Monday, 27 January 2014

Book Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Title: Uninvited
Author: Sophie Jordan
Series: Book #1 in the Uninvited series
Release Date: January 28th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of pages:384 pages
Source: ebook copy provided via Edelweiss for review
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's WebsiteAmazon, Kindle, Book Depository (US), Book Depository (UK)

Grade: 2 stars

Novellus malus!

Goodreads appetizer: 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.

My Thoughts: Uninvited was unfortunately not the right book for me. After recently reading Foreplay, Sophie Jordan's latest title, I was pretty certain that I would fall in love with Uninvited. After all, the summary indicated a book right up my alley. But sadly, that wasn't the case with this story...

First of all I have to note that the second part of the book was way better than the first one. Should the story start at the point the second part began maybe I would feel a bit differently towards Uninvited, not that I didn't have a number of problems with the second part too, it's just that it was far more interesting and Davy a little less annoying.
Anyway, Uninvited didn't work for me almost from the beginning. Even if the main idea of the book was somewhat fresh and intriguing, the whole plot was too predictable and a little disturbing at times. I'll come back to the disturbing part in a bit. Davy and Sean gave off a Bella and Edward feeling the whole time. I can't pinpoint exact resemblances between these two couples but while reading Uninvited and the way the romance between Davy and Sean bloomed I kept thinking the whole time about Twilight. Maybe it was the way Sean was overprotective towards Davy. How he kept protecting her one minute and the next pushed her away because he was dangerous. The fact remains that Davy and Sean and their insta love was something I have read millions of times before. And sadly there was no distinctive quality in their romance to make them stand apart.

The idea of Uninvited is quite fresh like I said. The idea of a kill gene intrigued me but the execution of it, left me thoroughly disturbed. I mean Uninvited is set in the future, a future so advanced that we are able to detect people with killing tendencies, but Sophie Jordan's world could as well have been one set 50 years ago... Because I can explain no other way the complete disregard of the environmental factor in someone acting on any homicidal tendencies he might have in his DNA... In Sophie Jordan's world, scientists think that all it takes for someone to kill or be violent is to have that kill gene. Everything else is of no importance. I mean how can I believe that in the future any behavior is a sole result of genes and little else, while right now we positively know that for an individual to acquire some behaviors major role plays the environment, how someone learns to behave by imitating the behavior of people close to them and many other factors that have to do with the way someone lives and what he learns is right or wrong? While reading Uninvited I couldn't help but think of the way people regarded mental disorders some years ago. And no, believing that we can step back instead of moving forward is something I refuse to believe and find realistic. And that's the first thing I found disturbing about Uninvited.

The second thing was how Davy faced the threat of rape so many times after learning that she has the kill gene. I could go along if that happened once or twice. But it happened 4 or 5 and in quick succession... Not that it couldn't happen and I completely understood why the author did it. But that didn't make it any less disturbing... I get that Davy was a beautiful girl abandoned by the system that regarded her as a menace therefore didn't care what happened to her but after the second time she escaped someone's sexual advances, the whole thing felt not only disturbing but also unrealistic. I mean every male that encountered Davy wanted to bed her and Sean was there to save her. Not buying it...

And that wasn't the only thing I couldn't buy... The whole plot was full of unrealistic moments and holes. Some things were rushed and a prime example of that is the transition from the first part of the story to the second one. In the moment when the government is most afraid of the carriers of the kill gene, Davy is miraculously chosen for a different fate, among a few more select ones. And while the government painstakingly chose those few carriers, just because Davy suggests it, they bring in the team Sean as well... He's not special, but since Davy who is special recommends him that earns him a ticket. How more unrealistic could a situation be?

Verdict: Uninvited didn't work for me in any department I'm afraid... Even though I really enjoyed Sophie Jordan's writing style and despite some good moments, in overall I couldn't enjoy this book. It's not that it's a bad book, it's just not my cup of tea. The plot turned out to be one I couldn't really enjoy and if you combine that with the fact that I couldn't connect to any of the main characters you can easily understand why I quickly lost my interest in this story.

Plot: 5/10
Characters: 4/10
Writing: 7/10
Ending: 5/10
Cover: 8/10

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