Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

From Goodreads: 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.

My Rating: 3 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan was a book I hesitated to read because I hadn’t really liked the first book, Firelight, in Jordan’s previous series. But, I decided to give her writing another chance because I thought the premise of Uninvited sounded interesting.

One of the aspects of Uninvited that I enjoyed was the growth in Davy’s character. At the beginning of the novel, she had the perfect life – she was rich, popular, smart, musical, dating a hot jock, and had a loving family. Once Davy tested positive for HTS, however, her friends dropped her and her parents began to avoid interacting with her. Yet even as her life changed; Davy continued to believe herself to be superior than other HTS carriers. Over time though, Davy learned to look beyond people’s superficial features, and became less of a damsel in distress.

The same depth of characterization, unfortunately, wasn't given to Sean. Not only would I have liked to learn more about him, but he just seemed to serve the purpose of conveniently showing up whenever Davy needed help. As well, even though the romance wasn’t insta-love, it sure seemed like it because I had no clue why Sean fell for Davy. What made her so unique from the other girls that he interacted with? 

Another reason I had to lower my rating of Uninvited was because of the weak worldbuilding and premise. For example, even though the novel was set in 2021, there wasn’t much of a difference in the technology. In addition, I learned very little about the Wainwright Agency or how HTS was discovered.

Furthermore, from a scientific perspective, the premise of Uninvited is illogical. Since, HTS affected more males than females in the book, this suggests that it's a case of X-linked recessive inheritance. For Davy to be a carrier and her brother to not be one, it implies that her HTS allele is on the X chromosome provided by her father. This would mean that Davy's father should also have the HTS allele and therefore test positive, which he doesn’t!

Ignoring my issue with the genetics of the premise though, – I spent way too much time thinking about that, – I liked that Uninvited makes readers think about whether we’re a product of nature or nurture. Although the governmental authorities in Uninvited seem to side towards nature, the book does a good job of demonstrating instances where people committed violence as a result of their environment.

Uninvited was released in January 2014 by HarperTeen. 

Comments About the Cover: Why is the model positioned like that?!


  1. I've seen a lot of reviews of this book, and I think they all say that there is poor world building, which is too bad, because the premise of this book sounds like it could actually stand apart from the other dystopians, but a lack of world building would prevent that. And I can't stand flat characters. Good, informative review though.

  2. I really enjoyed this one Z, but then again science is absolutely NOT my area of expertise, so the fact that the genetics was illogical was a non-issue for me! I'm glad you thought it was a solid read overall though, and I'm looking forward to your thoughts on Unleashed if you choose to read it!

  3. OMG I would totally fixate on that point as well! Whenever that happens, I can't help but wonder, why didn't the author to his/her research properly? Or why didn't their beta readers/editors catch something like that? Might be a bit unreasonable, but it's hard NOT to fixate on nonsensical things like that. But ANYWAYS, it's good hat you liked this one overall. I think I'll skip it though :)

  4. The illogical fate about genetics would drive me batty too, Z. It's one of the major things that irritated me in the Divergent series. However, I am interested in the nature vs nuture part of the story. I wonder if the world building would be stronger in the next book of the series.

  5. I DNFed this one but I'm glad you ended up liking some elements of it! You pointed out a lot of things that frustrated me as well, and it's sad that there was still no world building and the poor genetics mix up.


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