Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Book Review: Uninvited

Published By: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Page Count: 384
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Science Fiction, Dystopian

I loved Uninvited, so so much. It was just as good as the Firelight trilogy, also by Sophie Jordan, and it was completely compelling. I have found myself thinking about the questions it raised long after I finished reading.

Uninvited is the story of Davy, the girl who has it all and loses it. One day she is the girl everyone envies, and the next she is a social outcast with virtually no rights and her bright future implodes. The cause? The results of a compulsory DNA test, which confirm she has the ‘kill gene’. She may never have even so much as swatted a fly, but because her DNA has a particular pattern of bases, she is ‘uninvited’ from school, her place at Julliard evaporates, and she is dumped by everyone she thought she could rely upon.

It was fascinating how Davy learned to cope with her new outcast status and how she has to adapt to being a complete undesirable. She doesn’t adapt fast enough though and finds out the hard way that no one really cares what happens to her now, and even though she is the same person as she always was, some people would prefer that she dies because she is now a horrifying threat. Even her family start to pull away, with the exception of her brother, and his impotent rage about her situation.

What I found the most thought provoking about Uninvited were the small snippets of emails, interviews and conversations that precede each chapter. They reflect the larger picture, and showed how the political situation and social fear of people like Davy was evolving. It was chilling how easy it was to predict the changes that would affect Davy, and cut down her life choices to the point where she had none. To me, it echoed the kind of fear and social unrest of the beginnings of the Holocaust – which makes this an insightful and appropriate choice for a young history student to read.

I also found myself thinking a lot about Nature vs. Nurture; if left uninformed about her ‘kill gene’, Davy would have likely carried on with her life and possibly never even thought about being violent. But with the social pressure heaped upon her by the revelations of her genetics, would that cause her to become the monster they all think she is capable of being? By taking away her choices, and leaving her with a steady descent into a hellish existence, is she more likely to act violently? Wouldn’t we all? And does a simple slap become a horrific assault because she has the apparent potential to be a killer, when to anyone without those genes, a slap is just a slap... really interesting stuff.

I found myself highlighting a lot of this book while reading, so I could come back and think about it later. I am really impressed by it. Uninvited is as entertaining as it is intelligent, and there are healthy doses of romance too – all this adds up to make a fantastic book, which I will be recommending for a long time to come.

The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer. 

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone. 

 Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly. 

 The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.


  1. Didn't realize this was so deep and thought-provoking. I'm looking forward to reading it. Excellent review!

    1. I didn't expect it to be AS thought provoking as it was - a great find!! Enjoy reading it! :D

  2. OOoh nice review! I am looking forward to this one myself! When I read the cover description I could easily tell that the Nature vs Nurture debate would be present! Which is an interesting theory in itself. I sometimes think it can go both ways, each case is always different and should be treated as such. But you bring up a good point that if Davy never knew she had this gene, then she'd likely go on living as a respectable citizen!

    Anyway, with that little psychological comment/chat out of the way...great review! Glad to see another fan of the Firelight trilogy as some of the reviews I've previously read on this one were not fans of that trilogy. I enjoyed it myself too. So yay! Again, great review! Can't wait to read this!

    1. Oh I could chat on this one for a while! I love everything about it - and especially the cover!! I have pre-ordered a hardback of this for the special shelf!

      Thanks for the comment and enjoy the book!

  3. I cannot wait to read this book!

    1. I can't wait for MORE!!! (This is always the problem with reading books as they come out!)

  4. I judge books based on their covers and this cover didn't interest me. I'm glad I read your review though. It does sound interesting but I guess I'll have to see what other people say too before I make up my mind.

  5. I have always been able to trust Jen's recommendations. After this review, I'm definitely going to be reading this. Excellent review Jen!!

  6. It's such great news that you enjoyed this one! I've been anticipating it for a while. The premise is utterly fascinating!

  7. Wow, this sounds SO awesome!

  8. I LOVE It when an author creates a world that has awesome characters and a unique plot but with issues about ethics and morals that we must think about as well!

    I love how we get to see her go from a popular happy girl to a mess and how she deals with it, and I love how we get the science part of genetics and how important it is versus how social influences affect behavior.

    Lovely review :)

  9. Oh wow, sounds like an amazing premise for a story! I always find it fascinating to consider nature vs. nurture, so I think I'd love this book too.

  10. This sounds amazing! It's right up my alley since I have a BA in psychology and biology. Thanks for the great review!


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