Published by HarperCollins on January 28, 2014
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
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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.
Lured in by a cool concept of a kill gene running through the general population, I thought Uninvited would be an interesting societal exploration of identified potential killers. Unfortunately, all I got was a lot of whine and self pity from the main character Davy. Bella Swan and Nora Jones has nothing on this girl, as I trudged through pages and pages of complaining and prejudging.
I just can’t believe this girl. The very second she is identified with the kill gene, she decides to lump herself in as a loser and stares at her fellow HTS carriers with judgey eyes. The ones who are violent and unfriendly are either thickset, have bulging eyes or bulbous noses. Why does everything bad have to be linked to an unattractive appearance? Think she’s got it pretty bad because she’s now a labelled killer? I’ve read plenty of starving heroines from dystopians who had more self worth than this one, and they’re the ones who really have something to complain about.
I used to be that girl with the envious friends, the coveted boyfriend, a bright future. It had all been an illusion. None of it real. Just as I hadn’t been real. If my life had been real, if it amounted to anything, it would have survived a DNA test that declared me potentially dangerous. I’d still have that boyfriend, those friends, the life that was going somewhere.
I could go on about Davy’s boyfriend Zac and supposed best friend Tori, and how they dumped her as soon as they heard the news, and how everyone and even her family boxes her away. Despite knowing Davy for most of her life, everyone suddenly treats her differently and are even afraid of her, condemning her to prison by their judgemental selves. But because Davy embodies the whole concept of judging someone she doesn’t know, and spouting self pity, I’m not going to complain about how others treat her. She creates her own problem and I’m not biting.
The book does pick up towards the very end, when Davy gets selected for special training which allows her to interact with more carriers who have the gene. I liked reading how those selected would be used by the government to execute orders, it was definitely disturbing and a violation of human rights. This part of the book was rushed really quickly though, right before the ending in an attempt to create a semblance of a conclusion. I wish there was more of a build up or something because the ending was unsatisfying.
I can’t help thinking that telling an HTS carrier that she needs to toughen up is ironic. Presumably, carriers are already tough. Sociopaths waiting to snap.
It’s not all bad though, there was a lack of romance for most of the book. While there are some mushy scenes from the very first page, this ends quickly as Davy gets diagnosed. She does have this attraction to a HTS carrier, Sean, who wears a mark of violence, but there really isn’t too much of it until the very last pages.
Uninvited contains an interesting exploration into prejudice and societal pressures against people who commit violence, even though they aren’t proven killers. The moral of the story, is to break free of the mould that society places on yourself and have the confidence to be yourself. It’s just a shame about the amount of whining and Davy’s character really made the book hard to bear at times. She was the one dishing out the most judgement, which covered the true message of the book in that sense.
Rating: 2 out of 5
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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