Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

January 23rd, 2014 Kimberly Review 104 Comments

23rd Jan
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
by Sophie Jordan
Series: Uninvited #1
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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. 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. The 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

I actually received the ARC of Uninvited by Sophie Jordan last year and set it aside for review closer to the release date. Then in October I reviewed a wonderful NA contemporary romance called Foreplay by new to me author Sophie Jordan who also writes historical romances for Avon, HarperCollins. When I realized they were the same author I was both nervous and excited. I knew she could write breathtakingly beautiful contemporary romances but could she wow this lover of dystopians? The answer, my friends, is yes! She gave me an intense, bone-chillingly realistic future world with interesting characters. Mini-review: Thought-provoking, eerily plausible and exciting beginning to this duology.

Uninvited is set in the United States and begins in the year 2021. Testing has been ongoing regarding the gene HTS or Homicidal Tendency Syndrome. Davy Hamilton is a senior, who is exceptional both academically and musically. In fact, she has already been accepted into Juilliard. All of that changes, when her mother calls and tells her to come home immediately. Davy has tested positive for HTS. Overnight she is expelled from private school, her boyfriend ditches her and her friends and family fear her. Davy doesn’t feel different, but her life is about to change drastically.

Jordan gave us characters that both fit our perception of what someone with homicidal tendency syndrome would be/act like and those who didn’t creating a unique group of characters. The tale is told from Davy’s perspective, and we get to experience everything first hand through her. She is a likable character with a strong moral compass. Before she is classified, her understanding of those that carry HTS is a regurgitation of government propaganda and television’s sensationalism.  We see her grow and comprehend as the tale progresses. Davy could have acted like a spoiled brat but instead she strives to achieve, not to gloat on the “what could haves” but to better herself and those around her. While she is still naïve, she does listen to advice and continually shows growth. Sean is another carrier who befriends her, looks out for her and tries to make her understand the brutal, harsh reality of her new life. Sean’s life resembles the classic profile of someone who moves in and out of the criminal system. Family members, her past friends, and new team mates all enhance the tale and give us a clearer picture of the world. While we are privy to interviews, newspaper clipping, and internal government documents I would have really liked to have PoV’s from other characters. The characters as a whole were interesting, but I felt this was more of a plot driven tale. My hope is that she expands on the characters going forward.

Uninvited was brilliantly constructed and engaging. Jordan began the tale before Davy’s life changed allowing us to get a panoramic view and feel for what was occurring in this futuristic society. News reports, friend’s reactions, police reports, all made us privy to the chaos. Jordan’s depiction of Davy, before, during and as she becomes part of the system is what made this dystopian for me. Often dystopians result in from escaped viruses or a catastrophic event, but we engineered this world ourselves. While I didn’t easily connect with the characters, I think it was the author’s intention. Instead, we saw the world shift as these characters went from human to animal. It was at times raw and brutal making me cringe and question humanity. It was eerily plausible, and it caused me to think about current laws in government, current testing, and zero tolerance rules that border on ridiculousness in our public schools. Nature vs. Nurture, social cleansing, and society as a whole are all called into question. It will cause you to think of our own history and fanatic rulers who wanted to rid our world of undesirables. There is a slight romance with moments of attraction, racing hearts and blushing. It developed slowly from friendship, need, and trust. It felt genuine while remaining firmly in the background. The story had ebb and flow to it that allowed me to absorb and reflect as Jordan slowly began to increase the tension. I began reading, and the next moment I looked up to discover I had consumed the first half in one sitting. The last portion of this book was intense, and the ending cut off at the perfect point. After the climax, she brought us back down and cooled us off leaving us with a sense of direction for the next book.

Fans of the dystopian genre will appreciate the unique and fresh take of Uninvited. Between Foreplay and Uninvited Sophia Jordan has become a must read author for me, and I look forward to devouring more of her work. At this time, no information is available for the sequel.

