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January 2

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Review: Uninvited by Amanda Marrone

by Ann-Kat

Uninvited by Lisa Marrone

Back Cover of Uninvited

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….

Three Quick Points About Uninvited

  • Point 1: This book reads like the anti-Twilight. The characters are shallow and the plot is paper thin. The difference is, rather than a clean cut honor student being completely enamoured by the new vampire who’s been stalking her, it’s the story of a constantly drunk honor student wishing she weren’t being stalked by the new vampire.
  • Point 2: Redefines the term “lush life.” Everyone is drunk and high (except maybe the parents, but I can’t be certain) throughout most of the book. It became redundant.
  • Point 3: Jordan needs a lot of therapy or to develop an actual personality. I really wanted to like Jordan’s character, but didn’t. Throughout the book, we’re trapped inside her head while she complains about every facet of her life (and it feels as though the air is slipping away fast). In the end, she turns over a new leaf, sort of, but never quite redeems herself.

Full Review of Uninvited

Before reading the full review, please note that there may be some spoilers. I tried to keep it vague enough not to spoil the entire story, but be warned. If you’d rather not take any chances, skip the synopsis and go straight to the final thoughts.

Uninvited Synopsis

Uninvited begins with Jordan talking to a vampire who’s perched in a tree outside her bedroom window. The story then walks us through how that situation came to be.

Three months prior, a year after she and Michael dated for two months, Michael Green up and dies of an apparent suicide, then he makes a reappearance at her house the night of his funeral. At first, Jordan thought a mistake had been made and he was still alive, but she put the pieces together when he explained what really happened to him.

So, her routine changed as a result. For three months, she holed herself in her room before nightfall and waited for Michael to come calling. Every night he’d ask to be let in and every night she’d deny him, because, apparently, becoming a vampire makes you more patient than you were in life.

Jordan’s life (social and otherwise) suffers due to this change and she regularly finds her solace at the bottom of an empty bottle (alcohol or otherwise). Finally, her friends—who she’s not quite sure are really her friends, but then why would they show concern for her well-being if they weren’t?—ambush her and take her to a party to get her out of her funk.

At the party, Jordan has an epiphany about her life and what she’s doing to herself. She also learns that Michael followed her there and what she once thought about his motives, she now has to rethink.

When she gets back home, she finds her friend Lisa there who is behaving strangely and apologizing profusely for telling Michael about the party. Thus begins Jordan’s mission to finally face her problem head on.

Final Thoughts On Uninvited

I wanted very much to like this book; it has such a cool cover and plenty of positive reviews at Amazon. However:

  • Half-way through the book, I began mixing up the characters because they all seem to be the same person—one dimensional and struggling for a voice.
  • By chapter six, I wanted to put the book down and not really pick it back up again because I was afraid the whining about life would continue endlessly.
  • And when I closed the book, I said “meh, that’s it?” and then it just became another foggy memory.

Let’s tackle these bullet points in order, shall we? The characters are all one-dimensional and sometimes stereotypical. Jordan, who narrates the story, has a social anxiety disorder and a self-centered absentee mother. Her way to deal is by partying, and by partying, I mean drinking to get “faced”, partaking in various illicit substances, and having random “flybys” with guys she doesn’t know.

Of course, that’s not my main problem with her. My problem is that her ennui drones on for about a hundred pages and when other characters did pop in, they were just another version of Jordan.

There’s an effort to make them different, but it never quite worked. Some exaggerated to the point where it wasn’t believable; especially Michael, the vampire who’s stalking Jordan, and Lisa, the convenient catalyst, who makes an appearance late in the game.

For the first half of the book, we’re basically getting the back story explaining who Michael was in life and Jordan’s quest to find out why he’s chosen to torment her of all people. Unfortunately, the revelation of said back story is banal and redundant.

I stopped caring that Michael smelled like coconut suntan lotion, that he was an asshole who chased anything with legs, and that Jordan felt she wasn’t stalk-able because she was some lowly prole he dated for two months.

The final let down came at the big climax where we all learn the reason Michael is stalking Jordan. This is going to be a huge spoiler, but necessary to see the plot’s paper thinness. If you wish to read it, highlight the following paragraph:

The back cover lied. Michael did not dump Jordan, she was the one who dumped him. The first line (i.e. when rejection comes back to bite you…) is a play on the storyline in which Michael begins stalking Jordan because he can’t believe she, the pathetic lush, dumped him. I guess when you have an eternity on your hands, it’s best to torment the one that got away.

Then to throw a chunk of salt into the gaping wound, we have Lisa who enters the story as the catalyst (I won’t reveal more than that, but that’s another spoiler). The relationship between Jordan and Lisa didn’t translate well (i.e. the closeness which would cause Jordan to uproot her previous behaviour) and seemed very rushed which made the situation unbelievable.

