ARC Review: Uninvited (Uninvited #1) by Sophie Jordan


Pub. Date: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
384 pages
Hardcover


Synopsis from Goodreads:


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.




I was blown away by Sophie Jordan’s most recent novel Foreplay (see my review). For that reason, coming into Uninvited, my expectations were really high. Overall, I truly did like this novel. The characters and the story were interesting and outside the box. But, I had one major issue. I feel Uninvited should have been two separate novels. The novel is split into two parts, which gave me a really disjointed feeling as a reader. Both parts had unique identities, with separate story focuses, separate tones, and almost entirely separate casts of characters. I was enthralled by part one - excited by the story, the pacing, and the intensity of what was going on in the characters lives – and confused by the abrupt shifts when I hit part two.

I was drawn into the story and Davy’s character immediately. We have a pretty everyday girl – albeit one from a well off family – doing everyday things. The all too common in dystopia’s ‘I’m the different/ chosen/ unique/ only one who could possibly complete this task - one’, in no way exists here. Yes Davy has skills, but they’re more everyday skills, like musical ability, that any one of us could legitimately hold.
This difference makes Davy relatable, and it gives her an underdog quality once the story really gears up. Prior to being identified as an HTS carrier, Davy is very sheltered and naïve about life outside of her own walls.  Her naiveté makes you truly worried that Davy will either not survive, or that she will be hardened and completely changed by being ‘uninvited’. Davy’s development in part one was my favorite part of the novel.

One element of the story from both part one and two that I really liked, was the questioning of what or who, society should be fearful of. There was a really good contrast between non-carriers doing some pretty reprehensible things, and some of the carriers being amongst the kindest, more thoughtful and caring characters (cough, Sean, cough) in the novel. I really liked the underlying emphasis that no one is one thing, and one thing does not define you. For me, that was one of the strongest messages in the novel, and one of the elements that kept me highly motivated to read part two, as the story shifted.

A few smaller things I had a hard time, which ultimately impacted my overall enjoyment of the story, were the instant shift in treatment towards Davy, and a very specific event in the last few chapters. Davy’s close friends and her parents instantly treat her like a different person after she is identified as a carrier, and I felt that reaction was really extreme.  I didn’t quite buy into the idea that a someone who had been identified as having the potential to do something horrible, would elicit such an extreme reaction from loved ones. Secondly, and most significantly, a very specific event in the last few chapters (which I will not reference because it is so spoilery) didn’t seem plausible, or as easily accomplishable, as it came across. This event left the book on a bit of a sour note for me, because out of everything, it was the most unrealistic.

The great more than outweighs the small bits I took issue with in Uninvited. Overall, the story is a compelling page-turner, and the lead characters are smart, strong and well developed. You’ll be drawn in from the first page, and eagerly anticipate the conclusion of Davy’s story in book two. 

Rating 3.5/5

*** I received a copy of the novel from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was in no way compensated.