Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rash” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  2,205 ratings  ·  371 reviews
Consumption of alcohol: Illegal.

Football and other "violent" sports: Illegal.

Ownership of guns, chain saws, and/or large dogs: Illegal.

Body piercings, tattoos: Illegal.

It's late in the twenty-first century, and the United Safer States of America (USSA) has become a nation obsessed with safety. For Bo Marsten, a teenager who grew up in the USSA, it's all good. He kn
ebook, 272 pages
Published February 7th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published May 23rd 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rash, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Rash

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
My immediate thought after finishing Rash: Huh. For it is a peculiar novel. And I'm still not entirely sure what to say about it. I enjoyed it, but didn't love it. However, I think its target audience would love it. That audience is teen and preteen boys, and heaven (aka Barnes and Noble) knows there aren't enough books out there for them.

The novel is set in the not too distant future of the United States, which is now known as the USSA (United Safer States of America). In this dystopian-lite f
Duffy Pratt
In this dystopian satire, the USSA (the extra S is for safety or socialism) has criminalized most marginally unsafe activities. For example, you must wear a helmet and pads to walk down the street. This may seem silly, but it does not appear that law abiding citizens work. And the government has eliminated its prison system. Instead, it contracts out its prisoners to companies. Thus, criminalizing behavior has become a good profit center for the government, and it can increase safety while secur ...more
Sep 28, 2007 Shannon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adolescent literature lovers
Can you imagine a world where safety procedures rule…literally? Dropping fruit, failing to take medicine, and walking without a “safety helmet” is actually illegal is the late 21st century U.S.S.A. (The extra “S” stands for safety.) Not surprisingly, up to one-third of adult citizens are in corporate-owned prisons at any one point of time. After all, someone has to do the “dangerous” jobs that keep the country and economy going. (Did you ever realize how dangerous it is to produce frozen pizzas? ...more
Austin Baehnman
The book “Rash” by Pete Hautman is an exciting action filled book that I think would be fun for everyone to read. I think this book is pretty good, but it wasn't what I expected. What I was expecting was more like a “Hatchet” type book, but what I got was a futuristic society that is crazy about safety. When someone puts another person’s life in danger they are sent to a work camp for a number of years. This ties into the main character and his family because the men in the family are known for ...more
Luke Sands
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book written by Pete Hautman was amazing. I thought that the way the future was pictured by him could one day be true. Half of the country's population were imprisoned and the country used the prisoners for free work. I couldn't imagine how Bo felt when his father and his brother were in jail and he has a grandfather who drinks beer (which was illegal). Bo was a high school student and a runner. He and Karlohs were both runners and enemies. They both liked the same girl as well. Bo was medi ...more
This is a dystopian sports story.
Bo is a 16 year old living in the USSA - the United Safer States of America. In the USSA, everything dangerous is illegal. Football, french fries, aggressive language...
Bo is a runner on his high school track & field team. Runners in the USSA wear padding all over their bodies and run on a padded field. As a result, the running times are much longer than what we are used to today.
Bo's running rival is also encroaching on Bo's girlfriend. And when he is
Nov 05, 2008 Jonathan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes alot of action
Recommended to Jonathan by: a libarian
This book starts out with a kid named Bo, he's driven to be the best at running but also has a very bad temper. A tauting rival at school ends up pushing Bo to physically and verbally lash out at him which ends him up in jail. The book takes place in the future and so you can pretty much go to jail for any kind of violence. Luckily in jail a friend named bork who is a artificial intelligence that Bo was working on for a science project locates him in jail and acts as a lawyer to get him out of j ...more
Logan Erdmann
I really like this book. This book takes place in the future and is about a young man named Bo Marsten. The country is run by the penile system and almost half of the population has served time. The country uses the prisoners for free work and to produce products. Bo’s brother and father are both serving time so he remains at home with his mom and grandpa for a short period of time. You can tell that Bo will serve time because of his temper.

The main characters are Bo, the Marsten family, Rhino,
The book Rash is about a boy named Bo Marsten and it takes place in the year 2074.Bo comes from a long line of people in his family who have anger issues and Bo had already had fights with kids in his school. Now Bo has started to spread a rash through the school. Bo was forced to go to a prison in the tundra surrounded hungry polar bears where he was forced to make and eat pizza everyday. A few months later Bo and his roommate Rhino became gold shirts and where apart of a illegal football team ...more
I read the book “Rash” by Pete Hautman. It was an interesting book about the future. This book was written like it was present day, but what would be in the future for us. Unlike other books that have flying cars and science fiction, it was a normal life just years later. Obviously things were different but were realistic.