Four cups of coffee out of five

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

104 Responses to “Uninvited by Sophie Jordan”

  1. Wendy Darling

    Oh, I quite liked this one, too! I thought it was interesting that the book started off feeling like it was a story in an ordinary setting, and then it became something more serious. Nature vs nurture is always an interesting theory to test, and you know, a cute boy with storm-blue eyes doesn’t hurt, either. 😉

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Agreed cute boys never hurt and this had a plausibility to it that was scary. Thanks Wendy!

  2. Jennifer

    Yes! All of this, yes! You put it so much more eloquently than I, but this is exactly how I feel! I was talking with Jen from Jenuine Cupcakes at dinner last weekend and she said it felt so plausible, that as a mother, the book frightened her. As a citizen of this country, it scared me.

    Fab review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am so glad you loved this one too Jen 🙂 I am anxious for the final book 🙂

  3. Kristin

    I did the same thing and put this aside and then was surprised, too, it was Sophie as in “Foreplay” Sophie! Now I’m woefully behind in reading and I need to read it ASAP!!! But it’s on my Google Calendar thanks to YOU!! Seriously!!! Thanks!!! 😀

  4. Kim { Book Swoon }

    Yay, I’m so glad you like UNINVITED too, Kimba! I was really taken in by the intensity that slowly increased, and it’s emotional depth. And I agree with you on how Davy’s before and after HTS really gave us, the reader, a look at what she was really losing. Scary and plausible come to mind for sure. Now I really need to get Foreplay by Sophie Jordan. Awesome review. 🙂

  5. Lily B

    I really liked this one, the idea was great. I have to keep remembering it’s fiction, the whole isolation of the kill gene was a little questioning. I feel like there is a lot more going on there then meets the eye. Cause in the end, the people who are doing this to them, are monsters themselves.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Exactly Lily it calls the whole concept into questions and basically laughs in its face!

  6. Karen

    I loved Foreplay and a few of her HR’s but read mixed reviews for this one. I thought I was going to pass but now you have me interested again lol

  7. Naomi

    Wow Kimberly.. this sounds fantastic!! I havn’t read Foreplay yet, but I really want to, and this book will have to go on the must reads too. I really enjoy a good dystopian, and Davy sounds like a great girl to read about! Awesome review!!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  8. Berls

    Oh my, I love this concept and I love even better that it delivered so well. I’m going to use bad language on your blog again – but my book budget (I know, so bad LOL) is offically broke. Because I want to read this right now, which means I’m going and preordering it right this minute. Crapola, why did I do something as ridiculous as setting a book buying budget?

    • Berls

      It’s available as an audio book with a good narrator! Which means 1- I can get it with one of my credits and not break the budget! and 2 – I’ll be able to start reading it much much sooner. yay!

  9. Mariko

    I’m definitely in need of a fresh new dystopian. I’ve had this on my TBR, and I’m excited to read it. Great review!

  10. Jess

    I have seen this cover around, but I didn’t know much about the story until today. It does sound like a unique read and one that will keep me entertained. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Cyn

    I’m glad you enjoyed it! I think the thing I liked most was the fact that it’s eerily plausible, though the terrible mob mentality frustrated me (which I think it’s suppose to, so point for the book haha). I really liked Sean 😉 Great review Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I agree but sadly sheep mentality does happen daily and it freaks me out how easily people buy into propaganda.

  12. Charlotte

    I agree, this is certainly a unique take on dystopias. I would have enjoyed it more if not for that flaws that irked me in some way. For some reason, I have a hard time connecting with Davy. I love and I hate her. Hahahahah.

    Furthermore, I wasn’t quite sold out with the HTS gene explanation. Overall, this is one pretty good book and I can’t wait to read the second and last installment of Uninvited.

    Lovely review, Kimba!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have read and watched a lot of documentaries and research regarding the studies surrounding serial killers and deviants and they have pin-point certain things regarding genetics. It is freaky-scary. Davy was a naive, privilege child and yes she made me crazy too but I felt she was at least realistically portrayed. I am anxious to see where she takes this. thanks Charlotte!

