Davy Hamilton is a musical prodigy. At the age of three she sat down at a piano and started playing perfectly, with no prior practice or training. Her life has always been set, she’ll graduate from high school and attend Julliard, where she has already been accepted and do something musical with her life. Or so she thought. When her test results comeback saying she is a carrier for the HTS gene (the one that causes homicidal tendencies), everything changes. Suddenly everyone in her life is shunning her and she is forced to change schools and be around other maniacs with the kill gene. There had to be so kind of error, but she knows that that can never be fixed now and she must try to make the best out of this terrible situation.
Davy is that perfect girl with all the right friends and the hot popular boyfriend that most people fantasized about in high school. It was more than a little fun to watch the rich popular girl get knocked off her pedestal, though the more you come to care about her, the less fun it becomes. She’s such a strong character, but she losses all her confidence when the gets labeled a carrier and she almost losses herself in the struggle to keep her shit together. I imagine everyone would go through a similar transformation if life as they knew it was ripped from their grasp.
Sean O’Rourke is that bad guy you momma always warned you about, or is he? He’s the classic bad guy with a heart of gold, who has had the carrier label since a young age. He even has the carrier brand around his neck because society deemed one of his actions so dangerous that the world need to always be aware that he was a carrier. As much as I wanted to be irritated at him for being a bit cliche with the bad boy imagine, he’s ability to always save Davy’s ass melted my heart. Against his better judgement, he always comes to her rescue, while spouting those annoying “it’s better if you stay away” sentiments. He gets over that eventually, but I wanted to punch him every time he even implied it.
This novel has all the things I look for when I’m reading, like good characters, interesting story, great writing, all that jazz, but what really gets me here is the philosophical question it presents about the characters. Are these people really violent deviants who are genetically coded to murder and pillage or do the majority act out based on the fact that society pushes them into that role? Yes, it’s obvious that there are a number of carriers who truly deserve the label and are violent beyond reasonable understanding, but aren’t we more than our genetic code? Don’t we have the choice, in most cases, to act as violently as our hormones command us to or to stop and think about our actions? If society is going to treat us like shit regardless of if we fight our urges or not, why bother? These poor people are shunned and abused by society as a whole and even each other. You’d think they’d band together to create a support group, but there are too many who’d rather just accept the role society has placed them in and act out than fight the injustice. And things that are normally acceptable, like slapping your ex-boyfriend for being a jackass, are now a sign that you really are a carrier for the kill gene.
This is my first Sophie Jordan novel. I know, this chick manages to write books in all three of my favorite genres (young adult, new adult, and historical romance), so I don’t know why it has taken me so long to get around to reading her novels, but if they are all this good, sign me up! This novel had very few issues for me, no love triangle, no instalove, and no cliffhanger. The ending doesn’t wrap everything up in a nice little bow, but things end on a hopeful note which is all I ask for. My only minor issues are the cover and the length. Despite the fact that this is almost 400 pages, it felt short. When I flipped to the last page on Luna, I couldn’t believe it was over. There was still so much more territory that needed to be covered! It’s not that it felt underdeveloped, but I was just craving more. The cover also doesn’t really match the story at all. I don’t see at all how the levitating girl gives any indication of what this story is about. Maybe I’m wrong, but it just doesn’t fit to me.
This is one of the more unique YA novels I’ve read it a while. Jordan manages to wholly captivate her with her story and leave them desperate for me. I will definitely be on the lookout for the next novel in this series, as well as anything else attached to this talented woman’s name. If her new adult novels or her historical romance novels are half as good, I’m in for a real treat!
****Thank you to HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****