In that vein, Lisa’s character could easily have been replaced by Nutty, Jordan’s cat. The conversation could go something like:

Michael: “If you ever want to see Nutty alive again, you’ll beg me to come in…”

Jordan: “Oh gawd, no, not Nutty…Michael, come in. Please. I’m begging you to come in. Just leave Nutty alooooonnnneeee.

Michael: “I knew you’d cave.” Starts climbing in window, then stops. “Oh wait…I think I’ll still kill Nutty just because I’m an asshole. Muahahahaha”

Jordan: Uh oh, no. I love Nutty so much I can’t let him do it. I better grow a pair and do something. Where’d I put that stake again?

My apologies for the snark, but, I hope it helps to get the point across.

While I don’t regret reading the book, I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend it either.

Rating: Save your money (?)

If you’re truly interested in reading this one, check it out at the library or borrow it from a friend.

Comments on Review: Uninvited by Amanda Marrone

  1. # Mailbox Monday: A Double Dose - Today, I Read… wrote on January 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm:

    [...] by Amanda Morrone (review) When rejection comes back to bite [...]

  2. # Brie wrote on January 2, 2009 at 7:28 pm:

    Ouch. I despise cardboard cut out characters. Too bad the story wasn’t good, the synopsis read like something that I would give a chance, I won’t be doing that now.

    Thanks for the review!

  3. # Kristen wrote on January 3, 2009 at 7:31 pm:

    I love how you structured your review! Your “snap shot” review before your full review is such a fresh take on what we do… Nice!!

  4. # Jenners wrote on January 3, 2009 at 9:01 pm:

    I had read about this somewhere else (can’t remember where) and thought it sounded kind of interesting but your review definitely helped me decide not to read it! Thanks for your honesty! : )

  5. # Ann-Kat wrote on January 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm:

    @Brie: Although I didn’t care much for the cutout characters, I would have forgiven it had it not been for the climax. After finishing chapter 6, it began displaying some redeeming qualities, then they all went up in smoke.

    @Kristen: Thanks. I’ve found that whenever I read a book, my mind usually conjures up random points and it’s usually three, so I figured why not start the reviews off with the three quick points? :D

    @Jenners: I’m sure others may truly have enjoyed this book, so it may be one worth the read, but it was too repetitive and superficial for my liking. I should also mention that there’s a lesson in their somewhere, I’m certain, but it seemed forced. (I would say what it is, but it would also be a spoiler.)

  6. # J. Kaye wrote on January 7, 2009 at 10:20 am:

    So what book challenge is this for?

  7. # Ann-Kat wrote on January 7, 2009 at 2:15 pm:

    Actually, two: Young Adult and New Author. I need to start tagging my reviews now so it’s a bit easier to tell, but I’m also keeping a running tally at my 2009 Reading Challenges page. :)

  8. # Steph wrote on January 8, 2009 at 4:14 am:

    May I just say you write really excellent reviews? They’re sooo detailed – I love it. I never intended on picking these books up anyway, and this served as reassurance :)

    Steph

  9. # Ann-Kat wrote on January 8, 2009 at 1:51 pm:

    Thanks Steph. :D

    And if I may say so, you’ve definitely dodged a bullet by avoiding this one.

  10. # Caron wrote on April 28, 2009 at 3:37 pm:

    I havent read this book yet and i wanna make sure Uninvited is the first right is here any more????

  11. # Ann-Kat wrote on May 11, 2009 at 1:08 pm:

    Hi Caron,
    As far as I can tell, Uninvited in the only book. Marrone has written a couple of others, one about witches I believe, but they aren’t part of a series–each is an individual book with its own set of characters.

    Of course, I didn’t go out of my way to see if there were any follow-ups to this book either, so double check on Amazon or B&N.

  12. # Desiree wrote on November 2, 2010 at 9:04 pm:

    where does this book take place? like the state?

  13. # Courtney wrote on November 16, 2010 at 11:47 am:

    I loved the book. it kept me wanting to read more and more!!!

  14. # Kaylee wrote on June 5, 2011 at 5:42 pm:

    Great review(:
    I’ve been looking for some good books to read and almost bought this one. Ever since I read the wolves of mercy falls series (by Maggie Stiefvater) I haven’t been able to find a book I like!

  15. # Lauren wrote on October 28, 2011 at 11:25 am:

    I read this book for a school project and i didnt like it very much. In the middle of the book i read this review and i regret reading it. not that it was horrible but i couldnt do much for my report because all that happened was she got drunk high, and michael visitng her was a regular thing with the same conversation.

  16. # daisy wrote on October 28, 2011 at 5:51 pm:

    Sorry for bad language but this story was a total shit .
    i put the book down from chapter 6 and it just was so boring .

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