Goodhouse: A Novel
Goodhouse is the only home James remembers. James lives in a society that administers genetic tests to lawbreakers and their children. Those who test positive for a specific gene end up in a system of homes, Goodhouses, designed to rehabilitate criminals before they commit a crime. James entered the system when he was three and has been a model student resident since. Then a group of religious extremists who oppose the Goodhouse ideal burns James’s home to the ground with the majority of the residents still inside. James is transferred to a new branch with stricter rules and more medical testing. He meets the lead doctor’s daughter, who pushes him to break the rules and to start asking questions. Is James willing to risk his successful integration into society to help his fellow residents?
Goodhouse will appeal to those who enjoy dystopian dramas for young adults. It has a plausible societal system, intense action scenes, and a quirky love interest. James is a likable protagonist, and the inner workings of Goodhouse are murky enough to keep James—and the reader—interested. There were a few small details that get lost in the chaos, but everything gets sorted out in the end, which sets the stage for the next installment.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux