Friday, January 17, 2014

Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Release date: January 28, 2014
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
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.
Uninvited is definitely an interesting and surprising read. On one hand, it's fast-paced and thrilling, with well-done fight scenes and an easily recognized world. On the other, it deals with the premise of a genetic syndrome that foretells murderers in a surprisingly nuanced way. Clearly, my hands agree that Uninvited is a n entertaining, can't-miss novel that takes the reader in unexpected and thought-provoking directions.

Davy is a golden girl. A musical prodigy who has been accepted into Julliard, Davy is dating the best-looking boy in school and knows the other girls envy her for it. Everything is going right for her. Until she gets the news that she has the "kill gene". Immediately, Davy is removed from her elite school, her acceptance into Julliard is rescinded, and every one of her friends has abandoned her. Davy has to navigate her new life as a carrier without friends or a future. But even as she grudgingly begins to accept her new life, the public is beginning an uproar about the carriers, leading the government to make drastic changes to the lives of all carriers.

What you expect from this novel is Davy's story, straightforward and easily digestible. What you get from this novel is Davy's story, conflicted and emotional. You expect action (and you get action!) but you also get Davy's crisis of what to believe. At the beginning, Davy's position on the carriers is just like the rest of the public's. No one without the gene sees them as human beings anymore. No one sees their side. But with the knowledge that she has this gene, Davy has to reconcile what she believes with who she knows herself to be. Do you believe the word of science and the government, or do you trust yourself? Are you a killer because that's how you are born, or are you a killer because circumstances have led you to it? These are the questions that fuel this novel, and they're not answered.

Even while I was pondering deep questions, I was also deeply entertained. Uninvited is a novel you won't want to put down while you're reading. The pace is such that each chapter will pull you in and you'll keep telling yourself, "Just one more," until you've finished. And then you'll sit for the next hour pondering. The romance is natural and makes sense, not to mention Sean is an fascinating love interest. He's tough so Davy can be soft; he's ready to take action so Davy can think things through.

The only thing that didn't sit with me was that Davy seemed to get out of each and every one of her sticky situations just a bit too easily. Either she managed something lucky, or someone came to save her. It didn't feel like the stakes were high enough in these instances because I could expect no consequences.

Nonetheless, Uninvited is a surprising book that could have been a soulless action piece but instead is fodder for discussion and consideration. With characters that make you pull for them and a world that is all-too plausible, this is a novel you won't want to miss.

About the author:

Sophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she's also the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avon historical romances. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she's not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes and Diet cherry Coke preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-TV shows. Sophie also writes paranormal romances under the name Sharie Kohler. 

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