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Uninvited By Sophie Jordan

One phone call uninvited her from the rest of her life.

Interests/Topics: science, genetic profiling, social justice, friendship, destiny, fate, free will, morality

Curriculum Connections: English, Biology

Gender: F/M

Age: 14+

Blurb: Does it drive you crazy when people tell you that you look just like your mother? Or perhaps you resemble your dad but have your mom’s eyes? Or maybe your brother got the “girl” eyelashes and you got your dad’s high forehead? Maybe you look just like a long-lost aunt whom you’ve never met?

Genetics are fascinating, at least to me anyway. It’s amazing to see how a child can be a balanced mixture of his parents’ genes, or can so closely resemble one parent that you’d never know that the other parent was involved at all. Take my friend Charlotte, for example. One of her daughters inherited Charlotte’s Chinese genes; the other daughter is the blonde-haired, light-eyed version of their father. So different are mother and daughter in colouring that Charlotte’s been asked if she is the family’s nanny.

Like it or not, we are the genetic product of our parents. Davy, in Sophie Jordan’s novel Uninvited, hit the genetic jackpot. She’s a smart, kind, beautiful musical prodigy who’s just been accepted to Juilliard. She’s adored by friends and family alike, and her parents would do anything to secure her happiness.

But Davy’s exceptional DNA includes one significant flaw, a fact that comes to light after the government demands that every citizen be tested for the Homicidal Tendency Syndrome. Davy’s positive result indicates a future of violence and murder. She is immediately “uninvited” by her school, and her friends refuse to answer her calls. Even her parents look at her with fear in their eyes.

Davy doesn’t feel any differently, but how do you convince people that you’re still the same person when your DNA has branded you a killer?

“I lie in bed, a song whispering through my head, fingers laced over my stomach as I stare up at the ceiling. My eyes are dry as bone. Strangely, I haven’t cried even though it feels like I lost everything. My head spins against the backdrop of an aria, thoughts racing through everything that’s happened, everything that’s going to happen. [My boyfriend] will still be there. My real friends. They won’t change because they’ll understand that I haven’t.” (28)

“Mom drops me at the front door while she hunts for a parking spot. She’s paranoid I’m going to be late. Like the police will appear if I’m one minute late or something. It’s the ‘or something,’ the not knowing anything anymore, that makes her nervous. The ground hasn’t just shifted beneath our feet; it’s been ripped away entirely.” (33)

“Shaking my head, I scroll through my contacts. All friends that I can’t call. Or I could. But they wouldn’t come. I cringe, imagining the scenario. I’ve already had enough humiliation for one night. I’m not up for more. Perhaps this more than anything else alerts me to how terribly wrong my life has become. When you’re stranded and in trouble and there’s no one to call, you’ve hit rock bottom.” (129)

“A reporter drones on in whispered tones about this being the second time the president has addressed the nation this last week….’[F]or the protection of this great nation, the time has arrived to give full attention to the HTS threat so that we do not have a repeat of last week’s tragedy….Detention of all carriers has become of utmost necessity….The Wainwright Agency in conjunction with the Department of Justice, Homeland Security, and FEMA are mobilizing as I speak to amass all registered carriers throughout the country and transfer them to suitable locations.’”(224)

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