so much trouble for her is clunky. It was already well established in the opening chapters that he has a hero complex and his awe was put on display the first time he laid eyes on her.

The question for me is whether these detriments outweigh the redeeming qualities and so far the answer is no. Right now I’m hovering around a B-/C+ letter grade for this book, but I’m hoping the ending is awesome so I can bump it up to a solid B/B+.

Comments on Book Notes: The Gardener by S. A. Bodeen

  1. # Audrey/brizmus wrote on April 6, 2010 at 8:51 am:

    I’ll look forward to reading your review of the whole thing. It sounds interesting, actually. . .although the plot by numbers feel could be a bit much.
    .-= Audrey/brizmus´s last blog ..Review: the Puzzle King by Betsy Carter =-.

  2. # Ann-Kat wrote on April 6, 2010 at 5:41 pm:

    I should have the review up by the end of the week. I love so much the premise, but I really am getting hung up on the predictability and the plot-by-numbers thing.

    What it boils down to is that this book has so much potential, but it seems Bodeen doesn’t give much credit to the intelligence of her young audience (actually, sometimes she does and other times she doesn’t), and it dampens the overall story so it can’t live up to its ultimate potential. *sigh*

  3. # Ladybug wrote on April 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm:

    I hope the book has a satisfying ending and that you’ll enjoy it even more towards the end! The story sounds very interesting.
    .-= Ladybug´s last blog ..300 followers contest =-.

  4. # Abby wrote on April 12, 2010 at 8:09 pm:

    Oh, you’re totally right about the romance feeling contrived. I didn’t really realize it until I read this review, but you’re right! I never believed the romance. Which makes the whole plot kind of shaky. Still, I enjoyed reading it. I thought it was a fine diversion.
    .-= Abby´s last blog ..National Library Week: What to do when there’s one =-.

  5. # Shouting Gorilla Book Blog » Blog Archive » Book Review: The Gardener wrote on April 22, 2010 at 8:00 am:

    [...] book, The Compound, and hand them this one, too.  Hop on over and read more reviews at Book Notes and Stacked. The Gardener will be on shelves May [...]

  6. # Gir12 wrote on October 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm:

    this book was not the best!

  7. # Gir120 wrote on October 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm:

    i really didn’t get this book at all!

  8. # Jesse wrote on March 12, 2013 at 7:19 am:

    These book is so werid

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