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

Double Helix

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,518 Ratings  ·  274 Reviews
Eighteen-year-old Eli discovers a shocking secret about his life and his family while working for a Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose specialty is genetic engineering.

Kindle Edition, 258 pages
Published (first published March 30th 2004)
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 Double Helix, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Double Helix

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
Dec 09, 2009 booklady rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in bioethics
10 December 2008 update added at the end.

Double Helix by Nancy Werlin is young adult mystery which my daughter handed me recently. The main character, Eli Samuels, a recent high school graduate, is at a crossroads in his life in more ways than one. His mother is completely debilitated and dying of Huntington's disease. He can't afford college but his father vehemently opposes a lucrative job offer with prestigious Wyatt Transgenics by its founder, a legendary molecular biologist. And yet Eli's f
Jan 29, 2011 Angie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen, science-fiction
I can't remember why this got added to my "to read" list, but it did and I can't say it was really worth adding. The main character of Eli is not that likable or sympathetic. His attitude towards his girlfriend is frankly appalling and I can't believe that she ends up taking him back after the way he treats her. His relationship with his parents is also very troubling. His mother has a horrible disease and he just wants her to get on with dying so he can get on with his life and his father can m ...more
Lisa Vegan
Oct 14, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adults & adults who enjoy books by Robin Cook, Michael Palmer, Michael Crichton
This is very similar to books by Robin Cook, Michael Palmer, and Michael Crichton.

Here, three of the main characters: Eli, Viv, Kayla are all young adults.

When I started reading, it seemed like a light version of those author’s books coupled with the fruition of many teenage boy’s fantasies of having a girlfriend who has sex with him regularly.

But I grew to really like the characters, and the science fiction story is a thought provoking one about issues such as medical and scientific ethics,
Apr 19, 2009 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-fi Fans
"Double Helix" is about Eli Samuels who has just graduated as saludictorian as his class. He has a number of problems to deal with - his new job at Wyatt Transgenics that for some reason has his dad angry, his mom who is suffering from Huntington's disease, and his girlfriend Viv who is having trust issues with him. He starts to spend time with a famous scientist named Quincy Wyatt, and through him he finds out dangerous secrets about not only his mom and dad, but he, Eli, himself.

I enjoyed this
Jordan Heidrich
My experience reading Double Helix by Nancy Werlin was very good. The book had a lot of mystery in it which I really enjoy reading. I love the suspense and the plot twists in the book. In the story Eli Samuel's is working at a lab for a famous biologist Dr. Wyatt. There is a strange connection between Eli's parents and Dr. Wyatt that Eli wants to find out. He believes it has to do with his mother who has Huntington's disease. "I was consumed by curiosity… and anxiety. I’d wait all afternoon if I ...more
Pam Miller
Mar 20, 2008 Pam Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book, great twists and turns. Very thought provoking!!
Jack Doherty
May 13, 2010 Jack Doherty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 02, 2011 Cherylann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a fan of science-fiction, which is why I've had this books sitting on my TBR pile for the last 3 1/2 years. But I am a fan of Nancy Werlin, and she didn't let me down with this book. From the little I know of genetics and DNA research, this seems to be heavily based in science and perhaps the future of genetics research. I enjoyed the change in the protagonist as the book progressed. To be honest, I had trouble getting into the book because I really didn't like Eli at first. However, as ...more
I recently finished an interesting and thought-provoking novel for young adults named Double Helix by Nancy Werlin. This mystery/suspense with a touch of sci-fi novel focuses around a young man named Eli Samuels as he is about to graduate from high school. He is a gifted and brilliant young man struggling with family issues- not on speaking terms with his father due to a situation with his mother and a genetic illness that has incapacitated her. Eli is scared to find out if he is carrying the ge ...more
Double Helix
Book review by Tamirah Mallory of Neptune Teen Book Club

