Uninvited by Sophie Jordan starts with a dystopian premise — imagine if the government could punish you for a crime you COULD commit in the future — and then sets that story in the present rather than the future. Both the modern-day setting and the plausibility of the premise will make this story hard for readers to forget. This would also make a good subject for a book discussion, as readers can explore the shades of gray in the idea of guilt and innocence of various characters.
[NOTE: My first episode of the month is usually an “in depth” episode, but this month I had to switch the order around. So stay tuned for a longer episode next week!]
Davina Hamilton’s life was just about perfect. She was a great student, a talented musician, and her boyfriend Zac was so handsome that all the girls in school envied her. She was a senior at an exclusive private school, and she’d already been accepted to go to Juilliard next year.
But then one day she gets a test result that changes everything. She tests positive for HTS, Homicidal Tendency Syndrome, also known as the “kill gene.” Even though she hasn’t killed anyone yet, she could in the future. And for that reason, the government has decided that she is dangerous.
One by one, she starts to lose all of those things that made her life perfect. She’s thrown out of her private school. Her friends turn against her. Her relationship with her boyfriend ends badly … and publicly. Juilliard decides that she’s NOT the right kind of student after all and rejects her application. Now everything’s changed — not just for the next few weeks or months, but for the rest of her life.
Davina will have to go to a different school, where she and the other students who tested positive will spend all day in a locked room that’s far away from all the other students. A room called the Cage. She doesn’t think that her life could get worse than having to spend all day locked in a room with other potential killers. She has no idea that being singled out for a crime she hasn’t even committed is only the beginning.