By Pete Hautman
YA Science Fiction
In the late twenty-first century, Bo Marten is unjustly accused of causing a rash that plagues his entire high schol. He loses it, and as a result, he's sentenced to work in the Canadian tundra, at a pizza factory that's surrounded by hungry polar bears. Bo finds prison life to be both boring and dangerous, but it's nothing compared to what happens when he starts playing on the factory's highly illegal football team. In the meantime, Bork, an artificial intelligence that Bo created for a science project, tracks Bo down in prison. Bork has spun out of control and seems to be operating on his own. He offers to get Bo's sentence shortened, but can Bo trust him? And now that Bo has been crushing skulls on the field, will he be able to go back to his old, highly regulated life?
At first, I thought I wouldn't like this book because it was mostly about football. (I hate football) But it is not completely about football and so I find it highly interesting to read, except the football parts. This world Bo lives in regulates peoples live so that if they commit any crime or anger out burst they get a strike. 3 strikes and you're out! Out for them means becoming a labor worker like picking fruit, making pizza, keeping places clean, etc. And man is everything expensive and ridiculous! My favorite character is Gramps, born in 1990 (younger than me) who complains about how wimpy people are now with their pads and helmets and soft running course for track. He tells his grandson that the only way to get to prison back in his day was to steal something, kill somebody, or use illegal drugs. He makes his own beer in his basement which alcohol is illegal. Bo gets in trouble and has to do a sentence in a pizza factory and joins the football team, where he doesn't crush skulls he just runs the ball. It changes his life because he is finally able to do exercise and physical contact, which is not allowed in his world. The ending definitely satisfied me and made me happy.
4 Stars ****
Ever read Rash? What did you think?