Wednesday, January 22, 2014

ARC Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Author: Sophie Jordan
Publication: HarperTeen (January 28, 2014)

Description: From New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan, Uninvited is a chilling and suspenseful story about a girl whose DNA brands her as a killer, perfect for fans of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and Confessions of a Murder Suspect.

Davy had everything—a terrific boyfriend, the homecoming crown, a bright future at Juilliard—but when her genetic tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome, she loses it all. Uninvited from her prestigious school and avoided by her friends and family, she is placed in a special class with other "carriers" who are treated like the murderers they someday might become.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life and tells her that she alone controls her actions—not the code embedded in her DNA. But even if she can learn to trust him, can Davy trust herself?

My Thoughts: UNINVITED was the compelling readable, first person account of a girl who had it all and who lost it in the blink of an eye. Scientists have identified a gene in this near future science fiction story called the HTS (Homicidal Tendency Syndrome) gene better known as the kill gene. There is a strong correlation between those with this gene and convicted murders. 

When it is learned that Davy Hamilton has the gene, she is uninvited from her prestigious high school and uninvited from Julliard. She is a musical prodigy who plays a number of instruments, sings, and composes music. None of those matter though because she has this gene. 

Now Davy has a caseworker from the Wainwright Agency and is attending a public school where she is secluded from the other students in the bowels of the building and caged with other HTS carriers. There are six students in the group. Two of the boys are genuinely violent. The other girl is being abused by the "teacher" who is in charge of the group. The two other boys are Gil and Sean O'Rourke. Gil had a perfect ACT score, is talented at math and computers, and had been admitted to MIT until he was identified as a character. Unfortunately, he isn't physically imposing or a fighter. The other boy is Sean O'Rourke. He is physically imposing and attractive too. He is also a foster child who has committed some act of violence and has the neck tattoo that identifies him as an HTS carrier to anyone who looks at him. While he is reluctant to get involved with Davy, he is still protective of her. After a betrayal by her boyfriend and her ex-BFF, Davy is sporting the neck tattoo too. 

When the government decides to intern all the carriers in camps, Davy is offered the chance to attend a special training school. It looks like her best option for survival. Gil and Sean are selected too. At this training camp, they are learning to be obedient killers. After one particularly harrowing episode, Sean, Gil and Davy decide to try to escape even though there really isn't anywhere for them to go.

What struck me most particularly about this story was that much of the evil was done by those who were not HTS carriers. Starting with the cowardly and easily led ex-boyfriend and the spiteful and jealous ex-BFF, Davy is surrounded by people who do evil things in the name of protecting society. The whole Wainwright Agency seems filled with that sort of people. The story did make me wonder what had happened to due process and the rights of minors. I wondered where the ACLU was. I wondered who had given a private agency so much power. I also wondered about the issue of predetermination. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you will do something. A large number of the HTS carriers that we met in the story had not committed any sort of crime. 

This was a very thought-provoking story. I am eager to read the sequels to find out what happens to Davy and her friends and what happens to the United States too.

Favorite Quote:
I can't deny that I feel a bit like that in reality. That my family is doing nothing, merely standing on the sidelines as I go up in flames. They're passively watching everything happen to me. There's nothing they can do. I know this. I said as much to Mitchell when he suggested we run away. Still, I can't help feeling abandoned. 
I got this ARC through Amazon Vine. You can buy your copy here


  1. OOoh nice review! Hearing lots of good things on this one so I am eager to read it myself! Gotta remember to preorder it first! Again great review!

  2. I'm about 3/4 finished, and I'm really enjoying UNINVITED. So far it has been not only compelling, but a really fast read. I really like Davy, Sean, and her older brother. The whole HTS carrie thing really gets you thinking (and mad). This is my first book by the author, and I'm really enjoying her writing style. Glad you like it, a wonderful review. :)


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