Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

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I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Uninvited by Sophie JordanUninvited by Sophie Jordan
Series: Uninvited #1
Published by HarperTeen on January 28th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, YA
Source: HarperCollins
Buy on Amazon

The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

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.

A quick read that leads us into a dystopian society where future killers can be identified with a gene test. The last thing Davy expected was to be found positive – her perfect life as a popular, smart, future Julliard student down the drain.

What I found very interesting about this dystopian story, and also one that makes it stand out from the others, is how it doesn’t completely start out as one. We get to see the actual developments of a very scary dystopian society where people’s rights become non existent, and extreme measures are unfairly taken to control the country. It’s set in the not-so-far future where this HTS Killer gene is well-known and government control is beginning, but we experience through our protagonist’ eyes the change in society into one that is morally unjust, and infinitely scary. It’s also depicted in a plausible light; I could easily see the general public react in the same way if we were faced with friends and family members’ positive diagnosis of a gene we were all conditioned to fear. This is also how the government is able to get so out of line. People are afraid, and they see what the government is doing as right. On the other hand, with such a high crime rate that induces panic all around with this new detectable gene, the government can’t just do nothing either. It gives us something to think about.

I do wish we’d gotten to see a bit more of the happenings outside of Davy’s perspective. We get a few glimpses from conversations that are shown between each chapter which I highly enjoyed, but I was dying to know what exactly was going on at the camps and how everyone was reacting to these new measures. As for Davy, I did not expect her story to go in the direction that it did at first, which was a nice surprise. The writing makes it an incredibly quick read even though the pacing could be inconsistent. The first half of the book can be a bit slow. We get into some more intense developments in the second part where we’re treated to very well described fight scenes and thought-provoking situations. Situations that are already starting to change Davy into a tougher, rougher version of who everyone else thinks she already is – albeit I wish she didn’t have to be saved by Sean so many times throughout the book. I wanted her to out-smart these people for once. She is definitely growing as a character – for better or worse, I guess that’s subjective.

An engaging start to a new series, Uninvited throws us into a story where fear, helplessness, and a constant threat of violence are ever-present. It’s got well-developed characters, a great romantic sub-plot, and tons more potential to come!


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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39 Responses to “Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan”

  1. Siiri

    I find the set-up of this novel to be very intriguing and I have seen lots of great reviews for it. “We get a few glimpses from conversations that are shown between each chapter..” — Oh wow, that seems cool. Is this from 1st person POV or from 3rd? I really do love the sound of this book and it kind of reminds me of The Darkest Minds which I just finished a few days ago where the character growth was remarkable per first book already and the world building was very suitable for my taste so I really want to give Uninvited a try and I can’t wait to read it already. Thanks so much for sharing, Giselle!

    • Giselle

      The conversations between each chapters are just glances at what’s happening on the outside. Like we’ll see an email correspondence between 2 government officials and stuff like that. It gives us more insight on the worlds’ happenings. Hope you love it. Siiri! 🙂 I loved The Darkest Minds too!

  2. Amanda @ Book Badger

    I’ve seen some really good reviews of this book, and I thought it might just another Dystopian let down, but so many people like it. I’ll seriously have to consider bumping this up the list! Great review as always Giselle! 🙂

  3. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    I rated this book similarly to the rating you gave it! I agree, it was a really quick read and the fact that it showed a dystopian in the making made it seem even better because it was so different from typical dystopian books, and the concept of a kill gene is always intriguing. I’m glad that you thought Davy has a lot of potential for character growth in the future, even though she was slightly passive at first and Sean had to do most of the saving for her. Fantastic review, though, Giselle! <33

  4. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    A unique dystopian. WHOO! I can’t really imagine a fast paced dystopian for some reason, probably since most of the dystopians I’ve read lately are so damn slow and boring. Yay for the romance being a sub-plot! >.<

    Great review, Giselle! <33

  5. Richa

    I loved this book too! Way more than I expected to. Though yes I totally agree that Sean was literally always saving Davy, and I hope that changes in book 2. So excited for the sequel already 🙂
    Lovely review, Giselle xx

  6. Annette

    I like that we see the development of the society. The changes that occur. This sounds really different, and unlike some people, I’m not tired of dystopians yet! Great review!

  7. Alexia @ Adventures in Reading

    I really liked this book a lot.It was intriguing and I kept wanting to know more. Plus I actually liked Davy, a lot. I was glad she was determined not to play the victim. I just wish we had been told a little more about the HTS gene (the history & such)

    I’m glad that you liked it.

  8. Tina

    Ohhh a dystopian story with well developed characters? That is not that common! Haha. I will add this to my to-read list because I am definitely in the mood for a quick read that may have a slightly surprising ending!

