Monday, March 17, 2014

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

“They say she’s a killer. One day she will be.” 

Gifted, extraordinary and blessed were words Davy Hamilton had heard all of her life. With dreams and ambitions to do something with her life, no one ever told her that she would be a killer. Davy has plans to attend Julliard in the fall while her gorgeous boyfriend Zac will be at NYU. Things seem perfect until the afternoon her mother calls to tell her to come home immediately. Both of her parents are at home waiting for her. Davy detects a nervous tremor in her mother’s voice. Zac drives Davy to her house. Once there, Davy sees two unknown vehicles in their driveway. Her mother steps out of the house to greet them and sends Zac on his way. Davy promises to call him later.

Walking into the house, Davy hears her father’s loud, panicked voice. She sees the headmaster from her school, Mr. Grayson and an unknown man. She hears that the conversation is about her, not her troubled, older brother Mitchell. With his check book in hand, Davy’s father asks how much it will cost to keep Davy at Everton Academy. Mr. Grayson says that he is sorry even though Davy had a promising future. He gives them a sympathetic smile and leaves; the other man introduces himself as Mr. Pollock and informs Davy that he is now her case manager. He hands her his business card and says that he expects her in his office at 10am the next morning. When he leaves, Davy asks her parents what is going on. They tell her that she has been uninvited from Everton (their nice way of saying expelled) because she has tested positive for the kill gene.

The family is devastated. Her father is looking for someone to blame, her mother is terrified of her and her brother Mitchell gives her a pep talk and tells Davy to prove them wrong. She ignores the phone calls and texts from Zac and her best friend Tori the rest of the night. Davy and her mother go to Mr. Pollock’s office the following morning. He enters her information into the system and gives her the rules she is expected to follow. She will now be attending Keller High School, a public school in town that accepts students who have tested positive for the HTS (Homicidal Tendency Syndrome) gene. He does let her know that she has one chance. If she gets violent or hurts someone, she will be imprinted with the H on the side of her neck even if she isn’t sent to jail. As they turn to leave, a boy who can only be described as a line from Julius Caesar saunters in; “a lean and hungry look ... such men are dangerous.´ Mr. Pollock tells Mr. O’Rourke that it is nice of him to show up. He is only an hour late. O’Rourke ignores him and looks at Davy and says “Hey, princess.” Pollock tells Sean to sit. Before she even sees his mark, Davy knows that he is a carrier. She and her mother leave. Zac comes over after school and Davy breaks the news to him. His reaction is exactly as she feared; he is terrified of her just as her mother is. 

The next morning, her mother enrolls her at Keller High School. She is given an orange identification badge to mark her as a carrier. Mr. Tucci, her counselor arrives and takes her to her classroom. He is extremely nice to her and tells her to prove everyone wrong about her. Mr. Tucci lets her know that there are five other HTS carriers at Keller. “The Cage” as everyone calls it, is located in the bowels of the school. With steel reinforced doors, the classroom is divided with chain link fence from the supervisor’s desk. Mr. Brockman, a babysitter, will transfer their assignments back and forth from the classroom teachers. Mr. Brockman tells her that she can stay outside of the fence with him for a while if she wants to. Deciding to go inside, she sees that there are only four other students at the desks, three boys and a girl who Mr. Brockman introduces as Coco. Terrified, it isn’t long before a boy named Nathan sits beside her. Not wanting to tell him anything about herself, Davy comes off aloof and Nathan jumps on it. He lets her know that her life will never be the same and she better get used to it. She will be hanging out with other carriers the rest of her life. A small guy in the room, Gil, tries to intercede with Nathan and help her but ends up taking his wrath as well. Gil tells him that things will change once he gets there. Nathan leaves and Gil tells Davy that she needs to make as many friends as she can. He won’t be able to help her against guys like Nathan and Brian. He leaves and Coco reiterates what Gil said.

Having dozed off, Davy wakes up when the door to the Cage opens. She thinks the day is finally over but checks the clock. Disappointed, the sixth student finally enters the room. Davy is shocked to find out that she has actually seen him before, yesterday in Mr. Pollock’s office. Sean O’Rourke takes a desk nearest the door, next to Davy. He looks up to see Davy but his expression doesn’t change until Davy realizes that she is staring at him. Gil signals that Sean is the type of friend she needs to make. She discerns that Sean is who Nathan is afraid of. Davy is dumbfounded that a marked Sean could possibly be a good guy.
At the end of the day, Davy is the first one to leave the Cage. Reaching the parking lot, she discovers that she left her purse behind. Going back to retrieve it, she finds the room empty. Checking the contents of her purse, Davy hears someone crying. Looking for the source of the noise, she finds that it is coming from the closet. Opening the door, she sees that Mr. Brockman has Coco pinned against the wall, kissing her. Spying Davy, Coco screams for her to leave. Davy runs.

That evening, Mitchell is giving her a pep talk when Zac comes over. They talk and kiss but she can tell that their relationship has definitely cooled. He invites her to a party the next night and even though she doesn’t want to go, she agrees. At school the next morning, Mr. Brockman pays extra attention to Davy, who attempts to brush him off. Coco tells her to stay away. Later, the class is given an assignment from the Wainwright Agency, they oversee the HTS carriers. The class must pair up and interview each other to write a biography. Brian and Nathan pair up and Davy is disillusioned when Gil and Coco decide to work together. She is left to partner with Sean. In the end, she gets up to take a desk next to his and begins reading the assignment. Wondering why it is necessary, Sean tells her that they are trying to teach them some humanity. Davy begins with the basic questions. She finds out that he lives in a foster home and has no idea who his father was. He refers to his mother in the past tense. As for hobbies, he doesn’t have time with having to work six days a week washing dishes. When Davy asks why he has a job he hates, Sean tells her that not everyone lives like a princess. He says that she better come to the realization that her life has changed. Davy vows to never play into the HTS stereotype. 

Is Davy a HTS carrier or was there a mistake? Can she accept her new role on society? Will her parents ever accept what has become of their daughter? What happens when Davy goes to the party with Zac? Who is Sean O’Rourke and what did he do to be marked? Is he truly dangerous or really a good guy? Do sparks fly between Davy and Sean? What happens when society turns on the HTS carriers?

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