February 3, 2009

Teen, Inc. by Stefan Petrucha

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:13 pm by suebe2

tuesday-february-03-2009Teen, Inc.  (AR 5.0)

by Stefan Petrucha

Walker and Company

Rebellion.  Testing the limits.  Pushing parental buttons.  Isn’t that all part of finding out who you are as a teen?  But which buttons do you push when you’re being raised by a corporation instead of a couple? 

Jaiden Beale leads a life that is anything but typical.  Orphaned as an infant, he was adopted by the corporation responsible for his parent’s death.  He has finally convinced his management team that public school is in his best interest but this means a series of lies and half truths designed to keep his best friend from finding out how he lives — in an office suite.  When he’s assigned a partner for a science project, things begin the come unravled as he finds out the truth about his guardians.

This was a book I couldn’t put down.  It was also the rare book that kept me from indulging in a very bad reading habit — flipping to the back to see how it ends.  I was engaged from start to finish. 

In part, it was the character’s unique voice.  Jaiden has been raised by committee, his misdeeds at school bring about entense retreats instead of grounding, and he speaks in corporate lingo. 

To shake things up, author Stefan Petrucha gives him a science partner who is everything he wants in a girl and wildly anti-big business. 

If you’ve got a tween boy who doesn’t like to read, hand this to him.  It questions authority.  Jaiden’s friend is mildly unhinged.  He breaks the rules.  He’s got a great sense of humor.    The one problem might be the dust jacket which didn’t entirely fit the book IMO.  The cover art looks bright and clean and maybe a bit humorous.  But a lot of the humor is sarcastic and, in that sense, a bit dark.  Very real.  Very tween.   A quick read with a great main character who reminds me all too much of my own son.

–SueBE

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