Teen, Inc. – by Stefan Petrucha
When Jaiden was a baby, his parents were killed in an accident thanks to a faulty gas valve made by a company called NECorp. During the resulting court case, NECorp decided to adopt baby Jaiden, making him the first person to be raised by a corporation. Now, at fourteen, his team of managers makes all of his decisions for him and Jaiden just wants to have a normal life. When he uncovers some information about the company that could change everything, he has to decide how far his loyalty toward the only family he’s ever known goes.
This is a fun and fast-paced read. The premise is fairy absurd and the corporation is a little too exaggeratedly corporate to be realistic, if that makes any sense. On the other hand, I can’t quite imagine how it could have been done more realistically, since in reality, no one would actually allow a corporation to raise a child. Which, I suppose, is the whole point. Jaiden and his friends, Nate and Jenny, are likeable and Jaiden’s struggle regarding his loyalty toward NECorp is compelling. I did appreciate that the book doesn’t just go to the easy ‘corporations are evil’ place, but instead opts for a slightly more balanced approach. Basically, if you can accept the premise and just go along for the ride, it’s a pretty entertaining one.