Title: Uninvited (Uninvited #1)
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publisher: Harper Teen
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
Release Date: January 28, 2014
You can't change your DNA . . . even when it says you're a murderer.
When Davy tests positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome, aka "the kill gene," she loses everything. Once the perfect high school senior, she is uninvited from her prep school and abandoned by her friends and boyfriend. Even her parents are now afraid of her—although she's never hurt a fly. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.
Without any say in the matter, Davy is thrown into a special class for HTS carriers. She has no doubt the predictions are right about them, especially Sean, who already bears the "H" tattoo as proof of his violence. Yet when the world turns on the carriers, Sean is the only one she can trust. Maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems.
Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.
This is an absurdly difficult review to write because I neither loved or hated Uninvited. Don't get me wrong - I liked the book. However, Sophie Jordan did not really wow me with the characters, world-building, or the plot. I think there was some sort of oomph that it was missing, making Uninvited neither terrible or great.
Davy is the typical special snowflake princess that we so often see in YA. She has the perfect life in a perfect home with a perfect boyfriend and perfect best friend at a perfect private school. She had been accepted to Julliard, and everything was the best thing ever. Well, until some test results came back and said that she had the genetic capacity to become a killer. (I can totally see her playing the Evil Harp of Doom.) Suddenly, she finds herself "uninvited" (expelled) from the perfect school, the perfect best friend becomes a bitch of epic proportions, and so on. She finds herself at blocked off area of the *gasp* public school and forced to sit all day with people she would have otherwise looked down her perfect nose at. (Which she totally did to Sean with his tattoo proclaiming his violent tendencies around his neck.) I know Davy sounds bad from my description of these events, but she's still likable because she's so naïve. How could I help but root for her? She wasn't in her awful situation because of anything she did.
That brings to light the most interesting aspect of the story (and one I wish was elaborated on further) - the prejudice and discrimination of people based on their genetic makeup. I can totally see this happening, and Uninvited frightened me if I thought about it too much. Now, there wasn't a lot of scientific explanations of how that gene was isolated and much suspension of disbelief is necessary when it comes to Homicidal Tendency Syndrome. (I think nearly anyone can have the capacity for violence or murder if the stars aligned.) That being said, Uninvited gives some food for thought as to mass hysteria and public reaction to the situation. The United States doesn't have the best track record for internment of citizens, so that part is believable if nothing else.
Uninvited had the ingredients to be fantastic and much more thought-provoking, but it wasn't because it just turned out to be the stereotypical YA dystopian romance, albeit better than many. I will assuredly be reading the next book in the series (cliffhanger at the end alert!), and I hope that I get a little more meat on the bone.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book briefly for reviewing purposes through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. The book was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.