The Uninvited

Book review by
Abby Aldrich, Common Sense Media
The Uninvited Book Poster Image
Siblings team up to solve mystery in suspenseful teen read.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Teens who like mysteries will find it easy to get through this book. See our "Families Can Talk About" section for some ideas for delving into the book's plot and themes.

Positive Messages

Coming-of-age themes as Mimi finds
strength and wisdom that she didn't know she had. Jay and Mimi learn how to be brother and sister and work together to solve the mystery of the lakehouse stalker.


Positive Role Models & Representations

Mimi and Jay are both relatable and responsible young adults, struggling and persevering in the face of professional and personal challenges. The parents in this book are mostly dysfunctional, but they are on the periphery and their dysfunction adds a bit of depth to the main characters. 


There is a lot of suspense and worry about violence that may happen, but there is very little actual violence -- some shouting and mild scuffles. One character is shot and another commits suicide.


A minor character has children with three different women at around the same time. Cramer watches his half-sister Mimi change her clothes without her knowledge.


Nothing out of the ordinary for the characters' ages. There are a couple of uses each of "s--t," "f--k," "damn," "bitch," and "Jesus." Also, a character is called "faggy."


Mimi's Mini Cooper, MacBook, and JVC HDD camcorder are mentioned quite often and play a part in the plot. Many other brands are mentioned in passing: Molson Canadian, Pennzoil, Ford Taurus, Starbucks, iPod, Doritos, Gibson, Roland, Martin, Stratocaster, OshKosh, Disney, Birkenstocks, 3M, and Honda Element.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Not much to worry about here. Some adults drink responsibly, calling a cab when they feel they shouldn't drive.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this mystery involves some violence and edgy material, but nothing that should shock teen readers. There are a couple of examples of inappropriate/abusive relationships, but the relationships are not glorified. The fallout from the relationships changes the main characters for the better. There is some violence culminating in attempted murder and suicide, but it is not written graphically.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 10 years old November 26, 2010
love it.

What's the story?

After breaking off an affair with her college professor, Mimi Shapiro flees to her father's cabin in rural Canada. Upon arrival, she is surprised to find Jay Page, a budding musician, living in the cabin. Jay is just as surprised as she is -- and suspects Mimi was behind a couple of odd happenings at the cabin: a snake skin left on Jay's pillow, a dead bluebird on his table. Soon the pair figure out that they are half-siblings, children of Marc Soto, a famous artist -- and Jay and Mimi eventually are introduced to yet another half-brother, the alienated loner Cramer Lee. Cramer has always known that the popular and talented Jay was his brother, and has followed and watched him with creepy admiration for most of his life, including his time spent at their father's cabin. When Cramer becomes smitten with Mimi -- and the mysterious stalker steps up his game -- Jay and Mimi join together to solve the mystery of The Uninvited.

Is it any good?

This book is a goosebump-inducing page turner. The mystery of the seemingly menacing events that take place at the cabin will keep readers interested, as will the emotional dynamics of the relationship between Mimi, Jay, and Cramer, as well as between Cramer and his emotionally fragile mother. Readers will appreciate Mimi's ability to finds
strength and wisdom that she didn't know she had -- and be pleased when the half-siblings accept each other and become a team. There is some violence -- one character is shot and another commits suicide -- but it is mostly the suspense of what might happen that will grip teens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the edgy material here. Nothing is very graphic, but this book does feature an inappropriate relationship, a parent who fathers children with various women, and an attempted murder and suicide. Is reading about violence and other gritty stuff the same as seeing it in movies or on television shows?

  • What is appealing about a mystery? How does this one compare to others that you've read? Did you find that the author was following a formula -- or were there surprises along the way?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mystery and suspense

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate