Read The Goodness Gene by Sonia Levitin Online


From the author of The Cure comes another futuristic fable that raises fascinating questions about whether human behavior is determined by DNA, by upbringing, or by a higher power....

Title : The Goodness Gene
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780525473978
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Goodness Gene Reviews

  • Raina
    2019-05-24 04:04

    How much can you trust the government? How much power should you give them? How does one define “best interest”? Levitin’s book makes the reader think about issues such as these. It is set in a future-world where the locations in the former United States have been renamed, and all the inhabitants follow (nee worship) the Compassionate Director who has lead them out of the dark times. Everything is high tech. People live in personal pods and hardly ever interact. Procreation is done by scientists in labs – actual sex is looked at as archaic and barbaric. Will is one of a pair of twin sons of the Compassionate Director, just about to leave his educational phase and become a part of the government. But before he starts his new position, he is sent on a trip to a far corner of the Dominion. And everything changes.Levitin does an excellent job of incorporating complex current issues into a fantastical setting. Although the writing is not as compelling as other high quality offerings in the genre, the title is thought-provoking and enticing. Unfortunately, the cover is not as appealing as it should be with the high impact content of the book. However this would be a solid addition to any high school or middle school collection.

  • C.
    2019-05-13 02:26

    Personally, I disliked this book. But to be fair, it is a pretty good book. It's probably just me. Here's the basic gist. (no spoilers)Will, the main character in this story, is the son of the Compassionate Director, leader (that is, tyrant) of the Domion of Americas, the "perfect world" set in the future. He grows up adoring the father and worshiping the system that he lives in. But of course, things change . . . Here's why I don't like the book: a) Overall, the writer did a pretty good job on the internal struggle of the character (Will). But I felt that she messed up near the end. Will had to make an extremely difficult dicision, but in the book, we saw none of his struggle. It was just "Like it or not, I've got to do this." That's fine, but I wanted to see some emotion. I wanted to see "I've got to do this, but why, oh why me?" Or "If only . . . " or something. I wanted to see some of his thoughts, some of his feelings about what he had to do. That kinda disappointed me. But overall, the writer did a pretty good job. b) In the afterword, the writer said something like she hoped that the book may stir up some thoughts, about technology, genetics and cloning. Cloning does play a part in the story, but I have to say that it is far from thought-provoking. Levitin did not give us much info about it. She didn’t tell us “the pros and cons.” She did not delve into all the moral issues surrounding it. She just told us a story, a pretty good one, but that’s all it is. A story. c) Most people would probably just laugh off this point, but the main reason I disliked the book was because I found the blatantly tyrannical world, and the extremely idiotic people populating it to be sickening. I know that Levitin wanted us to think about tyranny and democracy. But after the first twenty pages, I put the book down. “Can I actually read this?” I asked myself. Will’s complete adoration of his father, and the ridiculous values!! they were sickening. The ending of Hayli’s Creed was basically “We live to serve and to please the Compassionate Director.” I know the writer wants to make a point, but the world she wrote of was just too horrible. I’ve read several books set in the “perfect world” ruled by tyranny. But at least in those books the main character suspected something; they knew something was wrong; they tried to figure out what it was, they fought. Will didn’t even suspect anything till half way through the book. It was depressing. I finally continued reading, purely for the reason of seeing someone topple the system in the end. If no one did, I swear, I’d throw the book out the window. Okay, I’m done complaining now. I personally did not like the book, but it had its merits. The story itself was all right, I’m sure there are those who would like it.

  • Alienne
    2019-05-21 02:29

    Just finished this book, and I have mixed feelings about it. On the upside, the idea of the book was very interesting and the pace was good-once I got to a certain point, I couldn't put it down.Downside: I was really irritated with the ending. I felt like, hasn't this kid been through enough? First he finds out he's a clone. Then he finds out he's a clone of the most despicable human being ever to exist. Then his brother gets dementia or whatever it was explained as. THEN he finds out his father, who he'd loved and looked up to all his life, is an evil scumbag who wants to harvest his body. I was really hoping for him to have a happy ending with Leora, so his death saddened me. It was also kind of irritating as well-I felt like the author didn't really care about her own character.I would've liked to see a bit more detail concerning the world's reaction after Hayli's death, but that probably would have messed with the flow, so I suppose that's a matter of personal taste.All in all, I enjoyed reading this book. Probably would've given it 5 stars, were it not for the ending.

