Featured book: The Gardener

This post is part of an original series created by librarians/media specialists across Central Minnesota featuring books.

41boBzZilCL._AA160_Title: The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen
Review by Maria Burnham, Media Specialist at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School

Although the concept of the book is interesting (a secret society of doctors trying to re-formulate the human race to survive without food), I found the writing and the story development lacking. There was very little detail in plot or character.   I find S.A. Bodeen’s writing style to be simple and sparse.  This style can be good for reluctant readers who don’t care about flowery language or graphic detail.  Her books are short and to the point.  The downside, however, is that I never feel invested in her books as a reader. For example, I’ve also read The Raft, a survival story of a teen stranded at sea.  The chapters had cliffhanger endings, but nothing that made me gasp out loud.  Perhaps my expectations are too high, but I’d have a hard time recommending The Gardener to my students which is frustrating.
I’m bummed about this novel because this was our first choice for my school’s Teen Book Club. I’m hoping that the kids liked the book, but it didn’t have enough teeth for me to be fully invested.