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.