The book takes place about one hundred years ahead of our time now. So it calls our time the olden days. The USSA is where Bo, the main character lives. They are not aloud t

The novel, "RASH", By Pete Hautman is based on a fictional world in the future with safety being the top priority in society. Laws and restrictions get out of hand and are taken way too far. It gets to the point where you get thrown in jail just for being overweight. The main character, Bo, is on Levor, which is a pill that gives him extra time to react to a dangerous situation. For example, one of these situations would be verbally assaulting another human. Bo calls Kahlos, the popular jerk of
In Rash by Pete Hautman, the main character, Bo, lives in the author's interesting perspective of late twenty-first century America. Being kind-of a rebel, Bo spends most of his life running: From being caught doing something robot controllers won't like, being in trouble with his family, being in trouble with his girlfriend, avoiding trouble he's already in and avoiding trouble he knows is yet to come. He spends most of his life running, physically and metaphorically, and in a way, so do I.
Jul 06, 2009 Mark rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids with limited vocabulary
Recommended to Mark by: Howard County Public Schools summer reading list
Wow- that wasn't very impressive at all, but at least I'm not reading 5 books at the same time anymore. If you're going to write as teenager in the first person you a had better be good at it. And Pete Hautman is no J.D. Salinger. His writing sounds like an adult trying to dumb it down and sound like a teenager; it is unimpressive and downright insulting. The book was largely predictable too. His vision of the future comes off like an anti-government militia's insane babbling: "In the year 2074, ...more
Karen Ball
This one's great! Bo Marsten lives in the USSA (the United Safer States of America), where you have to wear a helmet to walk, calling someone names is a misdemeanor and being obese is a felony. 20% of the population is imprisoned (mostly due to breaking the safety laws), and the prisons have become corporate workfarms -- they provide the basic labor that gets things produced. Bo's father and brother are both in prison, and Bo gets sent off to prison also -- seems there is a distinct family histo ...more
Anger management takes on a whole new meaning in this smart, funny teen novel -- set in a dystopian future USA (renamed the USSA, for United Safer States of America) where public safety concerns have replaced personal liberty. Anything bad for you -- alcohol, cigarettes, junk food -- or dangerous -- contact sports, skateboarding -- has been outlawed. And if you let your temper get the best of you, you might wind up in jail. This is what happens to Bo Marsten, a teen who is sentenced to 3 years o ...more
Aug 30, 2007 Boyd rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of dystopian fiction
Welcome to the future: a United States so safe that it's been renamed the USSA (United Safe States of America). Here everything from football to skateboarding to drinking has been banned. Walking down the street requires protective pads and a safety helmet. Everyone's safe and happy. Or at least that's the theory. Rash by Pete Hautman tells the story of Bo Marsten who doesn't exactly fit into this cowardly new world. He causes a skin rash outbreak at his school and finds himself packaging pizza ...more
To me this book was a cross between 1984 and The Hunger Games. If you liked either of those books a lot there is a chance you will like this one a little. It is a typical young adult book, it's not 1984 or The Hunger Games but it is entertaining. I enjoyed the way the author explained the way society had become the way it had become and how now it is impossible to contemplate living the way the people in his book lived but changes happen little by little. Not really a thought provoking masterpie ...more
WOW! This is a futuristic book that takes place like in the 2053's.... It's based on the USSA government (USSA = United States of Safer America) going out of control with safety laws. A large percentage of Americans are prison workers that run McDonald's manufacturing and supply company up north where they are told to train by running like there's "A polar bear on your (view spoiler)"

Great read and would recommend as a good "YA" book.
(view spoiler)
Jeanne Boyarsky
This book takes place far enough in the future for things to be quite different, but soon enough that "grandpa" can tell us about the past (our present.)

The book takes place in the USSR. I meant the USSA. The extra "s" is for safety, but the government controlling everything is clearly a dominant theme. Roughly 25% of adults are in the prison system for something trivial. The country uses the prison system for manual labor. Both for themselves and to contract out to companies.

I like that the sto
Kasey Laurent
Too random for my taste. If i were doing a book report it would go like this...

