Book Reviews

Review: Uninvited

UninvitedTitle: Uninvited
Author: Sophie Jordan
Series: Uninvited, #1
Genre: Young Adult – Dystopian
Publication Information: HarperTeen, 2014
Age Recommendation: Mature Middle School & High School

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.

(Summary from Goodreads)

First of all, can we talk about that cover? I totally didn’t notice it the first time I looked at it, but her hair looks like DNA strands, and that’s pretty clever, given what the book is about.

I thought the premise of the book was really interesting. In the not-too-distant future, the U.S. government starts testing people for the “kill gene”, and people who test positive are basically kicked out of society. I think this book does a great job examining the consequences of this from the other side. We see a lot of things happen to Davy and the others, and everyone else just looks the other way because they’ve decided these people don’t matter – in fact, it becomes increasingly clear over the course of the book that these people have ceased to be people.

I didn’t have high hopes for Davy initially. I mean, the first line of the book is I always knew I was different, which isn’t exactly a killer opener. (HA. See what I did there?) But she grew on me a lot as the book went on. I was really impressed with how her illusions of the world were shattered. When she’s first identified as an HTS carrier, she assumes there must be a mistake because she’s not a killer like everyone else. But, as she gets to know everyone else, she starts to realize HTS carriers might not be who she thought they were, and she eventually starts to question whether these people are actually killers, or if it’s the system that made them this way.

My biggest complaint with the book was that the second half, the most interesting half, where Davy gets thrust into a government program and starts to have all of these revelations, didn’t get as much page time as the events leading up to it. The first half of the book deals with her home and school life after she’s diagnosed, which I realize is important so we really understand all that she lost, but I wish that had been shorter and more focus had been put on her life in the government program.

Uninvited tackles some heavy issues, but it does it in a way that’s engaging and doesn’t feel overly preachy. I could see it appealing to fans of Lauren Oliver’s Delirium and Amy Tintera’s Reboot.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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2 thoughts on “Review: Uninvited”

  1. Hah, I can’t believe I never noticed the DNA thing before! I’ve never read the book, but I recognize the cover because I always thought the girl’s pose was so awkward. It makes more sense now 🙂

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