  13. Pamela D

    The premise of this book sounds really cool. It reminds me a little bit of The Darkest Minds, and you know how much I love that book. 🙂

  14. Michele

    Where have I been?? How did I not realize that this is the same author who wrote Foreplay?? Wow. I am so impressed with this talented author! I really liked Foreplay, and I have it on good authority that I’m going to like Uninvited. My daughter has been obsessed with this cover ever since she laid eyes on the double helix in the cover model’s hair. I love your review, Kimba, and I’m so happy you enjoyed this one!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Well I hope you both enjoy this and yeah..she writes historical romances too

  15. Lindy

    Wonderful Review Kim! I love stories like this one, that are plausible, and make us question humanity. This sounds like it has an amazing plot, and I love how you got a panoramic view of what was going on. Hopefully the characters will be more developed in the next installment.

  16. Braine Talk Supe

    As I am not the biggest Dystopian reader, I think I will go with Foreplay as my first SJordan novel. If I do fall in love with her writing voice, I think I can easily jump genres and read this. But it’s good to know that she is truly a masterful story teller, there are some writers who are only ‘good” at one genre and sort of meh in others.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      She also writes historical but I know you only dabble there a little.

  17. Peggy

    I’m a big fan of dystopian, it’s probably up there with my favourite genres. There goes another one on my ‘need to get’pile.

  18. Christy

    You know what, It probably would having been very beneficial to have another POV. Very good point. I think it would’ve even alleviated some of my qualms had there been at least 1 or 2 short chapters from that Dr. Whatever’s perspective.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I agree..I am hoping she purposely gave us this narrow view to set the tone but that she delivers more in book two

  19. Miss Page-Turner

    This is my fourth book by Sophie Jordan and I’m currently reading UNINTIVED. Really liking it so far and I’m glad that you did, too. It has such a unique take on genes, the killer gene. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this:)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      So glad you are enjoying Jordan, I am anxious to try some of her historical romances next 🙂

  20. Jessica

    Oooh nice review! Reading all sorts of good reviews on this one and am I eager to dive into it! I like books that bring up topics that make you think, without getting too preachy. And this Nurture Vs Nature–or vice versa!–is a good topic to dive into! Can’t wait to read this one! Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ha, I like it but yes I also love the setting covers too 🙂

  21. tonyalee

    I really enjoyed this one too. Although, there were times were I was not Davy’s #1 fan, because of how hypocritical she was at times. then again, it was so a realistic because, people don’t just CHANGE overnight, ya know? The book really made me think too! Glad you enjoyed this one! 🙂

    Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I agree regarding Davy on both levels. Hopefully we see growth, I give her credit for not flaking completely out though.

  22. ShootingStarsMag

    I so want to read this one! I’ve read some mixed things, but I love the premise so I have to give it a shot. I’m so happy to hear you liked it.

  23. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Oh yea… a great way to creep me out is to show me a possible world that seems totally plausible and not far off from our own world. Hopefully in the next installment you will get more in touch with the characters, but you sold me on this world!

  24. Tanja

    I cannot wait to read this one. Especially now when you say it’s unique and fresh in the dystopian genre. It sounds like something I’ll enjoy. Great review 🙂

  25. Heidi

    I just finished this yesterday. I liked it but wasn’t thrilled with certain aspects the gene wasn’t clearly explained. I loved though the whole nature vs. nurture and self fulling prophecy implications, though.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I never even contemplated that it wasn’t explained, perhaps in part because I follow a lot of geeky scientific news and have watch a lot about serial killer/deviants brains, genes etc that I came into the novel understanding the research. I am hoping the characters are more fleshed out going forward although I felt they worked atmospherically in this book.

  26. Christa

    This sounds fascinating! And so unique. I had no idea she wrote adult contemporary either, but that definitely speaks to how talented she is that she can balance such different genres.

  27. Jenea

    Sounds so fascinating, I have a copy but haven’t gotten to it. Not sure how I did that. Glad that it was really good. I will also have to check Foreplay too. Great review.

