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3.74  ·  Rating details ·  3,028 Ratings  ·  471 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 knows the
Hardcover, Large Print, 323 pages
Published November 15th 2006 by Thorndike Press (first published June 1st 2006)
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Feb 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, blog
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
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Divertissant, ça se lit. Mais j'ai pas compris l'intérêt du livre... :/
Amit Sarker
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rash is a brilliant piece of literature written by Pete Hautman because it shows what happens in the future and also shows on the behavior of what really does happen in the future. The book is really about a teenager boy named Bo who loves running. He wants to set a school record for the 100 meter dash in sprinting but obviously has other problems. Everything changed in the United States, even the name. Now in 2050 (present time) it is called USSA. Technology and all other health circumstances i ...more
Sep 28, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Aug 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Sofia T. (♥ Dimitri Belikov)
Read for uni!
Jun 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Nathan Togstad
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rash is an amazing book that takes a look at the possible future of the United States and all the weird laws and procedures that people will enact for their own safety. In the year 2070, the United Safer States of America now relies on its massive penal system for the bulk of its work force, public service and and even big corporations are paying the government to use inmates as factory workers. The book follows Bo Marsten and his family that have a large history of violent tendency. With extrem ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Karin Perry for

Picture, if you will, life in the year 2076. You are living in The United Safer States of America and things such as obesity, verbal abuse, and dangerous activities are against the law. The legal driving age is twenty-six. Even sports such as football are illegal. Sports that are allowed are hindered due to all the safety gear the participants are required to wear. This is the world that sixteen-year-old Bo Marsten inhabits.

Bo has inherited a bit of a
Austin Baehnman
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Easton Groskreutz
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Aug 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Drew V
Nov 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rash; The Guide to Finding Yourself

If you were not allowed to eat french fries, own large dogs, or even play your favorite sport how would you react? If your favorite things were outlawed because they were deemed unsafe how would this change your life? In the futuristic society that Bo Marsten lives in, this is the case for him. These limiting laws can really affect a person a lot and for Bo, they do. As society seems to be teaming up against him, Bo starts to question a lot of choices in his li
Logan Erdmann
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Luke Sands
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 3-5-stars
Rash is placed in the United Safer States of America, where everything is safe and nothing is fun. Though it's not so bad for those who grew up  there as they have nothing to compare it with. In the United States today people seem to be so dramatic/worried about everything, this is a world where the government steps in and makes everything safe. With that safety they lose their freedoms, among the now illegal is alcohol, football, forgetting to take your medication, etc.

I instantly connected wit
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 30, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  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
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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)
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Benjamin Conrod
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rash is an exciting book that portrays a somewhat realistic future for life on earth as we know it. I enjoyed Pete Hautman's demonstration of advanced technology. I also agreed with his description of a future government that controls everything. I think that the author showed a brilliant display of numerous rules of a society where everything is safe. This book is didn't appear to be dystopian, though it was set in a future society. I liked how the book included accurate details of prison life, ...more
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
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Bridges English 2...: Rash 1 3 Apr 29, 2014 05:39AM  
Bridges English 2...: Current part 1 1 Apr 15, 2014 06:57AM  
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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...

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