Double Helix by Nancy Werlin is about an 18 year old boy named Eli Samuels. Eli has a pretty complex life. On the good side, he’s graduating high school, is a good student, and has a girlfriend who he loves very much. On the bad side, his mother is suffering from an illness called Huntington’s disease, and because of this, he and his father have a rocky relationship. Eli gets a job at the Wyatt Transgenetics led by a famous mo
Joshua Choi
I don't understand why I chose this book to read mainly because I don't even find interest in science. But it doesn't take a scientist to understand what is happening. Nevertheless, I didn't enjoy the book. I'd never find any situations in the book that could keep me from losing interest. The more tense scenes, where the main character, Eli, has a shouting match with his father, were distasteful, as they had only shown the worst sides of both characters. I actually didn't really like Eli in gene ...more
Grant Cousineau
I'll start with the good: It's a cleanly packed, easily read 250-ish pages that keeps a sense of mystery and momentum throughout. Better than that, there are some scenes that test the relationships between Eli and his girlfriend Viv, as well as others with his father, that don't feel overly rushed and hit a lot of intimately painful notes. But to critique: As with most YA books, there's always this strong sense of detachment between the author and the story. Werlin doesn't "love" this story, so ...more
Victor Wright

Victor Wright

Due date: April 17, 2015

Honors Composition

Book Review

Double helix Nancy Werlin a mystery filled book with a little bit of sci fi. The book starts of with a boy named Eli who is tall smart and athletic. He decides to get a job at Wyatt’s transgressions but his does not like Dr. Wyatt and Eli does not know this. When he works there he gains a little relationship with him and went over his house one day. While there he meets a girl named Kayla and he stays there a long time. He
Sep 09, 2014 Crumb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alright, well, there was nothing inherently wrong with Double Helix, but it didn't quite grip me at any point. Part of that is my fault, part of that is Werlin's fault.

The thing is, I was recommended this based on my interest in mystery. It was shelved as mystery in my library, and it even has mystery as a main tag here on Goodreads. It also has 'suspense' and 'thriller' tags. To me, there was very little mystery, and virtually no suspense or thrills.

Was it well written? Yeah, I guess. It wasn't
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is one of the first times I have ever read a novel by Nancy Werlin. I found the beginning to be kind of boring so it took me awhile to actually get into the part of the book where I didn't want to put it down. It's about this boy named Eli who wanted to work in a place known as Wyatt Transgencies. Eventually he did get hired by the owner of it named Dr. Wyatt he was a molecular biologist. Eli wanted this job because to him it seemed like it was very interesting, he didn't really care about ...more
Cheyenne Redcay
Mar 19, 2014 Cheyenne Redcay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elijah Reese
Feb 27, 2015 Elijah Reese rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Double Helix by Nancy Werlin,is a science fiction novel about a 18 year old kid named Eli Samuels . Through out the story Eli has a lot of unanswered questions, that he is determined to find answers to. Eli's mother is on her death bed and soon will be dead, due to huntington's disease. Eli and his ill mother are now very distant to her illness. Eli and his father don't seem to have a good relationship due to trust issues. Vivian Eli's girlfriend has been nothing but supportive and inquisitive a ...more
Jul 05, 2014 Luisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: older-teens
Werlin's Double Helix begins as the story of Eli Samuels, a young man working (literally) to overcome the tragedy he and his father face after having to hospitalize his mother after her mental state deteriorated due to Huntington's disease. Though academically accomplished in high school, Eli decided to take the year after graduation off to work and is surprised when Dr. Quincy Wyatt, the legendary molecular biologist, offers him a job in the lab at Wyatt Transgenics. Eli's surprised at his fath ...more
Barbara Gregorich
Apr 20, 2015 Barbara Gregorich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This is a smoothly written, well-paced story about Eli Samuels, an 18-year-old high school graduate who gets a summer job in a transgenics lab in the Boston-Cambridge area. Eli's mother has Huntington's disease, and Eli fears he may have the same genetic marker, even though his father assures him he doesn't and urges him to get tested now that he's of legal age to do so.

Throughout the story there's an intense conflict between Eli and his father over whether Dr. Wyatt of Wyatt Transgenics is a go
Dylan Williams
Double Helix Book Review
By Dylan Williams

