January 09, 2014

Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan & Author Interview

By Sophie Jordan
Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2014 by HarperTeen


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.

Yay! Another AWESOME, ACTION PACKED series by Sophie Jordan! Everyone who knows me knows how much I loved her FIRELIGHT series. When I worked at Borders it was all I would push onto the Young Adult crowd whenever they would come in looking for books. I am pretty sure you can imagine my excitement when I first heard of UNINVITED. EXCITED!!!

UNINVITED has nothing to do with Dragons, nor does it have a Will in it, but Sean is pretty darn hot. I loved the plot of this story. It reminded me a little of one of my favorite books by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki called BRANDED. It’s different on so many levels, but the whole idea of being branded or labeled with something and being ripped away from your life is what really fascinated me.

In UNINVITED, Davy is labeled with HTS -- Homicidal Tendency Syndrome. The thing is, she happens to be a great student who is never in trouble and barely gets angry, or anything to prove their test results are right. So it comes as a huge shock to her when they break the news to her. It was a bit sad watching her whole entire life be ripped out from right under her feet. It was almost like she was reborn into a new world that she was completely clueless of. She refuses to believe that she has HTS and attempts to continue her normal routine. But how can she when everyone she’s known and was close to shuts her out?

She eventually meets Sean, who is also labeled with HTS and they immediately become close. Their relationship was a bit weird at first. Sean pushes Davy away, but at the same time he was always around. I loved the mystery behind him.

The book jumps into a little action towards the middle to end. Sophie Jordan does a great job introducing her characters in the first quarter of the book, as well as world building. It's a fast read and easy to follow. I think it took me six hours max to read the entire thing. That is one of the things of I love most about Sophie Jordan’s books. She doesn’t waste time getting into too many details and descriptions. She jumps right in. I know if I pick up a story by her that I will be done reading in a day at the most.


I recently got to interview Sophie Jordan about UNINVITED. Check out the interview below!

1. Tell us a little bit about UNINVITED that isn't in the blurb. Spoiler free of course. ;)
I've always been fascinated with the nature/nurture argument. Are people born evil or do they become evil? This book explores that ... while combining my love for the classic underdog story. I like to write about characters who have lost everything ... who are on the brink of hopelessness. Those stories fascinate me. I like to see how a protagonist reacts to everything thrown at her as she struggles to rebuild her life ... if she even can. And it's even better if she finds love along the way. Yes, there is a romance in UNINVITED. I couldn't write a book without a love story buried in there somewhere. :)
2. Is UNINVITED a series? And if so, how many books can we expect?
Yes, UNINVITED is part of a duology. The second book title and cover should be revealed soon. I will say readers will be very surprised at the twists taken in book #2.
3. Putting yourself in Davy's shoes, what would you do if you were diagnosed with HTS - aka the kill gene? 
That's pretty much what I asked myself all throughout writing the book -- especially as I tossed at Davy some beyond difficult obstacles. She spends a lot of time in denial ... maybe, even to some degree, self-pity. Like it or not, I think that's very realistic. She loses everything that is familiar in her world with such suddenness that she has very little time to cope before she is thrust into the ugly reality of her new life.
4. Can you share a small teaser with our readers? 

            “All right.” Pollock opens up a crisp manila folder and surveys it for a moment. Without any warning, he picks up a narrow black device. A tiny blue light glows at its center as he leans over his desk and swipes it through the air once in front of my face.

            “What’s that?”

            “Face scanner,” he replies brusquely.

I glance to Mom. Her fingers lightly worry her pearls. He sets down the scanner, makes a mark in my folder and returns his attention to his monitor, clicking the keyboard a few times.

            Finally, he looks at us. “I’ve already alerted your local public school. They’re expecting you tomorrow.”

            “Keller High School?” Only fifteen minutes away, it’s closer to the city. I’ve never been there. My world has been Everton since kindergarten.

            He looks at me with those small, dark eyes, totally emotionless. “You’re seventeen. You’re required to attend school. You’re lucky. Some states don’t even allow carriers in public school anymore.” The way he says this, the way his head nods, makes me believe he agrees with the policy, that we should be doing it here, too.

