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The Uninvited [Paperback]

Tim Wynne-Jones
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 11 2010
"More suspenseful family drama than haunted-house tale. . . . The climax is heart-pounding, and the beautifully evoked bucolic setting plays a starring role." — KIRKUS REVIEWS

Mimi Shapiro had a disturbing freshman year at NYU, thanks to a foolish affair with a professor who still haunts her caller ID. So when her artist father, Marc, offers the use of his remote Canadian cottage, she’s glad to hop in her Mini Cooper and drive up north. The house is fairy-tale quaint, and the key is hidden right where her dad said it would be, so she’s shocked to fi nd someone already living there — Jay, a young musician, who is equally startled to meet Mimi and immediately accuses her of leaving strange and threatening tokens inside: a dead bird, a snakeskin, a cricket sound track embedded in his latest composition. But Mimi has just arrived, so who is responsible? And more alarmingly, what does the intruder want? Part gripping thriller, part family drama, this fast-paced novel plays out in alternating viewpoints, in a pastoral setting that is evocative and eerie — a mysterious character in its own right.

Product Details


Product Description

Quill & Quire

The young people in Tim Wynne-Jones’s new novel are talented, smart twentysomethings, some with more support and privilege – and better teeth – than others. Beautiful Mimi appears to have it all: looks, laptop, a great life in New York City. But she has also made some mistakes, particularly with the prof in her first-year course who has turned stalker. Planning to decompress and maybe write a screenplay about the experience, she arrives at the Ottawa Valley cabin owned by her artist father, only to find the place inhabited. The musician in the bedroom turns out to be a half-brother whose existence her father neglected to mention. And there are other, more threatening presences – more unfinished business from Dad’s “Canada” period. Most teens, if they read at all, tend to read genre fiction: fantasy, chick-lit, sexy vampire books. The Uninvited is none of these: it is instead the kind of engaging, evocative, nuanced book that has won Wynne-Jones numerous awards. But its dead-on, quirky dialogue and big messy issues should attract a wide readership from Grade 9 up. The story is genuinely scary, as Wynne-Jones evokes both the beauty and the potential violence of country life. Poor Mimi has fled from a stalker she knows to one she can’t even see, and it’s hard to tell if Cramer, a very attractive tech-support guy who also happens to be a neighbour, is a villain or merely a good guy in bad trouble. The most dangerous character of all doesn’t show her true colours until the end. With its dark legacies, intriguing relationships, hidden chambers, forbidden love, and flowing blood, The Uninvited has all the appeal of a sexy vampire, sans the fangs. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Tim Wynne-Jones is an award-winning writer of numerous YA novels. He lives in Ontario.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Cover. . .Little Else Dec 12 2009
Format:Hardcover
I have to take great exception with Quill & Quire's recent review of The Uninvited. This novel is anything but fresh and unique. In fact, it is little more than contrived and formulaic. Tim Wynne-Jones has obviously spent a lot of time creating a protagonist whom he feels can appeal to girls everywhere. Unfortunately, he has created an annoying, self-righteous, ultra-suave, irritatingly "cool" Mimi Shapiro, with a vocabulary and presence that is twenty years beyond her scope. For someone who has recently run away from her university professor-lover, she is much too self-assured and secure in her superior aloofness to be be a nineteen year-old. The other characters fare little better. The adults are mere caricatures; the villains are comic-book derivatives, and the plot is riddled with holes large enough to ventilate the entire Ottawa Valley in which it is supposedly situated. Readers in need of a decent YA suspense novel would be much better served to pick up Gail Giles' Shattering Glass, John Green's Looking for Alaska or Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak.
Due to the fact that, surprisingly, The Uninvited has been nominated for this year's White Pine YA Fiction Award, our high school Book Club discussed the novel's merits this past week. Just let's say, the other nominees need not be too concerned about competition from this selection. This is mediocrity at its most banal!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars September contender Sept. 11 2011
By Chris
Format:Hardcover
With a cottage trip coming up, I wanted to read a book featuring a cottage and, luckily, I rediscovered "The Uninvited". It was a surprising, unpredictable read that you can't really conform to a genre. I can say it was one of my favourite reads of the year with a thrilling climax that had me going back through the book, re-reading nonsensical stuff that made sense, after all. The book's only negative: I'm not sure I really believed the very end of the book (the actions and emotions of the main characters). But, who knows? I might act that way in their shoes.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too June 20 2009
Format:Hardcover
When New Yorker Mimi drives all the way up into the Canadian wilderness to find the little house her artist father once used as a studio, she's just looking to spend some time alone - and away from an affair with a professor that has taken a nasty turn.

The last thing she expects is to find someone already occupying the house. Jay, a young musician struggling to find his muse, is more connected to Mimi than she first realizes. And so is the shy young man who watches them in secret from the river.

As Mimi and Jay divide up the house, the idyllic setting in the countryside is disrupted by a series of intrusions that become more and more destructive and apparently hostile. Why would anyone want to disturb them? How can they be stopped? And just how many secrets lie hidden in that long-abandoned house?

THE UNINVITED is a tense mystery broken by occasional bits of peace and beauty. The three narrators become more and more sympathetic as the reader gets to know them, and all of the supporting characters are well-developed and full of personality as well. Some of the best scenes are when Mimi, Jay, and Jay's girlfriend, Iris, are just hanging out, getting to know one another. But the gripping, suspenseful scenes are equally well done.

