Author: Sophie Jordan ♥ @SoVery Sophie
Series: Uninvited, Book One
Published: January 28, 2014
Genre: young adult, dystopian
Synopsis: 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.
**We each received a copy of this book from the publisher,
but that did not influence the review**
♠ First Thoughts:
Celeste: 5 stars! Uninvited is an intense, action packed, emotional, but most of all, a totally desperate story. I was choked up, I was scared, I fell in love. Fantastic start to a brand new series.
Christina: 4.5 stars, but I’m rounding up because of reasons! Those reasons are mainly because of Sean O’Rourke. Aside from our hottie hero, Uninvited had several other elements working in its favor- a little mystery, solid characters, and loads of action- that kept me reading way past my bedtime.
♠ Plot, Pacing, Setting, and Style:
Christina: Davina “Davy” Hamilton was a prodigy, marked with a life filled with endless potential. She was gifted with music, expected to attend Julliard, had the boyfriend all the other girls wanted, and her parents were wealthy and had good stature in the community. But all that changes with a simple test, one that labels her as Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-positive. To her, nothing has changed. She feels exactly the same, except for everything else around her is tilting and shifting and to everyone that she’s ever known, she’s suddenly a monster because she possesses “the kill gene.” Her life of luxury is suddenly in an upheaval, and the person that comes to her rescue is the most unlikely of heroes. Because the only thing worse than a positive HTS test is having to wear the tattooed collar with a branded “H” around your neck, showing the world that you’ve already committed a crime violent enough to warrant such a public display of your “disease,” and her hero is sporting one without any shame.
I was immediately pulled into the story, horrified about how everyone suddenly treated Davy and how their fears manifested without any reason to be afraid. A simple test, two recessive genes from your parents, and even if you’ve never even raised your voice to another person, you automatically become this maniac with homicidal tendencies to everyone else. I think I ended up enjoying this so much and was immersed in the storyline so deeply simply because I could easily picture how something like this could dramatically change life as we know it. Mass hysteria, profiling when confronted with fear, it’s a natural reaction. And so, I flew through the pages, utterly captivated (and disgusted) by the trials and tribulations that Davy found herself facing. Jordan did a magnificent job of telling Davy’s story; I was engaged 100% of the time.
Celeste: I’m traumatized by how society reacted to the HTS gene. In this story a major event occurred, one that made the population freak out, which led to mass hysteria. I could really see this how it could happen, it was as if all rationale went out the window. This story was only told from Davy’s POV, which really kept us in the dark about Sean, so all we knew about his thoughts were through Davy. The pacing was intense and almost made me feel like I needed to catch my breath any chance I could. The scene changed so many times, from her happy life, to The Cage, to Mount Haven…but that was just Davy’s life and it was out of her control. If there’s one thing I learned from this story, is that maybe some people with this gene truly were awful, but getting flagged with HTS made people feel so desperate, and showing weakness would get them no where. Even among people “like” Davy and Sean, no one was safe. The HTS truly brought out the worst in everyone, whether it was a true thing or not, when people expected them to behave a certain way, it was like some people just fell into that role. Yes, I was totally addicted and curious to see who turned out to be truly evil and who was a victim.
♠ Main Characters:
Celeste: Davy Hamilton. I don’t like the nickname, I actually like her full name, Davina, better. She is everything you wouldn’t expect in a killer, both on the outside and the inside. For her to bear the mark was even more of an oxymoron, but I think it helped her come to terms with just how real this was, to fully accept that her past life was totally over. She was still the same girl on the inside, but this brought it out and showed how strong and loyal she was. I admired her and loved her so very much. Sean O’Rourke. I know he was blonde, but I kept picturing him bald and hot! I’d love to know more about his tattoos too. He was scary and intimidating, but we find out just like Davy did, that there is way more to him beneath the tough and stoic surface. We only saw a glimpse of that side of Sean, so I’m looking forward to getting to know him more, which I expect will happen as he and Davy have more time together in book 2.
Christina: I love that Davy eventually found her fight and didn’t allow herself to be swallowed by her fear or depressed about the life that she would no longer have. Though, I appreciated that the author gave us those moments of seeing Davy grow and adjust. It made her character more believable and her growth all the more astounding. Sean was pretty amazing, too. I liked that he didn’t feel the need to make people believe one way or another about him; it just went with life and basically said “eff all of you who try to put me in a box and label me.” He didn’t let his branded skin stop him from carrying on with his daily life. I also really liked that he was protective, but honest, and wanted Davy to learn that she really had to depend on herself. I think it made her stronger.
Christina: I’m not going to lie, I wanted more. I enjoyed the slow build and the gentle push and pull, but I needed more time with them. More of him whispering words against her skin and saying swoony things like, “I can’t pretend you don’t exist for me.” For what we got, though, yeah… the chemistry was pretty stellar. I’m hoping to see this build a ton in the next book.
Celeste: Oh yes, this was good, really good. It took a back seat to the story, but I could feel it the entire time, just burning away. It was worth waiting for. There’s nothing like a small touch or glance, because in this story those all meant so much…and it made the kisses out of this world.
Celeste: The title was cool at one point, but I’m not sure it was exactly right. It represents calm, when in reality everything about this book is the total opposite of calm. I would actually have liked a more intense title. The cover is so cool. SO cool. Look at her hair!!! DNA! And that’s Davy, so sweet, blonde, and innocent.
Christina: I think the title was a nice play on one of the most pivotal points in her life, where she really knew that the life she thought she was going to have was no longer an option. However, like Celeste, I’m not sure it truly encompasses the entirety of the novel. I really do love the cover and the DNA strand in her hair, as well as the tag line.
Christina: Though it ended in a good place, it definitely left me wanting for more. I did feel like a bit of a build-up for such an easy escape, so I’m anticipating that the second installment will start off with a bang.
Celeste: I can barely breathe. It’s not a cliffhanger, but just a pause. I have absolutely no idea what will happen next. I certainly don’t think it will be easy.
Celeste: Hmmmm, I’m not sure. It was really, truly so good. I guess I wish that Davy’s friends, the ones like Tori and Zac, hadn’t been so mean. I honestly don’t think they needed to be that way. Are kids really that mean? Maybe. But it could have been written differently and Davy could have just felt loss, not loss and betrayal.
Christina: This section right here will fully explain why I couldn’t give this one a solid 5 stars. My main gripe with this book was the constant reference to sexual abuse from a majority of the guys. I get that Jordan had to display that a good portion of these HTS-carriers were really delinquent and some downright disturbed for us to fully grasp why the general population believed this people to be “monsters,” but it really bothered me how some of the guys were constantly insinuating rape. I think a few mentions would have gotten the point across without almost every male aside from Sean and Gil coming across as vile, disgusting creatures intent only on violating every single girl imaginable. One other little issue I had with the book was that Sean continued to fight Davy’s battles for her and even though it peeved her, she continued to let him do it. I can see why he would want to do it, but if she was trying to prove herself- her worth to these people- I wanted her to go out fists blazing and legs kicking. I felt like he held her back a bit in this regard.
♠ Final Thoughts/Rec it?
Christina: Yes, I really would. It was an original plot that kept me riveted the entire way through. I can’t wait to see how Jordan expands on this plot and characters.
Celeste: YES! Uninvited was a fast pasted story that had my heart racing in more ways than one. A great start to a new series.
♥ A very special thanks to HarperTEEN & Edelweiss for providing us with an early copy of this title in exchange for our honest reviews.