  • Brenna
    2019-05-17 00:04

    This book is a very futuristic look at the modern world's addiction to electronics. I thought an excessive amount of people died in the book, but that aspect of the book emphasized the seriousness of the theme.

  • Jan
    2019-04-26 07:28

    Took quite awhile to read this. I did enjoy it and the ending was realistic.

  • Paige
    2019-05-21 08:05

    This definitely read like an older dystopian novel to me, with a lot of the elements you tend to find in today’s dystopian novels glanced over or not mentioned at all. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I wish I could have gotten a little more in-depth with the destruction of the former world and the “collapse” that happened before The Goodness was what everyone believed in. I know it wasn’t absolutely crucial to the story, but I’m curious all the same.The world-building, too, left a little to be desired. I know it’s America, and they definitely name-drop with states and such as we go so we can get somewhat of an idea where Will is, but something about their world was missing. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it as I read, but their whole world definitely seemed much more fabricated. There wasn’t a whole lot to explain what was going on in Will’s world, aside from the constant mention of the Symsex. (Which, yeah, was kind of annoying after a while. It’s really a bigger centerpiece to a lot of the story than it needed to be, the idea of sex on a whole. Then again, this is about genetics, so maybe it was necessary after all. It still rubbed me the wrong way on occasion.)My final issue was with the ending. It was so… brushed off, for lack of a better set of words at the moment. I wanted more. I was wholly unsatisfied with the prologue, and that’s what almost knocked this book down to a tw0-star rating for me. In the end, it retained the three stars, but only because the idea behind the book fascinated me so much.

  • Joan
    2019-05-06 00:29

    Will and Berk, twin sons of Hayli, the Compassionate Director of the Dominion of the Americas, are sent on separate missions as new government interns. Their father is the founder of The Goodness, a movement to save humanity in the aftermath of environmental disaster following nuclear catastrophe and a plague, and they are seeing the program in action among the people as they prepare to become the Director’s successors. However, Will soon discovers the imperfectness of The Goodness, the dictatorship of his father, and the truth surrounding his own life. What will this mean for his future, for his own continued existence in a world where the euthanasia of Compassionate Removal holds sway?Readers in grades six through ten may find slow pace of this young adult story discouraging, but plot twists and a resolute, albeit predictable conclusion, is both moving and compelling, giving readers much to ponder in the human, medical, and environmental issues related in the narrative.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-17 03:16

    Will is the son of the Compassionate Director of the world, Hayli. He lives in a futuristic society where every aspect of life is controlled, including food, sleep, learning, and pleasure. The Goodness Gene follows Will’s exposure and reaction to the realities of the dictatorial world in which they live. He sees what life is like outside of his own controlled environment and learns the frightening truth about his own background. When confronted with reality, he must decide whether he will go along with the propaganda or not.Levitin sets for the reader a vivid and frightening world of control and destruction. While the scenarios presented in the book that deal with issues such as euthanasia, cloning, and genocide might seem extreme, those same issues are present in society today. The Goodness Gene can provoke discussion about these serious topics and provide a thrilling story to give a picture of what could be.

  • Savannah
    2019-05-07 03:18

    These are the kinds of books I like reading. I find interest in books that the author expresses his/her opinion in how the government will change in the future. Or where they think its leading to. In this book the author found her point in seeing all the homeless people or invisible people. Because nobody wants to see them so they don't. Well this book can show how far the government can go to control people's lives and they don't even know it. Sometimes being the safest and cleanest you can be is not always good. Just imagine if you couldn't have a pet, nobody has a pet because there is pretty much no animals where you live. Or even in your state(district in the book) Everything you ate wasn't grown it was synthetic and made for specific things like high energy and it is all made in labs. The world can be changed by a small group of people when everything crashes.

