By Sophie Jordan
January 28, 2014
Ages 12 and up
UNINVITED by Sophie Jordan is one of those books that you kind of have to throw out all your expectations in advance. It’s a mix of science fiction and romance that will either move you – or it won’t.
The one thing I loved most about UNINVITED was the “self-fulling prophecy” idea that hung over the entire novel. Do people make themselves evil? Or does society as a whole make people evil? If a child, from a very young age, is repeatedly told that he will never amount to anything, and then eventually he ends up on the street – as a criminal or worse – who is to blame? The child, or those who told him what he would become? This thought has always intrigued me in my life, and now as a reader, seeing it as the focus in a novel… that is what pulled me in and kept me reading UNINVITED. Though, I admit, the “doom and gloom” feel of the book did pull me down at times. I wanted to shake these characters and tell them, “Don’t become what they apparently want you to become! Don’t give in to the Dark Side!!!”
That said, UNINVITED was much more Scarlett Letter, or perhaps a more accurate comparison would be Delirium 2.0, than it was Minority Report, as claimed by the publisher. I don’t know about other readers, but I didn’t find UNINVITED to be particularly “exciting”. It was more “contemporary” romance, full of melodramatic “my life is over” teen angst, than it was intense or even psychologically riveting. We actually spend multiple chapters with the characters sitting around in their new “segregated” school in a cage doing absolutely nothing except mulling over just how much life sucks for the HTS carriers. I wanted more than that, book. So much more.
But then, about 3/4 through the book, the HTS carriers are “relocated” and things finally get a bit interesting. We get a bit more insight behind what might actually be going on behind the scenes when it comes to Davy’s world and the “purpose” of the HTS carriers. I started seeing a bit of an actual plot that was engrossing, thrilling and totally mind-blowing as far as revelations are concerned. I like the “paint ball” style trials that the carriers were put through. It was like Ender’s Game, in which you didn’t know whether or not there was a hidden agenda under it all. By the end I thought, “OK, where is book two? I need to know how this turn of events is going to mess with Davy’s mind. I need to believe, as intense as that last part of UNINVITED was, that the rest of the story will follow through with the action, the intensity, the excitement… I need to know how this all ends!”
- UNINVITED got better as the book went on. That ending. Oh, Davy… My heart.
- Original plot with an interesting concept on “self-fulling prophecies”.
- This is only a two-book series. Not a long investment period. A bonus in my mind.
- Slooow, very contemporary, melo-dramatic first 3/4… Hard to get invested in the characters with such a slow plot. If you can get through the first parts, the reward at the end is worth it, though.
- The romance is pretty much hit-and-miss. The romance was just thrown in there, which is suprising since this author is known to be a stellar romance writer. But still, I didn’t care much for the main male lead… Even by the end. I was much more invested in the implications of being an HTS carrier. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.
- Prepare for the moodiness of the whole ordeal (being cut off from your friends, your school, your future, your whole world as you have always known it) to possibly drag you down.
I really did enjoy UNINVITED. I would recommend it to anyone who has read and enjoyed anything by Lauren Oliver, Kasie West, Lissa Price, or Gennifer Albin, since the book has similar themes as and a writing style much like the books by these authors.
I’m sticking around for book two, since I have a feeling it will more than make up for the slow build up in UNINVITED.