Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

January 23rd, 2014 Kimberly Review 104 Comments

23rd Jan
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
by Sophie Jordan
Series: Uninvited #1
Published by: HarperCollins
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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104 Responses to “Uninvited by Sophie Jordan”

  1. 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.

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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.

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  4. 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. 🙂

  5. 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 🙂

    • 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.

  6. 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!

    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted: Throwback Thursday: Scarlet
  7. 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.

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  8. 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

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

  9. 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.

    Christy recently posted: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker
    • 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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!

    Charlotte recently posted: My Blogging Fears
    • 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!

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  13. 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!

  14. 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 recently posted: Book Blog Walkers Check-in 4
    • 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!

      Berls recently posted: Book Blog Walkers Check-in 4
  15. 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

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  16. 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. 🙂

    Kim { Book Swoon } recently posted: Book Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
  17. 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!!! 😀

  18. 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!

    Jennifer recently posted: The Sunday Post
    • kimbacaffeinate

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

    • kimbacaffeinate

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