Wynne-Jones does a masterful job of letting certain moments stand as they are, without pushing them into melodrama, like the subtly creepy chapter end when Mimi discovers someone's filmed her on her own camera.Readers will enjoy fitting the pieces together as they learn about each of the characters, but the most important questions will keep them eagerly turning pages right until the end.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NightlyReading Review May 9 2011
By Nightly Reading - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I thought that this book was going to be paranormal, like a ghost or something from reading the back, but it was not. It was an okay read and anyone whom likes a psychological thriller, would probably love it!

Mimi is running away from something at college, she has packed up her belongings and headed to her father's old cottage in Canada. There she can do some thinking and figure out her next move.

Jay enjoys the old cottage down on the snye. He likes to play his music and uses the house for rest and concentration. But someone is playing an ugly trick on him. They keep leaving awful things in his bed.

Cramer's mother is really depressed. Sometimes, even tries to harm herself. He works 2 jobs to try to keep the money flowing to pay the bills. His only solace is his canoe, the only birthday present he had ever remembered getting.

These three young adults have more in common than they realize when their worlds clash one summer.

The book kept my interest enough to finish and put all the pieces together. It was interesting to read how someone elses mistakes can end up being everyone elses biggest problems.

*Special thanks to Candlewick Press for this review copy.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should have been a better read July 12 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Mimi Shapiro, who just finished her freshman year of college at NYU finds herself running away from her problems. She runs off to Ontario, to stay at a house owned by her father, a famous artist who abandoned Mimi as a baby but has recently reentered her life. Mimi gets a rude awakening when she discovers that her father's house is already inhabited by 22 year-old Jay. Despite an awkward introduction to each other, they quickly find out that they have a deeper bond than either of them had originally expected. Soon after, Mimi and Jay discover that someone has been sneaking into their house and taking their possessions while they were gone. As Mimi and Jay deal with the intruder, the reader is also introduced to Cramer and his mother, Ontario natives who live not to far from Mimi and Jay. As the book progresses, Mimi and Jay discover the truth behind not only about their intruder, but also about their family.

As the book begins, after a shaky prologue, the reader immediately becomes attached to Mimi and Jay, both likable characters. Unfortunately, beyond our protagonists, most of the other characters come across quite two-dimensional and a bit cartoonish. Also, this novel depends on the mystery at the core, and at the beginning the mystery is quite intriguing, but it quickly becomes quite boring as more characters become involved. The worst part of this novel is the subplot involving Cramer and his mother, Mavis. Not only are these two characters quite unlikable, Author Tim Wynne-Jones fails to make these characters interesting at all, making their scenes quite a chore to read. Even when the reader is supposed to feel sympathetic for one of these characters, you have trouble feeling that because because of how they were portrayed through the entire novel. Also, a subplot featuring Mimi and the reason she escaped to Ontario seemed quite silly and a bit unrealistic. While the novel had quite a bit of promise at the beginning, it quickly unravels until it reaches a fairly ridiculous climax that is sure to get many readers unsatisfied.

I have a hard time trying to figure out the target audience of this book. While it is being marketed as a Young Adult novel, I feel that many teens would be bored out of their mind reading this novel. I do not think their is enough to not only get a teen to pick up this book, but also to finish it to it's conclusion. Older teens and adult readers who like mild suspense will appreciate this novel much more.

"The Uninvited" starts out quite strong with some interesting characters and an intriguing mystery, but it quickly devolves as the plot progresses and more characters are introduced. While not an awful book, I have trouble recommending this novel because the second half is a chore to read and the climax and resolution comes across as quite insipid.
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad I invited Tim Wynne-Jones into my library of well-loved tales Oct. 1 2013
By donna ramos - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I cannot but call this lovely story a "tale", for it truly has the feeling of something more than just a novel.
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected Treat Aug. 9 2013
By Wisewoman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Reading the reviews of others prompted me to put in my 5 cents.
Not knowing anything about the author, I had no idea he usually writes for young adults. I am not one of those readers - which tells me that this book has been sadly targeted to the 'wrong' audience.
Those who have bought it and/or just read it must have been expecting something else, even those who gave 5 stars.
I found my copy, of all places - at the Dollar Store (You'd be amazed what treasures you can find, but I digress) - and I was so enthralled by the promise of what I read on the back of the book - I took it home and just finished it.
I loved the book - I love Mimi, funny girl she is, and I loved how the whole story unfolded and how everything was so beautifully described, it felt as if I was there, observing - maybe along Cramer, in the woods, behind a tree?
I am glad I bought the book, I would have paid more, had I seen it elsewhere - and i am sad that it was relegated to be sold at a discount store. I hope the author reads these and knows that had this been marketed to a maturer audience, who knows what might have been?
I highly recommend this book.
3.0 out of 5 stars No one likes an uninvited guest Sept. 13 2012
By AshleyiSee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Mimi, an undergraduate student in New York has had a hellish year. Running away from her life for a bit she drives threw Canada to an old house along the syne that her estranged father owns. It was supposed to be a perfect hiding place. It was supposed to be a space for her to write and work out her troubles. It became a treasure trove of secrets and fear. At nineteen, Mimi floats along on a river journey that she didn't sign up for but she isn't able to fight the current.

The Uninvited is full of suspense from the first page to the last chapter. As this is a mystery type book I can't get too deep with the story, it's best that others give it a shot. I found it a surprising mature read from Walker Books, usually known for publishing to a younger audience. It's a delightful surprise and once I'd cracked the book (it did take a while to get into) I couldn't put it down. I haven't explored too much of Canada myself but the scenery is described beautifully and it made me long for days when travelling by canoe was an acceptable form of transport. I'd recommend this book for older teens looking for drama that's got a sickening strain that begs for discussion. This isn't your classic YA book and be prepared for uncomfortable confusing moments.
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