Rummanah Aasi
 After thoroughly enjoying In the Shadow of Blackbirds and The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters, I was really looking forward to picking up her adult debut novel, The Uninvited. I really wanted to like The Uninvited and though I did enjoy parts of the book, I did have many issues with it.

Description: Twenty-five year old Ivy Rowan rises from her bed after being struck by the flu, only to discover the world has been torn apart in just a few short days. But Ivy s life-long gift or curse remains. For she sees the uninvited ones ghosts of loved ones who appear to her, unasked, unwelcomed, for they always herald impending death. On that October evening in 1918 she sees the spirit of her grandmother, rocking in her mother s chair. An hour later, she learns her younger brother and father have killed a young German out of retaliation for the death of Ivy s older brother Billy in the Great War.
   Horrified, she leaves home, to discover the flu has caused utter panic and the rules governing society have broken down. Ivy is drawn into this new world of jazz, passion, and freedom, where people live for the day, because they could be stricken by nightfall. But as her uninvited guests begin to appear to her more often, she knows her life will be torn apart once more, but Ivy has no inkling of the other-worldly revelations about to unfold.

Review: Cat Winters deftly paints a grotesque picture of 1918 America in The Uninvited. While the World War I is taking place in Europe, it has caused unrest at home. Racism, xenophobia, and hysteria are just some of the illnesses that plague America. Immigrants, especially those originating from Germany, are regarded with suspicion. Prejudice has given way to discrimination and even murder. Making matters worse is the deadly influenza pandemic, which has taken a disproportionate number of young. 
  While I loved the setting of the book, the characters hindered my overall enjoyment. I didn't find Ivy likable at all. I found her voice to be much younger than her actual age. While I understood she sacrificed a lot in her life for the sake of her brothers, I got tired of hearing that before she made horrible choices such as jumping insta-lust with the German, which did not make sense to me at all and I found it distracting to the story since I felt zero chemistry between the two characters. Ivy's decisions, in my opinion, did not match with those of the time period. In addition to Ivy, I also found that the characterizations of the secondary characters were merely sketches, which is a shame because they had the potential to be great characters. 
 The blurb regarding the paranormal element is a bit misleading. Though Ivy and the other female members of her family have an unusual gift of seeing ghosts of the dead, the ghosts don't really appear into the second half of the story. The apparitions are suppose to function as a warning and a harbinger of death, however, their appearance comes across haphazardly. The twist in the story was nicely done, but had I been invested in the characters, it would have packed a more of an emotional punch rather than a clever move. 
  Due to my high expectations, The Uninvited left me unsatisfied. I wanted more out of the characters rather than just a caricature of who they were suppose to be. Though I struck out with this book, I still look forward to reading what Cat Winters has to offer. 

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There are sexual situations in the book, but they are not graphic. There is strong violence, which occurs off the page. Recommended for older teens and adults who enjoy historical fiction with light paranormal elements.

If you like this book try: In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters, Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray, Born of Illusion by Teri Brown
6 Responses
  1. I am sorry you didn't like this one. I enjoyed the twist, and I liked the setting.

  2. Kindlemom Says:

    Like Heidi I enjoyed the setting and the twist but I can totally see how this wouldn't be for everyone, especially since it did have a slower placing than her other stories. Wonderful honest review!

  3. Oh I can see how expectations get in the way of this one. Good to know since I have that book and have been thinking about picking it up. Will try to get in a good frame of mind before I do!

  4. The book sounds a lot like In the Shadow of the Blackbird. In fact as i was reading the review I thought that it was that book you were talking about. Have you read the first book?

  5. I just read this one and kept comparing it to In the Shadow of Blackbirds which I found so much better. I would have liked more information on Ivy's parents.

  6. Unknown Says:

    I've seen this around, but never got the chance to read it. So disappointed you didn't like this one :( Hope your next read is amazing!

    Asma @ IceyBooks

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