THE UNINVITED by Sophie Jordan

Imagine your goals, your dreams are just within your grasp and then a scientist you've never met discovers a gene that is common among the most depraved murderers in our nation's prisons and that anyone with this gene has a tendency toward extreme violence. Then, to ensure the safety of all citizens, the government requires everyone to test for this gene...and guess what, you have that gene.

Then the government decides that you and everyone else with that gene must be monitored and controlled. So you are placed on a government watch list and because you're distraught you tell someone, a friend, a coworker, a classmate, someone, about what has happened and soon everyone else knows because the fear of that gene and what the carriers of that gene could do is so great that your friend believes everyone needs to know that you are one of them.

Soon your classmates, your coworkers, even your friends and family are looking at you differently, distancing themselves from you. Your boss tells you not to come back to work, "It's for everyone's safety."

If you own a business, your clients stop coming around and if your raise your voice or lose your temper the government is going to put a mark on you, a tattoo, so that everyone knows your tendency for violence, even if you've never gotten so much as a parking ticket. After all, it's all genetics, right?

The saddest part of this young adult novel by Sophie Jordan is that it could happen. All you have to do is watch the news and watch society. Fear of what could happen or might happen is the ultimate control.

In the novel, THE UNINVITED, no one considers Davy Hamilton's past. How she's been a music prodigy since age three, an honor student and just about one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. All that matters is that suddenly she's been diagnosed as having the "killer" gene and her life is completely changed.

THE UNINVITED is an amazing book, no vampires, no paranormal, none of the usual young-adult fare. This book is just a good old fashioned captivating and compelling read that grabs your interest on page one and holds it until the last page. It reminded me of a cross between Suzanne Collins' THE HUNGER GAMES and George Orwell's 1984.

This book should definitely be on the reading list of every high school. Oh yeah, it's definitely up there with William Golding's LORD OF THE FLIES. It's all about being labeled, how society reacts to that label and how you have a choice between succumbing to their expectations or believing in yourself.


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