  28. Lauren

    I’m really excited to read this one! At first I read a few not so great reviews, and it dampened my enthusiasm somewhat, but recently every review I’ve read has been full of praise, including this one, and I’m back to being super charged to read it. It sounds like such an interesting, eerily possible premise—I’m glad to hear it worked for you! Great review 🙂

  29. Sam

    I haven’t read Foreplay by this author, but I have an ARC of this too, and hope to get around to it eventually. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it, Kimba! I generally prefer character-driven books to plot-driven ones, but this still sounds like it is worth a read. Lovely review as always. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I usually do too Sam, but felt it worked for this particular book, and hope the characters are more developed as we go forward. 🙂

  30. Ginny

    I remember seeing this one making it’s rounds in the WOW meme and thought it sounded really interesting. It sounds like the world building is amazing. Loved your review and insight. As usual you’ve convinced me that I need to read this one.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      The world is good and the idea strong, I am anxious to see how it develops 🙂

  31. Candace

    I’ve been waiting for some reviews of this one! It sounds wonderful! I definitely didn’t understand what it was all about before. Now I’m eager to get my hands on it!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Candace it has a plausibility to it that is creep-tastic 🙂

  32. Lupdilup

    I discovered this a couple days ago at Christy’s blog, and thought it seemed she really wasn’t trying to push the book I got really intrigued by the plot, and now your review has me even more curious 🙂
    Thank you Kimba, you’re making my TBR unmanageable…And I love it!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Christy didn’t love the characters, and I can agree in part because they weren’t ones you would want to hang out with. I think they are portrayed right for this story.

  33. sherry fundin

    I came over because the cover caught my attention – she looks like she is floating and killer? Your review covers all the things I like in a good book and this is one I would give a try. Thanks Kimba.

  34. Jenny

    “It felt genuine while remaining firmly in the background.”

    YES! I loved that about the romance as well Kim! It satisfied the part of me that craves romance in my books, but it didn’t become the sole focus like is so often the case, and I just loved everything about the two of them together. I was fascinated and horrified by this world in equal measure, and I just can’t wait for the next installment. So glad you were a fan as well!!!

  35. Andrea

    It’s seems that Jordan is great at any genre. I liked her writing in Foreplay, as well, and look forward to more. I’m glad you enjoyed Uninvited so much!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It is often you see strong writing in such diverse genres.

  36. Chene Sterckx

    This books sounds amazing. I have added it to my TBR list. I love a great suspenseful book 🙂 Your review as always was brilliant. Thank you for sharing with us Kimba!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I follow those developments too and find studies on the brains of serial killers in particular fascinating.

  37. kindlemom1

    We are review twins today! 😛

    I think I liked this one more than you but I am so glad you still really enjoyed it Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You know me I always want more..more fleshing out, more deets..LOL

  38. Nick

    Yay! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed this one as much as I did, Kim. I loved Foreplay too so I was very much curious to see how she would handle dystopian, and she did it brilliantly like you said!
    Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Nick, the whole gene thing made me shiver I have watched shows on serial killers and different patterns in their brains…*shivers*

  39. Mary

    It’s interesting to me that Jordan has written such diverse books — and seemingly, done them well (I haven’t read either yet so I’m reserving judgement). The plot of this is definitely intriguing and, after your descriptions, I definitely want to meet Davy!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Davy was very realistic, not always lovable but I gave her cred for not falling apart.

  40. Jan

    This is a January release I thought sounded interesting. I’m glad you liked it, Kimba. I will have to move it up higher on my buy list! Great review.

  41. Jeann

    Lovely review Kimba, I’m glad you enjoyed it so much! Sounds like this book will be a bit of a thinking one, which I enjoy when I’m in the mood for it.

  42. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    Bone-chillingly realistic is an excellent way to describe this! This one really got to me. In fact, I can’t remember the last time a dystopian read affected me in such a way. I can easily see it all happening to us, can’t you? Terrifying.
    Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah the documentary watcher in me could so see something like this happening.