Me: Once upon a time there was a boy named bo. He had anger issues so they sent him to a boot camp in Canada that made pizza. there, he learned to play football and made friends with a boy named Rhino. One day he escaped and was attacked by a polar bear but, don't worry, he was saved by an eskimo.

Teachr: Did you make this all up?


Teacher thinks:i wonder why i don't believe this

Irvington Public Library Teens
Such an amazing topic! The controversy of the situation our protagonist is in is spectacular! It's definitely a great book to spur group discussion, and it will not only have connection to current events but also to other literature. The book is specific on what can be considered "classic" American sports, and emphasizes the freedom of danger.
If you're just looking to enjoy a good book, the book is more of a 3 stars. ~eddyk, Teen Reviewer
Destiny Santos
I thought this was another really great book. Bo, a predicted teen outlaw was sent to jail and it talks about how horrible life was there for him, playing the illegal sport, football. Then after his adventure on his way home through 26 miles of man eating polar bear tundra. The action in this book is the thing that kept me turning pages and really got to me. In addition, I found it entertaining on how the author Mr. Hautman, included such uncommon thoughts on the future. For example the irration ...more
Warning: Ranting angry review ahead.

I got halfway, being irritated with the world building and hating the characters. It was like reading an American right winged nuts fear that being nice and safety would take over the world. The grandpa going on about how much better the world was when he was young didn't help.

Especially the "they came for our guns" moment that almost made me stop reading.

But annexing Canada? No, fuck no. I'm not reading a book that just mentions that in a sentence like it'
I thought the book "rash" was a good book because It had a good plot and, everything in the book came together smoothly. I also like how the book fit in every lil detail which really painted a picture in my mind. Also because It was a very detailed book I knew every thing that was going on and, because of that the book turned out to be a good book. The one thing that I really liked about the book was how it really got into how the future was about and what the difference was between the early 20 ...more
I read this because it sounded like a good YA title for boys and I wanted to check it out. I think boys would enjoy it, but the satiric elements, sharp writing and ingenious plotting worked for me too. It's set in the future - like so many YA titles - but in this future, the former USA has outlawed anything that could possibly harm people, including alcohol, football, and going anywhere or doing anything with out a lot of protective padding. So what's a 16- year-old boy with hormones and poor im ...more
Loved the not so subtle social commentary in this futuristic novel about a young man with a hot temper who gets sent to Canada to make frozen pizzas and play violent games of football.
Sep 01, 2008 Andy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 8th-10th grader
Recommended to Andy by: no one
Just read this... great YA lit... fast and brave new worldish. Took about 3 and 1/2 hours to get through. Fun stuff.
The book takes place in 2074 within the USSA (S stands for safer), where everythingis made as safe as possible and multiple thigns that we enjoy today are banned because they are considered "too dangerous". Here we meet Bo Marsten who has a interesting family history of people who can't quite follow the law and end up in a work camp. Bo ,of course, ends up in this situation when his worst enemy gets him in trouble and Bo is sent off to a work farm to make pizzas. And thats all I'm oging to spoil ...more
Sam Legere
this was overall a good book to read it had all the action you could want. rash is about this character named bo marsten who lives in the united safer states of america. his character changes through out the story because of the events because he is a wuss when it comes to deal ling with problems. so when this big problem comes to bo marsten he has to find ways to deal with this big situation, this overall was a verry good book i loved it there was all the action you need and i would recoment th ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bridges English 2...: Rash 1 2 Apr 29, 2014 05:39AM  
Bridges English 2...: Current part 1 1 Apr 15, 2014 06:57AM  
  • The Secret Under My Skin
  • Siberia
  • The Diary of Pelly D
  • The Silenced
  • The Goodness Gene
  • Truancy (Truancy, #1)
  • Born to Rock
  • Firestorm (Caretaker, #1)
  • Floodland
  • Epic (Epic #1)
  • Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083
  • King of Marbury (The Marbury Lens #1.5)
  • A Crack in the Sky
  • Black and White
  • Truesight (Truesight, #1)
  • Bucking the Sarge
  • Brain Jack
  • Double Helix
Pete Hautman is the author of Godless, which won the National Book Award, and many other critically acclaimed books for teens and adults, including Blank Confession, All-In, Rash, No Limit, and Invisible. Mr. Was was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Pete lives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Visit him at
More about Pete Hautman...
Godless Invisible Sweetblood The Big Crunch The Obsidian Blade (The Klaatu Diskos, #1)

Share This Book