Monday, April 7, 2014

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan | Book Review

(Love the cover!  I don't know if you can see it here, but the DNA strands in the hair are sorta sparkly.  And it's neat the way the DNA strands are so naturally woven into the hair.  And this looks exactly like the MC is described in the book.)

MURDER GENE!!!  Can you believe this is the 2nd book I've read in the past year that focused on discussing the possibility of a murder gene?  The other book was Defending Jacob by William Landay.  Also a very good book that I recommend.

So what do ya'll think?  Do you think there's a murder gene?  NPR did a piece on it a little while back; some smart-type people think there's a possibility that some people are more prone to murder than others!  Here's the NPR thing.

So in Uninvited... Davy has got this perfect-kid thing going on.  She's a music prodigy and she attends an elite private school and she has a gorgeous football captain boyfriend and next year she'll go to Julliard on scholarship.  She lives in a rather large house (it's implied; her older brother lives in the guest house out back by the pool) and her parents are still married and are supportive of each other and of her.  Last year in school, all the kids were tested for HTS, or Homicidal Tendency Syndrome.  No one thought anything of it, and no one is overly concerned.  These are good kids.  Rich kids.  Smart kids.  But then the results come back... and Davy has tested positive.

In just a few hours, her world falls apart completely.  The headmaster of her school "uninvites" her (kicks her out).  Her mom becomes scared.  Her dad becomes distant.  Some things take a little longer to sink in and change.  Her boyfriend dumps her.  Julliard rescinds their admission.  She starts a new school.

Man, ya'll:  Davy's life SUCKS after her diagnosis.  It is just terrible how horribly she's treated by everyone around her!  And she's not alone: all the teens who have been diagnosed are treated the same way.  They're stuffed together in a basement classroom in a low-rent public high school.  They're literally caged.  There's a big chain-link fence across the front of their classroom to keep them in all day and separated from the general population.  They have to arrive at school half an hour late so they're not interacting with other students, and leave for home half an hour after the final bell.  And their teacher is a total jerk.

So Davy goes from having a shiny bright future to having no future.  Until a government agent contacts the family with a proposition:  Davy attends a special training camp for gifted & talented HTS carriers, and if she excels the government will provide her with employment (aka hope for a future).  Well, yes please!  Davy's not stupid; she signs right up.  And she might/might not know someone else in the program (don't want to give any spoilers).  But ya'll: this program is TOUGH COOKIES.  It's tense.

I loved this book!  I devoured it rather quickly.  It was not what I was expecting.  I can't exactly remember what I was expecting, but it wasn't this.  I don't know that I ever read the phrase "murder gene" in any of the reviews I read and I'm curious as hell about that so I would've read it sooner if I'd known.  (Yup; I'm aware of the run-on sentence.)  I loved Davy.  She's totally acing life in general at the beginning of the book, but it's not because she's had anything handed to her.  Girl is motivated and hard working!  Even when life kicks her in the kidneys she keeps going to school and doing her work!  Who does that?  She barely mopes.  She just kicks ass and takes names.  

More good news:  Goodreads told me that Uninvited is Uninvited #1.  That means there will be more books featuring Davy!  Woo-hoo!

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