Dress the Part is a monthly feature in which I use my past life as a costume designer and personal stylist to help the ladies of YA express themselves visually. This month I’m gonna take a look at Davy from Sophie Jordan’s Uninvited, a book about a future world in which we have found a way to test for “the kill gene.” Poor Davy’s cozy upper middle class existence is ripped away from her when she tests positive for the gene, and she pretty quickly loses everything she cares about (her future at Juilliard, her boyfriend, her friendships, etc.). More importantly for our purposes here, she has to get a huge fucking neck tattoo.
So Davy gets her neck ink, and a few chapters later she is described as wearing khaki shorts, a bright blue tank top, and tennis shoes. With the ladybug necklace her dad bought her for her thirteenth birthday and her school satchel. She’s walking around dressed like this:
…with a big “I’M GONNA MURDER PEOPLE” tattoo. That’s some shameful nonsense, y’all. She looks like an insane person. Like a female Dexter.
If society knows you’re going to kill someone, people are going to be scared of you. Scared people lash out. They attack. The best way to protect yourself in this position is to dress like you know how to handle yourself, keeping the black to a minimum (black scares people and makes you look like you’re trying too hard), wear sturdy fabrics, and conceal the crap out of a few weapons. You want to look too scary to be worth bullying, but not scary enough to be a real danger.
So on top of your leather pants and jacket (with a lighter-colored tank to knock down the goth factor), I’m giving you a stackable ring that turns into brass knuckles, a purse with huge studs on the bottom, and a necklace that looks like a key but is actually a pocket knife (the earrings aren’t weapons; they’re just cute). You should be able to disable any potential attacker with this arsenal.
I really enjoyed Uninvited (and you can read Wendy’s mini-review here), although it hit several of our Bookish Pet Peeves (terrible text speak, blonde boys with blue eyes, schmience…the words “chafe” and “smirk” were both used four times…), and I was pretty bummed that in a book about genetics causing society to demonize a minority group, all the main characters were white. It just seems like a bit of a missed opportunity.
That said, I thought the love story was fantastic, and Davy holds true to all of Jordan’s best protagonists by being just infinitely forgiving of people who have wronged her. It’s really refreshing to read about a mature teenager who understands that sometimes people make mistakes.
Thanks to the folks at HarperTeen, we’re giving away one print ARC of Uninvited! All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form and leave a thoughtful comment below telling us why you’re interested in the book! Earn extra entries by tweeting daily, sharing on Facebook, etc.
Open to U.S. and Canadian residents aged 18 and older, or 13 and older with parental permission; see entry form for complete details. Good luck!
Uninvited was released on January 28, 2014. An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.