Author: Sophie Jordan
Release: January 28th 2014
Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Thriller, YA
#1 in the Uninvited duology
Sequels: Unleashed (#2)
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.
Three and a half ... four ... three and a half ... four .. three and a half ... four... The question I've been asking myself for a while now. However, considering that I've read this in a single day, and that it's my first Sophie Jordan book, I have high hopes for our future and decided to be generous and give Uninvited four stars.
What was it about this book? What held me in its grips this whole time? I honestly don't really know. The book certainly has its flaws, I see them and I overlooked them on purpose. I wanted to like this, and I did.
I think this book has a powerful message, a very meaningful depth to it. Sophie Jordan even put a statement in the back of this book, saying how the question of why violence is in some humans is a huge question for her, and she continues to give kind of a pep talk, telling the reader not to let anyone define him/her. Label me. It was actually kind of touching, and really sweet, her encouraging her readers to believe in themselves and such. I already like this author, even though I heard her Firelight series is atrocious.
I liked Davy. I really, really did. In the beginning, she annoyed me a little bit, because she kept being naive and ignorant, refusing to see what's right in front of her and she just took endlessly long to just accept the lot she's been given in life. I know it's unfair, and shitty, but girl, stop whining. Please. And after a while, she did, and out of nowhere, she was suddenly kicking ass. When did that happen? When did this weak, shallow girl start being such a badass? It was very unexpected and I liked this new Davy. She was capable, she was strong but still questioned herself, her actions and decisions. She was still focused on the whole Am I a killer? Is every other carrier? The conflict within her, the struggle to believe she could be more than this gene inside of her, felt very real and also kind of relatable. Because sometimes, we all have bad thoughts. At the end of the book, I really loved Davy.
Oh, and Sean. The stereotypical brooding guy. He was seriously nothing else outside of this YA trope I've seen a hundred times, but for some reason, I still found I quite enjoyed him. He didn't get a lot of backstory or anything, we still don't know anything about him, which just further proves my point of him being the mysterious stoic guy always lurking around. But he did get some development, not as much as Davy, but still — and yeah, like I said, I liked him. I also felt he really fit with Davy, like I could imagine them actually working as a couple. Maybe they aren't the best match for each other, but they definitely fit. They have things in common, they're good for each other and also kind of cute, admittedly. I will say, however, that him always coming to Davy's rescue got old after a little while. Now, Davy still proves herself countless times, proves that she's quite able to take care of herself, so I'm not even that mad that she had to be saved a handful of times, but ... I don't know. It's always Sean, and it did annoy me a little. Just a teeny tiny bit, though.
Other characters were mostly okay, though they got nothing. No development, no backstories, no character arcs. I did like Gil nevertheless though, he was a sweet kid. Nice, and friendly, for which I admired him. Still being able to stay positive after all the shit he's been through.
And the plot was actually fairly interesting as well. For the first 200 pages, it's all very light and not too serious, still very fluffy and stuff, so it's safe to say I was very surprised when it all suddenly went to hell in the span of a few pages. Boot camp? Guns? Fist fighting? What? I did not expect this novel to turn out to be so violent out of the blue, although it was naive of me to think so. It's a novel about a killer gene after all, and just when I started to wonder about it being very soft for being a book about murderers, this got in my face. People being shot in the head, being beat so bad they have to be carted off to the hospitals, being chased by bloodlusty psychopaths — this is where the thrill started. I could not stop turning the pages when this part of Uninvited started. It was a train wreck: horrifying, yet I was unable to look away. And it wasn't a train wreck of it being badly written, or anything, no. It just wasn't pretty, what happened at that camp there. I did a mistake taking this book too lightly at first.
So, am I in for the second book of this duology? Hell yes. I did not think I'd enjoy Uninvited this much, and when I was at the halftime mark, I still thought of this as a three star rating. But the second part really did this book for me, and Sophie Jordan's message at the end was also powerful. I loved every second of reading this, despite all of its flaws. Consider this recommended.