Even though I was disappointed by S.A. Bodeen’s other book, The Compound , I decided to give The Gardener a try because the issues it was supposed to address (bio-engineering, global warming and the food crisis) are subjects of interest to me.
The thought of humans scientifically designed to be self-sustaining (needing no water or food) was a clever SciFi premise. Wouldn’t it be great if it WERE possible? It would certainly solve our hunger problems. (Yet, I think I would still want chocolate!)
Ms. Bodeen started her story out fine – even though we can see early on where it is going. She seems, however, to have a problem fleshing out her characters. Our relationship with them is so shallow that we remain aware that we are just reading a story – not seeing a slice of someone else’s life, as we feel with a well-written tale.
Some people may think that a book written for teens would necessarily be lighter and skim the surface of issues, but I don’t accept that this is typical of YA books. A good book engages the reader in the life of the characters – no matter the age group it is written for.
I feel the serious topics this book takes on, deserved more depth than this book was able to deliver.