Thursday, March 27, 2014
Author: Sophie Jordan
Published: January 28, 2014
Hardcover, 384 pages
5 Gold Stars
(summary from Goodreads)
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 minute I opened this book, I was hooked. Jordan has created this world that doesn't seem too unlike our own where people are tested for HTS, aka the kill gene. Those with tendencies to become murders are labelled as such and become outcasts to society. Davy has a great life, a great boyfriend and goes to a prestigious school, but when she tests positive for HTS, suddenly everything is gone. She is uninvited from her school and is sent to public school to learn along side other carriers. Her new life as a carrier is off to a rocky start and it just shows how brutal her life will be from now on. Stuck in a basement with only a few students and a very sketchy teacher, Davy quickly finds herself trusting Sean, a fortified killer based on the tattooed confirmation around his neck. She knows she should stay away from him, but he is always there for her and she starts to see too much of herself in him.
I related to Davy right away. Not that I live a privileged life or anything, but I know I would hate it if I lost what I have. She reacted so perfectly, too scared to really say anything but dying to break away on the inside. The way she deals with being uninvited and thrown into this new school just shows how brave she is. The scariest thing is that this could happen so easily in our world. One word and we could be separated and those who have done wrong could easily be labelled as such for the world to see. I think that's what scared me most about this book - how easily it is for society to turn against you even if you haven't done anything wrong. Day has never murdered anyone, never done anything even close to it. But as soon as she is marked a carrier, the world assumes she will. And when she does use a violent act to protect herself (like any sane person would do) she is suddenly thrust into the same category as murderers. I needed to know more and I kept turning the page to see how Davy would survive this new world. Throughout the novel, I found myself realizing that I would react the same way as her, I'd do the same things she does to get out of awful situations and by the end of it, I was rooting so loudly for her that I can't wait to read the rest of her story.
This books shows that just because someone is characterized as something does not mean that defines them. Sean may have the mark around his neck but you can't judge a book by its cover. He is protective of Davy, knowing that she is going through the same thing as him. They are both labelled as something they're not and forced to live with the consequences. I fell in love with their relationship, hoping that they can both overcome the obstacles in front of them and make it through life unscratched. Jordan continues to impress me and based on the ending of this book, I know I'm in for more of a wild ride with the sequel, Unleashed.
“Ironic. I'm here because of my inherent dangerousness, but it's my inherent politeness that makes me put up with this. With him.”
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