Sunday, October 14, 2012

Review: Origin by Jessica Khoury

Title: Origin
Author: Jessica Khoury
Reviewed by: Cassie
The Fairies Say: Enchanting and exhilarating!

Summary (from

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home--and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia's origin--a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost.

I will be straight with you: Origin is something that I thought about throwing out the door, but then blew me away when I finished it.

Let me just say this; Origin is a book that has branded itself into my mind. I've always fantasized about living in the jungle, finding a wild, incredibly attractive jungle boy (who hasn't?) and falling in love with it and him. Jessica Khoury takes that lovely dream of a jungle life and created this book. That dream is only a small part of the book; the others are immortality, science, and dark, dark secrets.

Our story starts out with a girl named Pia, and her average day in Little Cam, the place she lives. It's only a little bit until her seventeenth birthday, which she somehow got her Uncle Paolo to throw a party for. See, a party is something unheard of in this community. No one is allowed to mention places outside of Little Cam or things that happen outside of it. Pia overheard one of the staff slip up, and dreams about a party. It's on the night of this party she finds the hole in the fence.

The characters in this book play a role. Not many of them are like-able, but they play a purpose in the story. The scientists are above feelings, for the most part, and when we begin, Pia is too. The villagers (I think they're Ai'oan or Aioan) Pia sneaks off to are warm, vivacious people. Stereotypical, but they show Pia what she's missed out on her whole life. These characters really drag you into it, and feel what Pia feels. 

Pia, our literally "perfect" main character is like-able and has been taught her whole life to listen to her head, not her heart. So she makes a few decisions that I would have questioned otherwise. She's a strong girl with dreams and I admire her for being moral when everyone around her, who she has learned from her whole life, is immoral. However, I didn't enjoy the way she is described. She is aesthetically, physically, and mentally perfect for the most part. I didn't like how she was described as visually perfect with her blue eyes and dark hair (I know, bad me) but I heard Amazon and imagined a kick-ass, tall, strong Amazon girl with a leopard. Needless to say, I was disappointed. Pia seems to lack an "angry" gene because she gets pissed, yeah, but she never does anything about it. She never tried hurting someone, even if it meant saving those she loved. Oh, and her name. All I could think of was "pee" when I saw it...

Eio, our resident hottie, is oh, I don't know... really attractive. Good to read about. He also doesn't have happy hands, I'm glad to say! He's super sweet and loyal and protective and he made me almost bawl. The only issue I had is that he's half-Brazilian (OhmysweetJesus did anyone else think of Francisco Lachowski?)
And he has blue eyes. Half-Brazilians do not have blue eyes. They would be freaks of nature (really yummy freaks of nature, yes) but still freaks of nature. And so that bugged me.
Overall, really great book and it really surprised me. The story that unfolds is something Jessica Khoury did not prepare me for and it is unbearably beautiful and touching. And the scary thing is, it's called science fiction, but I can totally see it happen...

Until next time, (and I really hope you come here a next time)
Cassie :)

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