The Uninvited Paperback – May 11 2010
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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.
The characters have strong voices and personalities - their realness, coupled with the idyllic setting, contrasts starkly (and thrillingly) with the story's dark side. Publisher's Weekly 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. Quill and QuireSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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!!
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.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
But after she finds that her hide-a-key doesn't fit the lock, she realizes that the locks have been changed recently and the windows are no longer boarded up as they should be. So she sets out searching for a second hide-a-key in the back shed and here runs into a stranger who is apparently now living in the house and is not expecting her. In fact, this man startles her and seems strangely suspicious of her creeping around the house.
Mimi and her new acquaintance, Jackson Page (Jay), are equally puzzled about what the other is doing at the cottage. It seems very mysterious that they both are certain they have a right to be there, as each of them has received permission from their father to use the place. And it appears odd to Mimi that Jay is so anxious about a young girl being on the property. But he is very good-looking and charming, and there is something about him that draws her to him.
It's not long before they are sharing tea together in the cottage and sorting out the mystery of an uninvited visitor who has been breaking in and leaving disturbing items for Jay to find. There has been a dead bird and a snakeskin, and, even more menacing, a computer recording of an intruder breathing loudly in the background. Like Jay, Mimi is spooked and unsettled about being there, but she likes her new friend very much, and her trip to Ontario isn't something she wants to give up on. So she decides to stay, yet can't help wondering who this unwelcome guest is and if it could be the very man she fled New York City to escape from.
THE UNINVITED is an exhilarating mystery that will keep you deeply captivated as the story unfolds. Award-winning author Tim Wynne-Jones cleverly exposes the story little by little, and yet you still wonder right up until the end who this uninvited visitor really is and what he is up to. It is a chilling, suspenseful novel that, once you start, you won't want to put down.
--- Reviewed by Melanie Smith
Though nothing can stay perfect for long. When arriving at her father's deserted old summer house she finds that someone else is living there too. Her long lost half brother, a half brother that has been having his own problems, as of lately. Problems that involve a mysterious stalker who has been leaving him "presents" of dead birds and snake skin.
Can the two of them make it through the summer? Will they get to know each other the way only siblings can? Will they catch the stalker before their lives come to a crashing halt? Well, I guess you'll have to find out for yourself, in The Uninvited by Tim Wayne- Jones.
Only one adjective comes to mind after reading this page turning thriller: Wow! The Uninvited is a book that mixes mystery and getting to know long lost siblings in a fresh and fantastic new way. I was constantly trying to figure out how everything tied together. The characters were my favorite part of this story. They were well developed, likable, and funny. Plus, Tim Wayne-Jones' writing was pretty darn good. I loved how he slowly told the past of the characters and the stalker by reveling their secrets one at a time. Overall, The Uninvited is a definite must read for all teens and adults.
* Reviewed For Flamingnet
Mimi has just left college in NYC on break from both academics as well as the married professor she has been having an affair with. Needless to say things did not end well and she needs to get out of Dodge! She's heading to her fathers lazy summer house in Canada to get away from it all and spend some time with herself to sort things out. Supposedly the house has been empty for the last twenty years but Mimi finds out quite the contrary. Upon her arrival she finds someone else living there, someone pretty cute! Jay and Mimi are fairly close to the same age and they soon find out that is not all they have in common.
A mystery unfolds as someone keeps breaking in and leaving weird things around the house including a dead bird. When the trespasser goes too far and starts stealing things, expensive things, Jay and Mimi know they need to figure out what is going on. As their plan unfolds they have no idea what is in store for them and the secrets revealed will change both their lives forever.
If you like a good mystery with a dose of creepiness this book is for you! I would recommend this book for high schoolers and above. There is nothing more than a few expletives but middle schoolers may get lost in the plot and various narratives.