Book Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Posted February 7, 2014 by Kara in book review, Kara / 12 Comments

Book Review: Uninvited by Sophie JordanUninvited by Sophie Jordan
Series: Uninvited #1
Published by Harper Teen on January 28th, 2014
Genres: dystopia, young adult
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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four-stars

From New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan, Uninvited is a chilling and suspenseful story about a girl whose DNA brands her as a killer, perfect for fans of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and Confessions of a Murder Suspect.Davy had everything—a terrific boyfriend, the homecoming crown, a bright future at Juilliard—but when her genetic tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome, she loses it all. Uninvited from her prestigious school and avoided by her friends and family, she is placed in a special class with other

Well this was an unexpected surprise. 2014 has started off by being a disappointing reading year for me thus far, but Uninvited by Sophie Jordan turned it all around. Most of my friends have been meh about this, but I am trying this new thing this year where I throw it all out the window before I read a book. No expectations, no remembering previous updates, and it worked for me this time. I wouldn’t say this book was brilliant, but what it lacked in originality and gorgeous prose, it made up for by being compulsively readable and compelling. Seriously, I freaking loved the storyline.


Davy is a teenage girl from an upper-middle class family. She goes to a private school and is pretty much the apple in her parents’ eye–that is until it is found out that she tested positive for HTS, the kill gene. She is kicked out of school, her friends and boyfriend ditch her, and her life falls completely apart. This is a completely prejudiced world she is living in–she becomes a minority and is treated like complete garbage by almost everyone around her, but she finds a certain camaraderie with other carriers of HTS. This is where she meets Sean, and can I say how much I loved him?. I loved Davy too, but wow, Sean was an amazing character. Thing is, I don’t usually fall for the romance in YA novels, but Bekka really loved it (and in Sophie Jordan novels in general), and I TOTALLY agree with her. This book might lack in the world-building department, but the slow burn of the relationship, the development of the romantic tension, it totally works because it is not rushed, and when they finally get together, the waiting the author makes you do is totally worth it.

I also just found it really suspenseful, and I fell in love with the story. For me, the ideas in this book (and the way society would react to it) were wholly believable. It was terrifying, unsettling, and I truly felt Davy’s desperation. This book really bothered me and there were moments I wanted to put it down and take a breather. It’s not often for me where books affect me to the point of anxiety, and I didn’t find it enjoyable when that happened, but at the same time, I have to reward it for the emotions it made me feel. The writing in the book is not anything special but the character development is because I was so scared for Davy and her friends. 

There are a few things I would have preferred to see done differently though, and those are:

The ending was too abrupt. I wanted more of a conclusion. It didn’t really end in a cliffhanger either, it just kind of…stopped, and those are my least favorite endings. You stop in the middle of the action, and for what? Couldn’t this have just been a standalone? This is one thing that kept it perfect for me.

I wanted the protagonist to be more of a fighter. Now don’t get me wrong, there were times when she was a badass. But I also feel she depended too much on the guys around her. It was a decent balance, but at the same time, I can’t stand when women need to be rescued. It is a way of building romance, and I get it, but I wish there were other ways to do this. 

That said, if those are the only criticisms I have, that’s not very much, is it? I know there were some critiques on the world building, and yes, it is kind of light but it completely worked for me. The explanation was simple enough, and I didn’t really need more. It was easy for me to believe that there could be a gene responsible for people turning into violent killers. And I didn’t want the plot bogged down by a whole lot of dry science that would slow down the pacing, because whoa that story was something. It does take a little bit for things to get moving, and the first part of the story is largely character driven but I liked that about it. This is a book that really pulled me into the story and the world fell away for a while. My favorite kind.

12 responses to “Book Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

  1. It’s so good to see you found a book you really liked Kara! I’ve been seeing and hearing quite good things about this book, and I’m so pleased to see another one. You hit the nail on the head, and I’m certainly pushing this further up my to-read list now 🙂

    Amanda
    Five Friday Favourites

  2. Abrupt endings, I have a hate relationship with those. I almost never end up liking them. The slow burn relationship doesn’t sound too bad, although I most of the time seek for a book with more world-building and less romance. I look forward to see how I feel about this book 🙂

  3. Yay I really liked this one too and it surprised me bc me and dystopians have not been so friendly in the last year. I TOTALLY agree about wanting her to fight her own battles you know. She had to be saved by the guy way too much for my taste as well! But I did find that she was starting to change and toughen up so hopefully she’ll be stronger in book 2. I also agree about how believable it was in terms of society’s reactions and how bad it would get which made it all the more interesting.

    • I am so glad you liked it! I thought I would feel really meh about it based on reviews but I am happy I felt otherwise! I hope you are right about her being stronger in book two. I am super excited to see where this series goes.

  4. Great review! I hate abrupt endings, though … it sucks when you’re reading a book and there are so few pages left and next thing you know it’s over. And the lack of resolution is something that really irks me. I hate feeling like that by the end of the book! Of course, this one *does* look really good … might have to see if my library is getting a copy.

    • Yeah, this is a great one to check out from the library. The reviews are mixed so you never really know how you are going to feel The worst thing is buying a book you end up hating.

  5. Amy

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this one. I really liked it too. I found a few little things that kept it from being a 5 star read for me too, but overall I was pleasantly surprised with it. I haven’t had a lot of luck with dystopians lately, but this one was engaging and pretty freaking good!! Awesome review!!

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