Uninvited by Sophie Jordan has a premise that reminded me a lot of Minority Report, but for YA, and in some ways it does deliver on that. Uninvited is set in a future where a gene has been identified that is associated with murderous tendencies and all people in the US are gradually being forced to be tested for that gene. I really wanted Uninvited to have some interesting insight into nature versus nurture, and while it did make me think about that dichotomy somewhat, it didn’t quite go as far as I wanted regarding how reliable a killer gene might be as a predictor of a person’s life.
Note: I received an eARC of Uninvited through Edelweiss for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan (Uninvited #1)
Published by HarperTeen on Jan. 28th, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog
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.
- Davy is the main character of Uninvited and she goes through some interesting character development. I thought it was quite realistic that just because she is diagnosed with having the killer gene, doesn’t mean she instantly becomes a kick-butt heroine. She remains a fairly innocent teenage girl for much of Uninvited, until circumstances push her to extremes.
- I love sci-fi premises that ask interesting questions, and Uninvited asks a fascinating question about human nature. We’re all still trying to figure out how much of a person comes from their genes and how much comes from the environment they are in. I hope that the future doesn’t come to rely on genetics as much as Uninvited’s world does, but it’s a good warning to keep in mind.
- There is a bad boy romance angle, but I actually liked it for once! In Uninvited, the bad boy is another person with the killer gene, so he is considered dangerous from the start, but Davy gets the chance to find out the truth about him throughout Uninvited.
- Uninvited is quite fast-paced. I was reading it while traveling for the holidays and it was a great book to keep me entertained through those long car rides ;-).
- I was really concerned with how the ending would be wrapped up and it is literally wrapped up in about 10 pages. It was waaaay too convenient and didn’t really demand any initiative on Davy’s part.
- As a biologist, I have a hard time buying the premise of Uninvited. We know today already that genes heavily interact with a person’s environment and we haven’t been able to find any specific genes for personality traits. I really hope that if we ever did find a gene associated with violent tendencies, we’d keep in mind all the people with that gene that made it through life without criminal charges and all the criminal without the gene.
- The plot of Uninvited felt pretty disjointed and undirected. Davy was basically just reacting to all the consequences of having this killer gene and never really had a goal of any kind. Additionally, Uninvited is separated into two parts, which are very different in tone and didn’t really seem to fit together into one book.
- The interesting question regarding human nature that Uninvited poses is never really answered. Davy is put through these horrible situations and starts believing that she is a killer, but really anyone in that situation would start to break in my opinion. I wanted Davy to realize that how she was being treated probably had a lot more to do with her reactions than any gene. Human behavior experiments have shown that if you treat people like criminals, they are much more likely to become criminals.
- There are some weird pop culture references in Uninvited that just make no sense from a chronological perspective. If I recall correctly, Davy doesn’t know who Brad Pitt is, but watches reruns of Glee. In a couple of generations, I really doubt we’ll still be watching reruns of any shows currently playing.
Uninvited has a lot of potential, but I just didn’t feel that it delivered on that potential. It was fun to read due to the fast-pacing and relate-ability of Davy as a character, but it didn’t take the sci-fi to the next level to move beyond a fun YA read. If the premise sounds intriguing and you aren’t worried about the sci-fi aspect, definitely give Uninvited a read. However, don’t go in expecting Uninvited to deliver on a strong sci-fi element.
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.