Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Double Helix by Nancy Werlin

  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (May 5, 2005)
  • ISBN-10: 014240327X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142403273
  • I finished this on Mar. 27
What I really wanted was a new David Levithan book, but they were not to be had by the likes of me, so I got this instead. But I must admit, it was pretty pleasing.
Here's the rub: young Eli's mother is dying of mysterious Huntington's Disease and the truth is, he may have it too. There are a lot of secrets in his family's past and his father, the only person he has to talk to about it, isn't being very forthcoming. So far, Eli has managed to keep all of this a secret from his girlfriend, Viv. But, Eli gets a job working as a lab tech for Wyatt Transgencies (this story's evil corporation) and things pretty much go downhill from there. His dad is furious, Viv is mad he won't be honest with her, and it's clear that Mr. Wyatt is hiding something from him.
A great deal of the plot deals with some pretty involved scientific stuff. Any book that can make me feel like a genius geneticist in 252 pages has to have done something right. Werlin explains it just right so that I can understand, and believe that an 18 year old boy is telling me.
This was a quick read and a pretty fast paced plot. I liked Eli's narration and was relatively invested in his story. There was a lot of build up here for about 30 pages of payoff at the end. It was worthwhile though, I was pleased with the ending.
I feel that a book can be measured by how much I am compelled to talk to the book while I read it. Now you know my secret - I talk to the books. Actually, I'm talking to myself, or occasionally a cat (the cats love to snuggle while I'm reading). Either way, I feel that there is a direct relationship between how much I'm enjoying a book and how much I'm vocalizing while reading it ( I talked a lot during Boy Meets Boy and Stardust). Towards the end I was philosophizing with the cats about my theories of what would happen. FYI: my guess was totally wrong. Ms. Werlin's ending was way better than what I was cooking up.
Nancy Werlin is an award winning young adult author and has written a bunch of books. They all seem to be crime-mystery type deals. Her website claims that her speaking fee is an insane $2500 ( I would like to note that no one ever pays me to talk, in fact, I occasionally think people might pay me to shut me up).

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