Sophie Jordan did an excellent job of world building in this suspenseful YA novel. This book can pretty much be divided into two halves – the build up of hysteria and a terrified society and then the outcome for the wronged individuals. I’ve read numerous YA dystopian type novels and this one had me catching my breath occasionally as I could see a world in which this could actually happen.
In this society the government has identified HTS or Homicidal Tendency Syndrome, the gene that leads people to kill. They pass laws to identify these people and then mark them permanently for all of society to see. They are implementing more and more laws to test for this gene in the workplace, in colleges and in schools. When Davy Hamilton is tested is school she doesn’t think twice about it. However, when her results come back positive her life pretty much halts in its’ place. She is kicked out of school, Julliard rescinds her acceptance, her boyfriend dumps her and nothing seems to matter.
Davy is forced to attend a public school where she and the other HTS identified teens are taught, pretty much in a cage. She meets Sean while there, definitely the strong and silent type, and she’s surprised to find herself having anything in common with someone so completely different than her.
From there Davy has to figure out how to maneuver this new world of hers. She is used to being unusual because of her musical abilities but having to figure out this is proving too hard for her. They’re sent to Mount Haven, a government facility, in the second half of the book and that’s where the book really picks up.
This seemed to be a realistic take to me. The author explored the ways that the government could both discover this kind of gene and then identify those with it and deal with that group of people. I found it terrifying to think about but also the way the author portrayed it as plausible enough. This was a complicated book, with fast pacing. My interest definitely didn’t wane at all throughout the book. If anything when it hit the second half it was piqued even more. There was an open ending to the book but definitely no major cliffhanger because I cannot handle pretty much any book with those these days. I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the next one!
ARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss