Author: Sophie Jordan
Series: Uninvited #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Thriller
Release Date: January 28, 2014
When Davy Hamilton’s tests come back 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 one one she can trust. Maybe he’s not as dangerous as he seems.
Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.
First Sentence: I always knew I was different.
I knew I just had to read Uninvited as soon as I saw multiple people on my twitter feed rave on and on about how good the book it was and how much they loved it. I had been in a mini-book slump lately that other books couldn’t quite pull me out of, so after I saw all my friends raving about Uninvited on twitter, I quickly grabbed my copy and read it, hoping that it’ll snap me out of my mini-book slump. I was planning on reading Uninvited later anyways; with an awesome premise like that, how could you resist? In the end, Uninvited kept me reading, but on the other hand, I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as other people did. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that I may have liked this book a lot less than other people did.
“You’ve been uninvited.” Her lip curls at this last bit. Everton Academy never expels students. They “uninvite.”
It’s Dad who responds, his voice biting deep with words that will change everything forever. “You have the kill gene.” (21)
The biggest problem I have with Uninvited is that there was minimum world-building in the book and as you guys know, for dystopians that’s a major no-no. All Uninvited tells you is why people carrying HTS is dangerous, what the government in the United States is doing about it, and who has the power to make decisions for the HTS carriers. However, what Uninvited doesn’t explain is why the United States is the only nation (I’m assuming it’s the only nation because it doesn’t explain this part at all) with tons of people carrying the HTS gene while other nations don’t have that problem? The question mark is there because even that part isn’t explained; all we know is that nations outside the United States like Mexico and Canada doesn’t want the people of the United States that carries the HTS to go into their borders. There’s no mention of whether or not there are HTS carriers in Canada (the book did give a small snippet about the situation in Mexico; thank you to Crystal from Crystal In Bookland for pointing out where) besides the ones who escaped from the United States (I’m assuming there must be since it is in your DNA after all) and if Canada is also dealing with an explosion of people with HTS like the United States is (or if they’re not dealing with HTS at all) and why only the United States have this much people with HTS (do they? Again, it’s never explained.) and just…the world-building just isn’t done well at all. I bet I confused more than half of you with all my weird back and forth conversation to myself, but yeah, that’s how poorly the world-building was done. I mean sure, if Uninvited only focused on the United States throughout the book I wouldn’t have minded this at all because that part was done perfectly (although I do have some world-building questions about that part now that I think about it), but I got absolutely no explanation for the situation in Mexico and Canada when it was bought up several times in the book.
I did it.
Exactly what he wanted me to do. Exactly what they all thought I would do. Everyone in here. Everyone out there in the world. A world so afraid of carriers, it makes killers out of the innocent. (330)
Uninvited is also mighty predictable. I predicted every single twist that happened in the book. Let me repeat that: Every. Single. Twist. And there were a lot of mini plot twists too. I wish I was wrong at least once, but nope. I know that I have the sometimes very annoying ability to predict tons of plot twists most people wouldn’t see coming, but it’s not that hard to make me feel uncertain of what’s going to happen in the book at least once. Other books did that to me multiple times easily (latest example: Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis). However, there was not a single thing in Uninvited that surprised me, but that might also be because of the reason below in the next paragraph.
Uninvited is split into two different parts: CARRIER and MOUNT HAVEN. The second part of Uninvited, MOUNT HAVEN, reminded me of the second part of another dystopian book that’s the first book in a trilogy published by the same publisher as Uninvited: What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang. It doesn’t help that the first part of both books are also pretty similar: regular life, dangerous “secret” exposed (“secret” is in quotation marks because in Uninvited, Davy doesn’t know she’s a HTS carrier before the government revealed it to her), and some familiar people from the main character(s)’ hometown travel along with the main character(s) to the second part of the story. The way both Uninvited and What’s Left of Me ended is frighteningly similar too. (I can’t explain why it is frighteningly similar because it’s kind of a huge spoiler for both books.) These two books have much things in common and such similar plots that I just can’t brush it off. For those who’ve read both Uninvited and What’s Left of Me, won’t you agree or am I alone in thinking this?
I feel eyes on me. And it’s not just Sean and Gil looking at me. It’s everyone watching everyone, sizing each other up, probably wondering who’s going to be the first to crack in this place and let their killer out. (270)
Despite these problems, there is no denying this: I did enjoy the book. Uninvited had me cringing during some parts and had me wanting to do physical harm to multiple people in the book during some other parts. The romance was okay (it could be done better, but I did feel some chemistry between the two characters), although I do feel like the romance developed a little too fast for my taste. Overall, I don’t have any other complaints on other areas of the book.
Overall, I’m not sure if I’ll be reading the second book. My mind is filled with “buts” and “maybes” right now and I just don’t want to take the time and figure it all out since the sequel to Uninvited is coming out next year after all. Most other people also enjoyed Uninvited, but it looks like it’s just me who is the black sheep…again.