The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen
This science fiction novel examines issues of family, the good of the one versus the good of the masses and medical ethics. Mason, a whiz at biology and a football star, has never met his father. All he has of him is a DVD of his dad reading The Runaway Bunny , and he can’t even see his father’s face. He longs to know more about his father, but his alcoholic mother is not talking. His biology teacher encourages Mason to apply for a scholarship from the local biotech firm to attend Stanford. Mason’s mother is vehemently opposed to him applying for a scholarship from TroDyn, and Mason can’t figure out why. But then it all starts to come together. Mason goes to the nursing home where his mother works to confront her with information about her past. There Mason meets Laila, a beautiful teen under his mother’s care to whom he is immediately drawn. He plays the DVD of his father reading to the catatonic girl and her companions, and the girl wakes up and asks him to help her escape from the nursing home. Things begin to get even more complicated. What is the matter with Laila? What does Mason’s mother know? Why is Laila getting weaker and weaker? Can Mason save the girl he has grown to love or must she be sacrificed to the greater good?