The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen

 4 Stars - Not as suspenseful as The Compound, but still a good read

      Mason has been plagued with problems his entire life.  At the age of five he was viciously attacked by a dog and still had the scars left behind from his face being savagely ripped and torn.  Mason's mother drinks too much and her job frequently doesn't provide enough money to cover their bills.  The only connection Mason has with his father is a faceless video recording of him reading Runaway Bunny to Mason when he was just a toddler. 

     Despite his past, Mason is determined to have a better future.  His classmates were used to seeing the scars and no longer reacted much when they saw him.  Mason was hopeful that his grades and an athletic scholarship would provide the tuition needed to one day attend Stanford University.

Things quickly changed, though, when Mason's mother discovered his application for the summer program at TroDyn Industries.  Mason didn't understand why she demanded he stay away from TroDyn.  After all, the industry owned half the town and the facility was established for a worthy cause after all - to sustain our environment against the threat of global warming. 

Mason learns his mother has her reasons.  A former worker at the facility, she had inside knowledge about the horrific  experiments using young children, the children of their own employees, nevertheless.  TroDyn scientists claimed their work would eventually sustain life during an environmental crisis and the seemingly cruel experiments were designed to ultimately save future populations.  But what about the young children they were sacrificing today? 

Mason knew his mother had left her prestigious job in order to save him from also becoming part of the experiments, but he didn't understand why she ignored what they were still doing to the other ones left behind.

Mason takes matters into his own hands when he meets the impossibly beautiful young girl who was being locked up in the nursing home where his mother currently worked.  Despite what they said about the girl being catatonic due to a brain injury, Mason knew otherwise.  The young girl could speak and think, and she's desperate for him to help her escape, to hide her from "The Gardener".....

What had they done to her?  Who was the Gardener?  How could he save the girl who had captured his heart?

Readers will be amazed when they, like Mason, learn the shocking truth...