Monday, 6 January 2014

ARC Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
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.
Title: Uninvited
Author: Sophie Jordan
Series: Uninvited #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 28th 2014

Rating: 4.5 stars

He's never told me what I am. He's just assured me that I'm not anything I don't want to be.
Uninvited was such a pleasant surprise! I wasn't the biggest fan of Jordan's Firelight series, but Uninvited was an original, fun and philosophic novel that showed Jordan's growth.

I really loved the subtle way it responded to the nature/nurture debate. Is the ability to kill in our genes or is it a product of our upbringing? Davy, at the start of the novel, doesn't seem like a killer at all. Instead, she is a sweet girl, a music prodigy, the perfect student. It isn't until it's discovered that she has HTS that she becomes tougher. The way society treats her - like she's worthless, a social pariah - corresponds so well with how the world would react if something like HTS would ever be discovered. People live in fear, and try to cast out everyone who is 'other'. This raises an important question: was Davy always a bit violent and did society just enable her to out it? Or had she never been violent had society not treated her the way it did? Uninvited forces you to think and I don't think this book would be out of place in a philosophy class.

The characters were a delight as well. The slow change in Davy - from a sweet girl to a hardened and tough fighter - was done exceptionally well. She grows in just the right pace, making the transformation believable. It also made sure that we could still sympathize with her, even when she does some awful things. We feel protective of the innoncent girl at the beginning of the book and that feeling stays even when she transforms into a whole other person. The side characters were well developed as well. The different ways everyone reacted to the news that Davy has HTS were believable and showed us the differences in everyone. Some are willing to fight for her, some accept it quietly, some reject her, some try to make her life a living hell. Jordan has also managed to make me love almost every single carrier Davy meets. I loved how Jordan gave each carrier a different personality, and didn't make Davy the only non-violent carrier. Anyone can have the kill gene, whether it be a nerdy boy, a shy girl, a violent boy, a protective boy, or a normal girl with a slight edge underneath. Every single character had a personality instead of being just the mindless killers society expects them to be.

Jordan did a complete hundred-and-eighty with the romance as well. Where the romance in Firelight felt rushed and unbelievable, in Uninvited it was slow, well developed, and so incredibly sweet. Sean was the perfectly flawed love interest: not afraid to bash someone's skull in, but always having a reason to do it. I really liked how Jordan didn't even make them kiss until at the end of the book, although I felt that maybe it would be even better if their first kiss was in the sequel instead of in UninvitedEither way, it was slow, which is exactly how I want my romances!

I also loved the little snippets of conversations, interviews, articles and text messages before each character. It's a clever way to show how society became the way it was in Uninvited and allowed the reader to see in the minds of other persons than Davy. I really enjoyed reading these little pieces.

The only thing that caught my eye is the writing. It's okay overall, not outstanding, but not bad either. Davy does moisten her lips awfully often, though. For me, she did that a little too much: I feel some 'I moisten my lips'-sentences could be edited out without detracting from the novel.

In allreally loved UninvitedUninvited comes with a great cast of characters, slow-burn romance and gives us thinking material. It managed to respond to the nature/nurture debate in a subtle way while telling an interesting and engaging story. My only complaint? I'm already waiting for the sequel and Uninvited isn't even out yet!

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