  • Librariann
    2019-04-29 02:15

    Sixteen year old Will is the son of the Compassionate Director - ruler of the Americas under a principle called The Goodness - and along with his twin brother, Berk, has been groomed to follow in his father's footsteps. Washolina, where Will lives and goes to school with the rest of the Status Ones, is a sterile, impersonal place. Food is all synthetic, and even sex has been replaced with simulations that produce a similar euphoria. When he meets Leora, an exceptionally bright Status Two girl on scholarship from the colonies, his life starts to change, and he wonders if The Goodness is right for everyone after all. Compelling and fast-paced! (I only noticed one typo, where the question of where Keira goes to school is asked twice by the same character) Readalikes: House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, Double Helix by Nancy Werlin

  • Samantha
    2019-04-25 08:34

    I cannot understand my sudden attraction to all things sci-fi, but this book made it clear that the attraction is there. This book scared me to death, but also opened up my eyes to what the world would be like if Hitler, Stalin, or any other vicious tyrants like them had won. The whole message Ms. Levitin was trying to convey, I believe, is what human beings are capable of doing, both for evil and good, and what others are doing to fight those powers.This is not like any other futuristic, sci-fi book you will read. Many books like that focus on environmental consequenses, technology booms, ect. Yes, this story touches on those topics, but it is mostly about a world that none of us wants to imagine. This involves all powerful tyrants and rulers, not campaining to be "Ruler of the World", but

  • Jane
    2019-05-15 03:28

    A teen Sci Fi novel of the ilk of Brave New World. Hero, Will has been raised in The Goodness way as the son of Hayli, the Compassionate Director of the Dominions of the Americas. He has been raised in a society in which most aspects of social and personal life are dictated and controlled by elite few Status Ones, who know what is best for the inferior masses. When Will is given a assignment to oversee and report on a Compassionate Removal of Abs, he begins to suspect that he has been duped and lied to about society and even about his own birth. Will struggles will the question, Is his future determined by his genetics and his upbringing, or does he have a soul, is he unique being who can choose his own ethical compassionate way. I would recommend for those who enjoy dystopia novels and stories related to genetics, cloning, and medical technology.

  • Irisjade
    2019-05-17 08:31

    I had read her book, The Cure. P.S. When you find a book you like, don't read the author's PREVIOUS stories unless that's all they have. Because, usually, when an author comes out with a bestseller, chances are, the books they wrote before that hit far below par. This, is a great example. The Goodness Gene had a few surprises and moral lessons and decisions for us to think about, but it is difficult for me to accept a story's lessons or messages when the writing itself is this childish. I wrote stories like this at the age of twelve, not exaggerating. The language and the way the author described the future was pitiful, and I really didn't enjoy this book. Sorry, but sometimes authors have to put out a few stinkers before they can dig up the good stuff.

  • Michael Wing
    2019-05-23 00:18

    So far, I like the sci-fi and am strongly reminded of "Brave New World." Finished, and liked it well enough. The social issues, such as cloning, genetic engineering, and government control of personal values strike a modern note. Teenagers will certainly be attracted to that level of thinking, I hope. Levitin creates the protagonist Will in the image of strong advocate for control and slowly lets him discover a new way with The Resistance. By novel's end, he is a rebel in the middle of a surprise ending. A student gave me a copy of "Hunger Games" this spring. He would like this novel, especially the way Levitin complicates the plot and exposes the soul searching and suffering by Will. Post-apocalyptic lit is one of my favorite themes, and I will recommend this to juniors and seniors.

  • Jillygyrl
    2019-05-18 06:04

    I'm not much of a science fiction reader, but this book makes me want to change that. It takes you on a journey through the future after the gene pool was cleansed. People are ranked by how smart they are, and not much else. When the main character meets a girl who just got bumped up a grouping his opinion on that starts to change. She eats food that was grown, not made and she was born, not from a test tube like everyone else. With all these drawbacks she still tests just as well as everyone else. It took me a while to understand, but it was worth it.

  • Jill
    2019-05-20 08:30

    Pretty run-of-the-mill, formulaic sort of post-apocalyptic teen book. For all that, it's not bad. It's just not in my top 20, and it's a little simple for most adults. I say this because the main character lacks much subtlety, and his development is somewhat sudden, not nuanced and full of grey space like some great characters I've read. But teens who are just getting into the post-apocalyptic genre will probably enjoy this (and possibly those interested in the holocaust), as it has all the requisite elements.

