This book has intrigued me for a while now, but I never brought myself to actually read it until very recently. I just get too distracted by shiny books and also the worry that a book is going to disappoint me. This, I’m sad to say, was a book that disappointed me.
This story opens with teenager Davy Hamilton finding out that her test results have come back saying that she is a carried for the Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS) – the killer gene. Davy’s life is forever changed as her boyfriend dumped her, she had to register as an HTS Carrier, she was sent to a more ‘common’ school, one that teaches HTS carriers, and her dreams of attending Julliard are shattered forever. She has to learn quickly that people will see her has a threat now, even if she never acts out, but genes never lie and she will kill someone one day.
I really was hoping for something more from this book. I never connected with Davy at all. She came across as a truly spoiled brat that had everything in life handed to her. She whined all of the time and was impossibly naive. “This cannot possibly be happening to me! I have not ever done anything wrong!”, said every person diagnosed with this killer gene. Davy thought she could convince everyone she was truly innocent if she acted innocent. Give me a break.She thought she was perfect and wanted the world to know how perfect she was. “I have a natural talent with music. I can sign in perfect pitch and play about every musical instrument imaginable.” Uh, ok. We get it. Just stop already. I did not like any of the other characters either. There are too many to name but believe me when I say they all range from typical to predictable.
Now let’s talk about a lack of background. The entire premise of this story is around this special mystery DNA gene called Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS) and the fact that it is never truly explained. The background behind this is still a mystery! How did scientists discover it? How is it tested? (A simple blood test, apparently.) Has it been proven that people with HTS actually commit crime/murder? The world may never know because it is not discussed.
I know this story is labeled a dystopian but this did not feel dystopian at all. Was this an apocalyptic future? Nope. Has society crumbled beyond repair? Don’t believe so. This felt more sci-fi than anything simply based on this killer gene. It does remind me of very similar story that came out earlier this year – Flawed – but that did not involve a killer gene. It felt like heavy topics were covered – social injustice and judging. Anyone with this gene was automatically treated different in the eyes of the law and eyes of society.
Oh, there is also a bit of a love story involved but it’s not truly worth going in to. Shawn, the male Davy meets after being put into the special school for HTS students, is the dreamy bad guy who has a softer side. The romance didn’t feel believable or real.
In the end, I really expected more from this one. I didn’t like how totally and completely naive the MC was. I don’t feel she grew or developed at all. I’m not sad I picked up this book to finally read, but I am sure I don’t want to pick up the second book to find out how it ends. I didn’t DNF it so maybe I was just holding out for the ending to deliver me a huge punch but alas, it did not. I did not hate this book, but I did not love it either.