Friday, November 20, 2009

Teen, Inc. by Stefan Petrucha

This book ended up being more than I expected, and I gave it a rating of 5 out of 5. Ms. Yingling, our school librarian, recommended it to me, and all she really told me was that Jaiden Beale was a boy being raised by a corporation. Jaiden's parents were killed in an explosion caused by the corporation's faulty product. The corporation agreed to raise Jaiden until he was legal age at which time they would pay him $40 million. There are humorous parts of the book when the corporation has executives meetings to make parental decisions about Jaiden. For example, the opening scene is a meeting where the executives are showing Jaiden possible girls to date in order to improve his social skills. The book sounded interesting, but I wasn't expecting much.

The real conflict of the book is similar to Hoot with the corporation battling the environmentalists. Jaiden's girlfriend's father is the head of an environmental group trying to prove Jaiden's corporation is dumping high levels of mercury into the water. This is the part I wasn't expecting and made the book very enjoyable. It became a page-turner for me.

The plot was unique, and the climax even had a twist that I didn't see coming. A cut on Jaiden's arm provided some foreshadowing of things to come, although I would have changed the climax so his cut would have a more important role. There was also a minor character who I thought might play a part in the solution to the problem, He was mentioned several times, and I thought his issues might have been resolved along with the bigger problem.

Lexile level from 820