Author: Sophie Jordan
Pub. Date: January 28, 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Rec. Age Level: 13+
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Musical prodigy Davy Hamilton is popular, has an amazing boyfriend, and a bright future... until she gets the results of a simple blood test that change everything. Davy is a carrier of the kill gene. Those with Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTC) might seem normal, and Davy certainly doesn't feel or act any different than before her diagnosis, but those that carry the gene eventually turn into killers, no matter who they were before. Davy loses everything: her boyfriend, her acceptance into Julliard, her family. She's uninvited from the private school she's attended for years and transferred to a public school, where she locked away and forgotten with other HTC carriers. Just as Davy starts to adjust to this her new, harsh reality, and maybe even connect with some of the other carriers, she's sent to a special government camp where things take a violent and unexpected turn. Soon, Davy begins to question everything she knows about the HTC gene and the kill gene carriers and their supposedly inevitable fates.
I love Sophie Jordan's books. She's a fantastic writer, always has employs an engaging premise, and writes really great romance. I often find the romantic plot lines in YA lacking, but I can always count on Jordan to deliver a swoon worthy romantic interest and satisfying tension between characters. Sean, the love interest in UNINVITED, is no exception to the rule. He's complex, protective, and has a dark edge.
UNINVITED has a fast-paced plot with plenty of thrills, which was awesome, but what I really liked about it was the lingering ideas it leaves readers with. Pre-diagnosis Davy and, for the most part, the rest of the uninfected world, believes that those who carry the kill gene are fated to become killers. There is no escaping this destiny, no matter who you are before violent and homicidal tendencies develop. But, readers meet Davy before her diagnosis. She is a well-adjusted, talented, loving, normal teenaged girl. After her diagnosis, everything she does is viewed through a kill gene-colored lens; innocent actions suddenly have a sinister undertone, everyone is always waiting for her to snap. Even Davy worries about her feelings, her emotions, her actions. Davy is still the Davy she was the day before her diagnosis, so are these changes due to the gene or due to the expectations and societal pressures put upon those with the kill gene? Are the ensuing violent actions a product of an unhealthy psychological cycle and self-fulfilling prophecy?
UNINVITED has romance, action, and thrills in addition to being a though provoking read. Highly recommended!