ARC Book Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Posted January 23, 2014 by Debby in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Book Review: Uninvited by Sophie JordanUninvited by Sophie Jordan
Series: Uninvited #1
Published by HarperTeen on January 28th, 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

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.

4 Stars

While it may seem like the young adult dystopian genre is being inundated, I still keep reading them, hoping to find something fresh. And Uninvited definitely delivered on that front. It was a chilling and thrilling world, a future I could see the realism of, and it even put a ship on my ship list. With stories like this, there is still hope left for the genre.

What got me hooked on this book is precisely the premise: a world where they have found a “kill” gene, Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (or HTS). People are tested for this gene, and if they test positive, they’re basically assured of a crappy life. Our main character, Davy, immediately gets kicked out of her private school and is forced to go to public school when she’s discovered to have it. But the gene doesn’t mean she’s actually dangerous. Right now she’s normal. But apparently, those with the gene are likely to “snap” one day and become murderers. It’s understandable that when this has been proven by science, people are terrified of people like her. She is marked so people immediately know exactly what she is. Her friends and boyfriend desert her. Within a day, her entire life is changed.

With so much violence and terror in the news lately, with the latest school and mall shootings, it’s not hard to imagine that if this gene did exist, this would be the state of our world. So honestly, I absolutely love it. The fear in the normal people, the segregation of the HTS positive people, and the rapidly escalating governmental policies just made sense and painted the picture of a horrifying world that could happen. As far as premises go, this is probably one of my favorite dystopias I’ve read.

Davy’s circumstances made her really endearing to me. She won’t be on my list of favorite characters, but I was just overwhelmed with sympathy. I really liked seeing her cope with all of it – it was very realistic. She doesn’t really stand out much personality-wise, but I felt really involved in her story. It was harsh, and she was confronted with a cold reality. She was left being unable to trust almost anyone, and she started getting suspicious looks from everyone. Ugh, I just. So many emotions. And while I loved this emotional, psychological aspect of the book, I felt there was plenty of action as well to keep the plot going – particularly in the latter half of the book.

I really loved seeing the relationship between Davy and Sean develop. He seems dangerous at first, but really he has a heart of gold. He’s fiercely protective of his friends and family and doesn’t care if he’s misunderstood by others. Honestly, that will almost always do it for me. That is so attractive. I only felt like the end was a bit odd. I felt like Sean basically overnight decided to shed his mask of “toughness” and he became too sweet. I dunno. Lots of people would probably love it and defend it – he finally felt close enough to Davy to show his true self – but it felt off for me. And it made the romance get less irresistible and a bit too …sappy.

Ultimately, I’m sad that this is a series, because we barely scratched the surface in this book. While I enjoyed the story, I haven’t seen enough of the world. And I can’t see them potentially bringing down the regime. I mean, this could be a good thing, because it promises an original and unexpected story, but it didn’t evoke a MUST HAVE THE SEQUEL NOW PLEASE vibe. Though I will be checking that out anyway. Wow, this whole paragraph is useless. I DUNNO. I KIND OF JUST WISH THAT THIS BOOK WAS LONGER AND THAT THERE WAS A CLEAR SIGN OF A REBELLION GOING TO HAPPEN AND THAT I GOT TO KNOW EVEN MORE ABOUT THE WORLD. Okay? *pouts*

Summing Up:

Uninvited was a majorly pleasant surprise. It sounded interesting from the start, make no mistake, but I loved the premise so much. This is a world I could endlessly read about, because the social repercussions of this kind of dystopia are so interesting to explore. The romance was great and the plot left me wanting more. While I feel like certain parts of this could have been better or more impressive, I can’t wait to check out the sequel! But alas, I must.

GIF it to me straight!


Recommended To:

Fans of realistic dystopias involving social repercussions and politics.

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9 responses to “ARC Book Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

  1. So excited that I preordered this one! I can’t wait till I get to read my dystopian quota, and even more since this will be a different and fresh take on the genre!

  2. I feel the same way, I keep reading dystopian hoping for something new and fresh and it sounds like this one actually was so I’m excited about it. The premise definitely intrigues me and I’m glad you ended up enjoying it. I’ll have to see how I feel about Sean’s change to lovey-dovey guy, but that also sounds a bit different from the norm, so maybe that’s a good thing. Great review!

    • Haha, yeah, at least Sean wasn’t hot and cold from the start or anything. I mean, I’ve definitely had worse romances. I guess if I had to compare it to anything – it kind of reminded me of Perry and Aria in Under the Never Sky. I had the same thing, I really liked their dynamic at the beginning, but then they were in love and my interest waned because of the change in Perry’s personality (albeit a slight one).

  3. I’m reading it. And… just no. Davy is the typical-perfect girl, honestly I can’t believe that she’s a carrier of the HTS gene, when she can’t even kill a fly.
    Maybe after reading “The book thief” my expectations were too high 🙁

    Anyway… Great review!

    • I hate to say it, but I think you’re missing the entire point of the book. Yeah, she doesn’t seem homicidal – that’s exactly what makes the whole concept of HTS suspicious. Besides it’s a test for homicidal TENDENCY syndrome. Neither the positive nor the negative cases are 100% accurate, which I believe they make quite clear in the book. Just because she tested positive doesn’t mean she’ll actually kill someone, and that’s exactly what makes the book interesting.

      Sorry it didn’t work for you, but don’t go around to people who do like it and say “just no” – it comes across as rude, and can make people feel like they’re stupid for liking it.

  4. This sounds like it ended up being a really good book and like you, I’m willing to keep trying the many dystopian novels out there in hopes of finding a the awesome ones. However, the whole premise of this novel is so scientifically flawed, I’m not sure I could get past that! Bad science in books is one of my reading pet peeves.