             He looks at Mom and I can’t help noticing his eyes are a little less icy when he turns his attention on her. He probably feels sorry for her … pities that she has a daughter like me. “You’ll have to take her tomorrow, Mrs. Hamilton, to complete all the necessary registration. Keller already has a few HTS carriers, so they have a protocol in place.”

            I shift in my chair.

            “In the meantime…” He hands me a card. “This is your HTS identification. Keep it with you at all times.” Then he hands me a heavy packet. “Familiarize yourself with current HTS regulations.”

            I thumb the stapled papers, looking back up at him when he says sharply, “Ignorance of the rules is no excuse. If you commit an infraction, break a law, justice will be swift.”

            These words make my chest pull even tighter. “Rules?” I echo.

            He lowers his elbows to his desk and steeples his fingertips. “I’ll do you a favor and explain one now. Maybe the most important you can take away from this meeting.” He lifts one finger and holds it ominously before him. “You get one chance. One shot. The first time you hurt someone or behave in a threatening or violent manner, you’re imprinted.” He taps the side of his neck. “One infraction from you, one word from me, and you wear the H. I’m sure you’ve seen it.”

            Not up close. Never up close. We live in a good neighborhood. I go – went – to a good school. Only hung out at good places. If there were carriers around, they weren’t the imprinted kind. I only saw that kind on TV. Usually cuffed and being led out of a courtroom. Or walking the streets of some crime-ridden area. They were to be feared.

          “Of course, if your infraction gets you arrested, then you’re imprinted and in jail.” Pollock leans back in his chair. “You’re out of my authority at that point.”

           I nod. “That won’t happen,” I say.

           He smirks. “You all say that.”

           My lungs swell at the unfairness of it all. I’ve never even been in a fight. Not even in elementary school. It’s ridiculous to imagine me committing one of these infractions he describes. I want to scream: Look at me! I’m not bad! I’m not a monster!

Pollock returns his attention to the monitor and taps the keyboard a few more times.

            The fiery indignation fades away and numbness slides into place, envelops me like a blanket. I wrap myself in it to keep from shattering. He rattles off more information. Protocol. He drops that word a lot. He offers more papers. Mom takes them. I can’t move. Can’t speak.

            I watch Pollock’s mouth move, but the words are a jumble in my ears. I tune him out and sink inside myself, listening to the music weaving in my head.

            Pollock stands and I realize the meeting is over. Mom rises, too. She looks down at me with wide eyes that just don’t seem to blink anymore.

            I move sluggishly to my feet, arms crossed, hugging myself. Suddenly I’m cold. So cold. Inside and out, I’m chilled to the bone.

            “I’ll see you next month. Hopefully not before.” Pollock snaps my file shut and slides it aside on his desk. My fingers itch to snatch it and read for myself the words that say I’m this terrible thing that must be watched and monitored like a bomb waiting to blow. Like there will be something there I can point at and say ah-ha! That’s not true. I can prove it. I’ll show you. 

            I nod, not knowing what to do or say. I turn to follow Mom from the cubicle but pause as someone else steps inside the small space. Saunters really.

            My gaze moves over him unevenly, jerking along the long body. The legs, waist, chest. He’s more muscular than Zac. And taller. Fighter’s build floats through my head.

             I glance up at his face, survey the strong lines. Even if his face isn’t the perfection you see in the movies or on magazine covers, there’s no doubt that he’s hot. His brows are thick over deeply set eyes. The nose looks like it’s been broken. His hair is too long, almost to his shoulders, and I suspect he himself might have hacked the dark blonde strands framing his face shorter.

He’s got that confidence that always attracts females. Features carved from stone, but a body relaxed and at ease. Suddenly I remember a line from Julius Caesar. As my gaze crawls over him, the words come back: He has a lean and hungry look …such men are dangerous.

            Without being told, I know he’s a carrier.

            “Mr. O’Rourke, Nice of you to show.” Pollock glances at his watch. “Only an hour late. This is unacceptable. We’re going to have to discuss this.”

