I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
Series: Uninvited #1
Published by Harper Teen on 1/28/2014
Genres: Adult, Dystopian, Thriller, Young Adult
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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.
\r\nWhen 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.\r\n\r\nOnly 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.\r\n\r\nThe 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.
Sophie Jordan is just a badass author, I’m now convinced of it. She first wooed me with her Firelight Series, bringing me into a paranormal romance world with dragons/humans. Now she’s done it again with the first book in her new series, Uninvited.
Uninvited is touted in its synopsis as The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report (remember that Tom Cruise movie?), and I’d say that’s an apt description. But if I had to really nail it down, I’d also say Jordan pulled from our own world history a bit, too, applying the way Nazis treated the Jews in World War II as an example for this story. It’s subtle, but it is there. In Uninvited, people are tested for HTS – Homicidal Tendency Syndrome, otherwise known as the “kill gene.”
Scientists and analysts have compiled enough data over the years to determine that at least half of all violent crime is caused by an HTS carrier. Forget that correlation doesn’t necessary equal causation, because we’re talking mob mentality here. HTS carriers are culled from general society and and branded; whether that means with special badges and ID cards, or something more sinister, it doesn’t make a difference. They may as well be wearing a scarlet A – or rather, an orange H – sewn on their clothes. Or tattooed with numbers.
Uninvited also addresses another theme: do we become something if we are told we are that thing often enough? Davina (Davy) Hamilton is a skilled and accomplished musician. Some would call her a prodigy. She’s never been in a fight before, and she’s one of the most popular girls in school. Until the day she finds out she carries the kill gene. That day changes her entire world. New rules now apply to her, she has to go to a new school, she has to learn new norms and everyone treats her with kid gloves…because she’s a killer right? Or she could be. And that’s what everyone keeps saying: “You have the kill gene, you’re dangerous.” If you hear you are dangerous a thousand times, do you start to believe it? Will you become it?
The government is in on the segregation of HTS carriers from the general population. They’re using the mob mentality to their advantage, and I’m fascinated to see where Jordan takes this next. I would really like it if she turned this dystopian, and focused on the government oppression of a particular people who carrier one type of gene.
It’s a YA, so of course there will be romance, and unlike her Firelight series, there is so far no love triangle. Davy meets another carrier who carries himself as dangerous, but turns her expectations and what she thought she knew about the world – and herself – upside down on its head. She struggles with this both internally and externally, and that struggle felt very real to me. It’s hard to accept that something you’ve been told all your life may not be true, but it took a personal crisis to find it out.
Like I said before, the government is involved. You might find similarities to the novel, Blackout by Robison Wells, another Harper Collins YA book, in that there are facilities for carriers of genes and training involved. I don’t want to give too much of the farm away, but if you liked Blackout, you’ll like Uninvited (and probably more).
Overall, excellent first novel for a series, I can’t wait for the next one.