""Of course, without people like us Marstens, there wouldn't be anybody to do the manual labor that makes this country run. Without penal workers, who would work the production lines, or pick the melons and peaches, or maintain the streets and parks and public lavatories? Our economy depends on prison labor. Without it everybody would have to work -- whether they wanted to or not."In the late twenty-first century Bo Marsten is unjustly accused of a causing a rash that plagues his entire high school. 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?Pete Hautman takes a satirical look at an antiseptic future in this darkly comic mystery/adventure."Plot: Rash has a plot that mocks where our society is heading, with out being too cynical or political. There are many layers to this book, that made me laugh, and also left me in awe with how accurate this future could be. It is simply put. Genius.
Characters: I find myself liking this book more for the plot and the concept then for the actual characters. They are just pawns, in getting the point across, they do there job and are like-able, but besides that there isn't much to them and I am completely ok with that.
Pros: Great book for for boys, excellently written, and awesome concept.
Final Thoughts: I saw Pete Hautman last week at The Los Angeles Festival of Books and instantly wanted to read his books. So, I headed to the library and I picked up the first book of his I saw, that book was Rash. I will admit, I wasn't sure about it, but I am SO SO SO glad I picked it up. I personally think, screw 1984, this is what kids in school should be reading. It is written, well enough where students will be entertained and won't miss the point. I also, like that although geared more towards boys (which is awesome for YA) the book is for the most part gender neutral. I highly recommend this book to any reader. It is also a fairly short book.