I felt that this book was decent in the interesting category and i gave it 3 points. The reason why i only gave it three is because it was kinda confusing with all the genetics and science involved. The characters were alright but i never really got attached to them. An example of a point where the plot was a little confusing is a letter from the lead scientist, Dr. Wyatt , to the main character Eli. In the letter he explains how Eli’s test for Hunting
Diana Lopez
It was a good book but complex on some parts but it was balanced out because the plot was pretty concise. I loved the awkward twist and it was really creepy with the Kayla thing. It was a good science fiction novel and it can be Interpreted as a message to scientists to not get to caught up with scientific discoveries.
Jan 14, 2016 Owen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I wasn't a huge fan of this book.It was very hard to get into and sometimes it felt kind of like a chore to read. Other times it was very informational and interesting like when they were experimenting with DNA and they were trying to find the structure and the makeup. It was also interesting all they had to go through just to perform the experiments. Going to colleges like Oxford and labs throughout the area. I also feel like the plot development was pretty slow, so for the first half ...more
Once I finished Double Helix by Nancy Werlin, I did end up liking it. The book was about a young adult named Eli who started working at Wyatt Transgenics, a place involving people studying genetics in attempt to improve the nature of the human body. However, in this job, he discovers the horrifying truth of his DNA. Seems interesting, right? Well, the first 200 pages or so was just a bunch of nonsense plot with no purpose or destination, but when it finally gets exciting, the story ends just l ...more
MariAnn Field
Nov 18, 2015 MariAnn Field rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit-13-25
This book follows Eli Samuels, a recent high school graduate, who is ready to be out on his own and live life. He ends up getting a job working at Wyatt Transgenics, which is a company that works on genetics research. While working there he finds out that the head of the company, Dr. Wyatt, has an unfavorable past with his parents. Discovering the secrets of this feud, Eli learns secrets about himself.

This novel was griping from start to finish. I wasn't sure that I wanted to put it down. The my
Michelle Hendricks
I was sick today and spent the day with this good book as my distraction. I liked the topic, having just watched all 10 episodes of BBC's Orphan Black back to back. Genes are a complicated topic and I'm sure I read an entertaining whitewashed version, but I enjoyed it anyway!
Caley Leggate
This book is written in first person perspective. It takes place in the past ten years, in a medium sized city.
Eli Samuels is a very talented young man. He's an amazing athlete (even though he won't play for a team), and he's smart enough to figure out how to let his girlfriend Vivian be valedictorian instead of himself (so he could be salutatorian). Eli is very interested in science, especially genetics. After he graduates he applies for a job at Wyatt Transgenic's, because it is such a well kn
Danielle Eliopulos
Double Helix, by: Nancy Werlin was an amazing adventure of the life of a boy named Eli Samuels, whose mother has a disease called Huntington’s disease. Towards the beginning of the book, Dr. Wyatt (a very famous scientist) offered Eli a job. When he accepts it, he finds out that Dr. Wyatt had an interesting past with Eli’s parents. He goes through a series of events to find out what that past was.
I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a realistic adventure that’s intertwined with loads
Dec 16, 2014 Daniela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lost-interest
I really really wanted to make this book work. But his initial devotion for his girlfriend or whatever he's got going on, totally ruined my hopes of getting anywhere past chapter 5. I don't understand why he even has to downgrade himself for her, I also love how he has been dating her for like what, a year?! And not once did she meet his parents. I'm sorry! But look here, you have a mother with a mental disability not a serial killer! how are you ashamed to explain that to supposedly "love of yo ...more
Melissa Rose
This book was cute, but super annoying in how it kept hinting at things, but took forever to reveal them.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Join in the discussions! 1 9 Apr 29, 2009 09:51AM  
Young Adult Book ...: * Liked it, Hated it? (spoilers) 21 43 Nov 16, 2008 09:30AM  
Young Adult Book ...: Morals and Ethics (spoilers) 7 32 Oct 25, 2008 08:35PM  
Young Adult Book ...: Book Status (no spoilers) 18 37 Oct 25, 2008 03:49PM  
Young Adult Book ...: Secrets (spoilers) 6 30 Oct 25, 2008 03:48PM  
  • Fake ID (Hunted, #1)
  • Truesight (Truesight, #1)
  • The Diary of Pelly D
  • Acceleration
  • Reality Check
  • The Christopher Killer (Forensic Mysteries, #1)
  • The Last Universe
  • Invisible
  • Finding Lubchenko (Lubchenko, #1)
  • Unforgettable
  • Streams of Babel (Streams of Babel, #1)
  • Daniel Half Human: And the Good Nazi
  • The Ravening (Blood Moon, #3)
  • Nothing to Lose
  • The Gospel According to Larry (Gospel According to Larry, #1)
  • The Goodness Gene
  • Breath
  • Takeoffs and Landings
Nancy Werlin writes young adult fiction: New York Times–bestselling fantasy, Edgar-award winning suspense, and National Book Award-honored realistic novels.

Nancy's newest book is UNTHINKABLE, the sequel to IMPOSSIBLE and EXTRAORDINARY.
More about Nancy Werlin...

Share This Book