  • Colin
    2019-05-22 06:23

    I'd give this 3.5 stars, I think. I really liked the ideas in it, but didn't find the characters completely compelling. The main character seemed far too quick to change his viewpoint considering his brainwashed, priviliged, isolated upbringing, and I didn't feel like I got enough of an internal sense of the main girl character as she was seen through his eyes rather than her own. Very sharp critique of genetic engineering, ableism, the nature of power. It reminded me ofThe Giver . I'd like to hear what other friends think of this.

  • Susan Emmet
    2019-04-27 02:19

    A fine, tightly written, and provocative YAL novel. Will, a twin to Berk, both sons of Hayli, the Compassionate Director of the Dominion of the Americas, discovers the horrible secret of his life and birth with the help of Leora. What appears to be happening just ain't what is! Makes me want to reread Brave New World and a host of other books I once "used" with students. So much to ponder about truth, lies, the nature of perception and awareness... Might want to pair this with Yann Martel's Beatrice and Virgil? Intriguing links.

  • Allify
    2019-04-28 00:29

    Interesting post-apocalyptic book exploring what parts genes and upbringing play in how a person turns out.Spoilers: The goodness gene for which the book is named is not explicitly explored in depth. It is, instead, shown in the way this boy's life unfolds after he discovers who he really is.I didn't care for the style of writing, but still enjoyed reading this book all the same. The ending was sad, yet still somehow hopeful.

  • Ruby
    2019-05-14 05:18

    I like the futuristic, mechanical concept of this novel. The story shows us how unnatural the world can turn out to be, and a goodness gene that could possibly be plugged into everyone, guaranteeing success for everyone. Reading this makes me think how pure life is now, and how everyone is lucky to have their own freedom.

  • Tori
    2019-05-24 05:26

    2008- A strange dystopian view of the future drives this YA novel about Will and Berk, a set of ""twins"" who are the sons of the Compassionate Director of the Dominion of the Americas in 2305. Overall, I guess I was expecting more from this book. Lots of times the pacing felt jumpy and like things were just thrown in for the heck of it. Not recommended.

  • Rebecca
    2019-05-23 04:06

    As son of the Compassionate Director of the Dominion of the Americas, Will, along with this twin brother, Berk, has been groomed for leadership in a society that values genetic fitness but he encounters information which causes him to question that society as well as his own identity.This is a very good book. (This is a review I made on an index card several years ago.)

  • Glynis
    2019-05-12 01:06

    I enjoyed the book until the very end. I was expecting the main character to overcome and shine with the "happy ending" (to a certain degree) that one always hope for. If you don't care about getting a somewhat predictible but happy ending, then go ahead and read it!

  • Marya
    2019-05-07 04:06

    An interesting concept and a decent execution. I liked how the narrator's point of view slowly shifts as he gradually becomes aware of the difference between ideals and reality (and how tptd manipulate the line between the two).

  • Mary Ann
    2019-05-04 08:16

    What an interesting take on cloning and free choice of the soul. I enjoyed other of Sonia Levitin's books before and this did not disappoint. Our choices do determine who we are and become! A powerful story.

  • Lark
    2019-05-21 00:06

    Lots of fun futuristic details - dystopia, chemical food, DNA clones, and an interesting story line.Although written for young adults, no love triangles (I LOVE no love triangles) and obligatory romance was not overdone.Nice finale and epilogue. -And- it's not part of a 3 book series.

  • Regina Durst
    2019-05-09 07:23

    I liked this because the main character truly believes that there's nothing wrong with his society. I love these little "perfect world" books, but at the same time, this didn't seem to hit it just right. I felt like there's a lot more potential to this than really came out.

  • Becky
    2019-04-24 07:30

    Another great read that will really make you think. I couldn't put it down and had to read straight through to the end. Again, it's a young adult book, but I would say adults would get even more out of it. Simply stunning. Very few books impact me the way this one did.

  • Ivie
    2019-05-11 02:14

    I cannot stand how utterly fiction it is! I know its supposed to be fictitious, but its not even possible for a world like that to exist!! No animals? No human contact?? AP bio has gotten too stuck in my head for me to fully enjoy this book

  • Ms. K-M
    2019-05-20 01:24

    Set to replace Hayli, he Compassionate Director of the Dominion of the Americas, Will and his brother Berk live a tightly controlled life. But when Will gets sick his DNA reveals a truth about himself and Berk that will forever change the trajectory of their lives.