            O’Rourke shrugs. An intricate ink design creeps up his muscular bicep and disappears beneath the sleeve of his gray T-shirt. My gaze lifts, collides with his. They’re smoky blue, the irises rimmed with a blue so dark it appears almost black. He looks me up and down appraisingly.

            Heat bursts over my face at his speculative look. Me. Here. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why. I already deduced the same about him.  

            Except he looks the part.

            His hard features remind me of the faces that flash across the television screen – criminals found guilty for committing some horrendous crime, all proven HTS carriers. This guy’s fathomless eyes hold secrets, shadows where light can’t reach.

            He doesn’t even acknowledge Pollock. His deep voice rumbles across the air, turning my skin to goose bumps. “Hey, princess.”

             I shiver. And then I see it. The proof. I missed it before, too mesmerized by his body, his face, his eyes. His neck bears the mark. The H trapped inside a circle set within a wide ink band that wraps his neck. And maybe it was just that I didn’t expect to see it. Even here. I have never seen one up close before.

             Mom must see it, too – must be filled with my same fear … the same curiosity over what he did to get imprinted. She grips my arm like she’s hanging on for life.  

            “Sean,” Pollock says his name sharply, motioning to the seat. “Sit.”

            After a long moment, the boy looks away. He drops in his seat, shaking his hair back from his face, the imprint even more visible now. Like he doesn’t care who sees it.

            Mom’s hand slides down my arm to my hand. She gives it a hard tug. I barely hear her whispered, “C’mon”.

She leads me from the cubicle. Still, I glance back over my shoulder at the boy sitting in the chair. I stare at the back of his head, at the dark blonde hair my friends would spend ridiculous money for in a salon. I doubt he does anything except shampoo it. It’s rich brown underneath the sun-gold strands. Maybe he works a lot of time in the sun cutting lawns. I can’t imagine my parents hiring him to mow the grass.

            He sits so at ease in the chair. Does he care where he is? And why? Did he lose sleep over that imprint on his neck? At his corrupt DNA?

            Pollock has already opened his folder and is stabbing his finger threateningly at Sean O’Rourke as he talks. I turn around and let Mom pull me away.

            As we leave the building, I’m only sure of one thing.

            I’ll never wear that mark.

Thank you Sophie for taking the time to answer my questions, and for the awesome teaser!!! 



  1. Wow...that teaser! I am so excited to read this! I haven't read any of Sophie Jordan's books yet, but I will have to check out the Firelight series!

    1. OMG You have to let me know what you think of Firelight & Uninvited! :)

  2. I had not heard about this book, but LOVED the cover. May have to give it a try, even though I swore I wouldn't get hooked into book series again... But, hey, it's a 2 book series, it could be worse, it could be 6, right? lol

    1. OMG I say that all the time. I always go around saying I am fed up with series and how I want more standalones. Or a series where each book is a different character lol! But then I get sucked right back in.

  3. I can't wait for this one. That cover, the premise, ahh! I'm really liking the amount of duologies (is that grammatically correct?) too. Thanks for the review, I'm even more excited :)

    1. It's really good Lizzy! You have to let me know what you think of it once you read it. :)

  4. This cover is so unique and I love that. Also the story seems intriguing too.

  5. I missed my chance at getting this from Edelweiss. I was so mad when I realized it went away. Great review! I can't wait read this.

  6. Really want to read this. I missed my chance to get it from Edelweiss, annoyed! Looks great. Great review!

  7. I love the premise of Uninvited, and the cover! I am absolutely looking forward to reading this book. It sounds so unique and interesting. I really think I will enjoy this one, and I hope to get the chance to read it soon!

  8. That nature/nurture issue was the first thing that popped into my head when I first read the synopsis for this book. It's something that interests me as well. I once had to write an essay on the topic, but I didn't mind it all that much. Because it's *interesting*.
    I actually read Branded last week, and since you mentioned it, I'm that much more eager to read this. I LOVED Branded. The concept was so simultaneously different and an everyday issue if you think about it. People are labeled all the time. But in these two books, it's an actual label- or brand.
    Can't wait to read this!


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