Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Review: Uninvited, by Amanda Marrone


Title: Uninvited
Author: Amanda Marrone
Pages: 224
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 23, 2007

Genre: Young Adult
Keywords/Themes: drugs, high school, paranormal, vampires


When rejection comes back to bite you...

Jordan's life sucks. Her boyfriend, Michael, dumped her, slept his way through half the student body, and then killed himself. But now, somehow, he appears at her window every night, begging her to let him in.

Jordan can't understand why he wants her, but she feels her resistance wearing down. After all, her life -- once a broken record of boring parties, meaningless hookups, and friends she couldn't relate to -- now consists of her drinking alone in her room as she waits for the sun to go down.

Michael needs to be invited in before he can enter. All Jordan has to do is say the words....

Review: It's actually been a while since I've read this, so bear with me if I'm a little too vague in this review. I know most of the key points and I know how I feel about the book -- but re-writing the synopsis here just made me question something I read. Without being too spoiler-ish, isn't the "Jordan's boyfriend dumper her" part wrong? I mean, I thought that she dumped him, which was one of the reasons why he did certain things. It's not going to ruin the book, or the review, but it's something I'm questioning right now. I'll have to go back and check my point at another time.

So, back to the review. There were two main points that caught my attention with this book from the very beginning. The first was the cover. It was gorgeous. Not too flashy, but not too plain either. The second was the synopsis. As a loyal vampire lover for over the past 13 years or so, the synopsis made me squee like a little school girl. Honestly, this sounded exactly like the old school vampire stories that first sucked me in. The whole rule of having to be invited in, the stalker-ish behavior, the darkness ... it's great. Don't get me wrong, I'm obsessive about my Twilight books too, but this is getting back to how vampires used to be.

Sadly to say, the book didn't quite live up to my own self-imposed hype. Maybe no book will because I put too much enthusiasm into things before actually starting them. I did like the book, though. I'd recommend to fellow vampire-lovers. It's just not the highest on my ranks.

Jordan was a decent character. I think she was fleshed out decently. Michael seemed to stay in his own little character bubble and you thought you knew him, until he popped that bubble close to the end. Jordan's other friends ... well, they were around ever so often, but not enough to get a good grip on who they were. You got a bit of a back story on Jordan's best friend, but it still wasn't enough, in my opinion, to relate to her as a character.

And the whole vampire story line? Yeah, not so much there. You don't get a good grip on the vampire world - other than they come out at night and they have to be invited in. There wasn't good world building at all. Besides Jordan's room, I couldn't necessarily picture anything else in my head except for maybe their location at the end of the book.

What I DID like about this book was that Jordan was a real character. She had a lot of problems and she coped with her problems with alcohol, drugs, and sex with different guys. It's not the best solution, but you could see that she was human and could relate to her - or at least empathize. The vampire thing seemed to be more of like a loose metaphor for the effect of the drugs and reckless behavior on her life.

If you're looking for a wonderful vampire read, you may want to look elsewhere. If you're looking for a book on teenagers, angst, social anxiety, addictions, and relationships gone wrong ... this will probably suit you better.

Rating: ½ - The story was more telling than showing, most of the characters were flat, and it didn't hold my attention as well as I would have like. However, aside from all the things that I wasn't too happy about, I did enjoy this take on a young adult paranormal(ish) story. It was a good idea, but I think the author held back a little too much on it. In the words of Heidi Klum on Project Runway: "It's too safe."

Other Books By Author: Revealers, which I haven't read but came out after Uninvited. She also published another YA book called Devoured in 2009 which I do want to read, as well as a middle grade series, Magic Repair Shop, that's being published this year.

Source: Purchase

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