December 15, 2012

Review: Origin

I bought this at B&N after viewing the cover and title and thinking it looked interesting. It was - I did not want to put this book down. I had to because of my teaching responsibilities, but it was a captivating read.

If you're looking for a gift for the YA reader in your life, you should consider adding this title to your gift-giving list. 

Title: Origin 
Author: Jessica Khoury 
ISBN: 9781595145956 
Available: NOW at your local bookstore and library 

Summary (from the book jacket): 

Pia has always known her destiny. She is meant to start a new race, a line of descendants who will bring an end to death. She has been bred for no other purpose, genetically engineered to be immortal and raised by a team of scientists in a secret compound hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest. Now those scientists have begun to challenge her, with the goal of training her to carry on their dangerous work.

 For as long as she can remember, Pia’s greatest desire has been to fulfill their expectations. But on the night she turns seventeen, she finds a hole in the seemingly impenetrable fence that surrounds her sterile home. Free in the jungle for the first time in her life, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Unable to resist, she continues sneaking out to see him. As they fall in love, they begin to piece together the truth about Pia’s origin—a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever. 

Origin is a beautifully told, electric new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever. But is eternal life worth living if you can’t spend it with the one you love? 

My Thoughts: 

This debut novel is one of my favorite reads of the year. Khoury delivers a solid story, but do not be fooled—this is not a love story. This is a story about choice.

As the story opens, readers are thrust into a “world” that is searching for eternal life. The scientists are convinced they have conquered death in Pia, a girl whose sole purpose is to live forever, and to lead more like her. But there is a flaw in this thinking—she is not ever asked if this is what she wants. She is told.

This book is both character-driven and plot-driven. Sometimes I read books that have interesting plots but dull characters and vice-versa. Not the case here. I was engaged from the first page until the last. I was invested in Pia as a character as well as the secondary characters, who were there to help Pia on her quest—whether they were there to move her forward or hold her back. And of course, I was invested in the plot.

As knowledge of the world becomes a part of Pia, so does her want for the truth of her existence, and of her family’s past. This is where Khouy had my heart pumping. She thrusts Pia into danger through knowledge, not through action. And one question becomes quite clearly quite quickly: what happens when too much knowledge is a part of daily life? This is one element of the novel’s plot I enjoyed, the exploration of such danger.

What I really enjoyed was the fact that I tended to have the same questions at the same moment Pia did, and the answers to those questions were answered within a reasonable timeline within the plot.

While the ending left me with a few unanswered questions, nothing major was left unanswered. I was still satisfied with the idea that I could fill in those questions myself.

Final thought: the novel was interesting and enjoyable—and made me question whether or not laboratories such as this truly exist in the jungles of the world.

Have you read and/or reviewed Origin? Post a comment and/or link, and let’s have a discussion on this debut novel.

Happy Reading!

1 comment:

  1. HOANG QUAN cung cap dich vu cho thue xe 7 cho uy tín nhat ha noi.


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