Simon and Schuster
2010-05-11 (originally published 2002)
2003 Michael L Printz Honor Book
MATTEO ALACRáN WAS NOT BORN; HE WAS HARVESTED. His DNA came from El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium -- a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt's first cell split and divided inside a petri dish. Then he was placed in the womb of a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster -- except for El Patrón. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself. As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister cast of characters, including El Patrón's power-hungry family, and he is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards. Escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. But escape from the Alacrán Estate is no guarantee of freedom, because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect.
Holy cow that was good.
This book has come up on lists as a recommendation for me for various reasons: “because you read” type lists — and every time I have read the blurb and thought “MEH.”
Wow. Should have believed the hype on this one, because I loved this book. LOVED it.
It had such an interesting dystopian view of the future — and even 15 years after it was published, the future envisioned by this book seems very plausible.
It was also very much a page turner! I think a kid (or adult….) that just wants a good tale to lose themselves in will love it, but there’s a lot more to dig in to, as well. Politics, technology, cloning, social and class systems, medical ethics, climate change…
There’s a sequel. It’s on my to be read list. I need school to be over so I can just read all day long. Every day.