Monday, November 8, 2010

THE GARDENER review and !contest!

Bodeen, S.A. The Gardener. New York: Fewel and Friends, 2010. Print.

Mom: Describe the two main characters in 2-3 adjectives each:

The Dude: Mason is big, smart, and brave. Laila is odd, vulnerable, and intelligent.

Mom: Why do you say she’s odd?

The Dude: She threw a football player over a fence! And she blurts things out that seem both random and creepy.

Mom: Where does the story take place?

The Dude: In a small town in Oregon and in the Portland Metro area.

Mom: I liked how the writer worked in details like MAX (the lightrail system) and Powell’s Bookstore. In 2-3 sentences, tell me what happens in the story?

The Dude: Mason finds Laila in a coma, and when she wakes up, terrified, he and his best friend, Jack, help her escape. But when Mason and Laila go to a research lab to find some answers, the truth is more shocking than they could’ve guessed.

Mom: How believable is it.

The Dude: Not very.

Mom: Why not?

The Dude: It’d be too noticeable to have a factory like that. The FDA would come.

Mom: What would Mason say about genetic testing?

The Dude: I think he’d be okay with looking at blood to see what diseases people might get, but I don’t think he’d like changing anyone’s DNA, even if it made people healthier. He wouldn’t want to be messed with like that.

Mom: Considering what you know about the world and what you read in the book, do you worry about food shortages in Earth’s future?

The Dude: Nope. We’ll figure it out before it gets too bad.

Mom: A terrorist group gets a hold of the factory, and it’s up to Mason and his now teenage son to get the experiments back-- hopefully without destroying any of them. Okay, that’s not the plot for a sequel, as far as I know. I made it up. But really, if another Greenhouse book came out, would you read it? Why or why not?

The Dude: Probably. The first book was pretty good.

Mom: How many stars?

The Dude: ˜˜˜˜1/4

Mom: Hey readers-- here’s your chance at the action: we’re giving away a copy of THE GARDENER! “How do I get in on this?” you ask. Easy-peasy! Leave us a comment to say you want to enter the contest (don't give us your address- we'll work out the mailing when we announce the winner). Old followers who comment will get two extra entries. New followers who comment will get one extra entry. Leave us a link to your post about the contest on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter, and you get another extra entry. Entries must be received by November 29, 2010 by midnight, PST. So, simple enough, right? Spread the word, friends. And read on, Dudes and Grrlz!

Disclaimer: Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan, sent us a free, uncorrected proof of this book. Our other reviewed books so far have come from our own shelves or from the public library. We did not get paid to review this book, but we did receive a free copy.


  1. I love this review. Brutal honesty!
    Count me in. I've been wanting to read this for a while!
    lydiakang (at) yahoo (dot) com.

  2. Thanks for the review :D
    I'll spread the word!

  3. Sweet! I'm always interested in the Dude's thoughts on books. Maybe he'll read mine one of these days! Put me in the drawing for sure. I'll cross-post your blog entry on my blog.

  4. Very creative way to do a review! Glad to see you're back reviewing again.

    All the best,

    Jacqueline Seewald
    STACY'S SONG--new YA release from L&L Dreamspell

  5. Not sure how to link but tried. I put a notice of this interesting book on my facebook page. I liked the style of the interview and that the book is for boys.

  6. Thanks for the help and comments so far, amigos! I made some Facebook friend requests-- hope that was cool. Sharon-- if you could add my blog's name ( that would really rock! Then people know where to read the review. And, til infinity meets eternity, thanks for all you do to promote reading, everybody. We all know books make the BEST gifts.

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog The Crazy Bookworm and following! I am now your newest follower :D I love the idea of your blog. Can't wait to come back and browse more.

    I'd like to enter the contest too:D

  8. Came here via the SCBWI-Oregon listserv. LOVE this blog, as I have three dudes of my own and one of them's een a middle-schooler. I'll make sure he reads The Dude's comments. (Seriously, this is a great idea for a blog.) I'll be a new follower and will do a mini-post on this blog and competition on my blog tomorrow.

  9. This was an interesting review that made me want to read the book. Please enter my name in the drawing. Thanks.

  10. Here's the link to my blog, where I posted about your blog and the contest.

    Thanks for becoming a follower!

  11. I followed you here from Michael G-G's blog
    he's right this is a terrific blog
    I suspect your dude is going to be a great writer someday

  12. I really like the format of your blog. I enjoyed the review. I am a new follower. I'd love to be entered for this giveaway. The Gardener sounds like a great book.