  9. Kel @ No Cucumber Sandwiches

    I’ve had my eye on this book for a while and I’m glad that the reviews I’ve seen keep listing romance as a subplot. (Any more than that in a dystopian story always seems a little strange to me.) I’m a little disappointed that Davy isn’t kicking butt on her own, but maybe in the next installment? 🙂

  10. Haley @ YA-Aholic

    Ohh yay! I am so glad to hear you liked this, I wasn’t sure about picking this up since I don’t read dystopians too often, but your review has convinced me! Great review as always! (:

  11. ShootingStarsMag

    I remember seeing this one around now– such an interesting premise. I definitely want to check it out. I’m glad you think it’s a nice start to the “series” and that’s cool it’s only two books. Something I could actually keep up with. 🙂

  12. Kris (Imaginary Reads)

    This sounds like an interesting start to a dystopian series. I was at first iffy about the idea of a killer gene, but the idea of seeing the society become a dystopia intrigues me, especially as I can see how easily the good idea of managing crime rates can result in a overly controlling government. Lovely review, Gisele!

  13. Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    I’m a huge fan of medical thrillers – especially medical thrillers that involve genetics in particular – so this looks like it would be right up my alley! I’m really glad to hear you enjoyed it overall. I definitely can see how being limited to only Davy’s POV might make it a tad annoying in terms of not being able to see what was happening outside of her perspective, but overall it sounds like a great book that I’m definitely going to pick up when it releases!

    Thanks for yet another brilliant and informative review Giselle! 😀

  14. Diana M.

    I’ve seen this book a lot lately, mostly twitter and goodreads… It never really got my attention, but your review did! Totally just added it on goodreads 🙂 Thanks so much for giving us just enough info, without giving too much away… Spoilers are never fun :)haha!


  15. Charlotte

    I’ve read this one last December and while it was an entertaining read, I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as you did. For one, I have conflicting feelings about Davy. Second, I am still pondering about that HTS gene because I wasn’t quite sold out with its explanation. And third, the world building was inadequate.

    But overall, Uninvited was really a good story. I am just being a miserable nitpick. I love the premise and I love that the romance never became intrusive. And yes, I love Sean even if his story wasn’t explored well in this book. Maybe, it’s just the other side of my personality lusting over a bad boy.

    Excellent review, Giselle!

  16. Sabriena

    I liked this book also but man, Davy was such a damsel in distress so often that she annoyed me about it. Most female main characters get stronger as the book goes on but she seemed to just stay the same! I did really like the book though. I hope she grows tougher in the books to come.

  17. Becca F.

    I’m so excited to read this one!! I’ve been waiting so patiently, but I’ve been hearing lots of mixed reviews about it! I’m glad to see you enjoyed it though. It gives me faith that it will live up to my expectations! Thanks for the review! 🙂

  18. Neyra

    I’m looking forward to reading this one, and I’m glad it turned out to be good. Idk, about the whole “needing to be saved a lot” thing, but if she’s growing as a character, I guess I can’t be too hard on Davy. Lol Great review Giselle, looking forward to this one (:

  19. Nova Lee @ Out of Time

    A LOT of people have been raving about this one. I loved Sophie Jordan’s other books so I’m very excited for this one! I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I’m really into the whole “Murder/Crime in YA” scene and paired with Dystopian? Whaaa? So excited!

    This was a great review… LOVELY <333

  20. Emily

    Hi Giselle! I’m sorta back 😀 Hmmm… I don’t really know if I can agree? I was pretty intrigued by the concept, but I didn’t really like Davy :\ I really, really felt sorry for her, but there points in time when Sean walks by and she just.. drools? :O I found that pretty funny xD But I think it was a pretty decent read though! 🙂
    Fantastic review, Giselle! <33

  21. Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

    I really like the premise of Uninvited but I think the catch for me is that it’s not a trilogy and I love that it’s not. I love the world that Jordan created, although I’m getting tired of dystopians. I didn’t really connect with Davy or Sean though. I think more focus is on the plot than that relationship, which okay, I guess for that kind of story.

  22. Michelle @ Book Briefs

    I took a bit of a break from dystopians in 2013 and now I am so ready to dive back into the genre. I have been itching to get my hands on a copy of Uninvited for a while now. It just looks like such a cool idea.

    I’ll have to keep in mind what you said about Davy’s perspective. I do like seeing books from a couple of different points of view, so it is likely that I will feel the same way.

    Great review Giselle!

  23. Alexa S.

    Whenever you post a review for a dystopian series starter and like it, I always pay attention! I wasn’t particularly intrigued by this title initially. But you make it sound so good! I might just have to take the time to pick this one up.

  24. April

    This book sounds so good. I was originally drawn to it because of the cover. Her hair looking like DNA is freaking awesome. But just the whole idea of the killer gene, it just sounds so interesting. Looking forward to this one. 🙂

  25. Amy @ Book Loving Mom

    I just finished this and really liked it. I really loved the characters, but like you said, I would have liked to know more of what was going on outside of Davy’s bubble. This is one of the better dystopian novels I have read in a while though and I am looking forward to continuing this series.

  26. Wendy Darling

    You write really great reviews, Giselle–you pinpointed what I liked about this book, too, that it starts out like a normal book and then turns into something more serious. Kate’s going to be reviewing this one for us (I just did a quickie on GoodReads), so it’s going to be interesting to hear what she has to say–she liked it even more than I did, I think.

    I do think the first half was stronger than the second half, though, and yeah, Sean had to rescue her a few too many times. But still really enjoyable, and a great start to hopefully a great series!