By: Jessica Khoury
Released: September 4, 2012
Source: ARC from BEA
Purchase the Book: Amazon
"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. This is a supremely compelling debut novel that blends the awakening romance of Matched with the mystery and jungle conspiracy of Lost." (Summary from goodreads.com)
I loved Origin and found it a challenge to put this book down until I finished it. Khoury completely transports you into the Amazon jungle with characters you can't help but grow attached to.
Pia has grown up in a laboratory with scientists and has never been outside the walls of the compound. She has been sheltered from the outside world her entire life until the night she sneaks out and meets Eio. Eio lives in a village nearby and shows Pia what life is like outside of the lab.
I loved how Pia is developed throughout the story. She believes that she is perfect because of how she was raised but she is far from being perfect. She could completely infuriate me at times but that is because she doesn't know how to live life outside of the lab. I felt bad for her at times because of how sheltered she was but she also wasn't a weak character. I especially liked that she turned out to be a lot more than what I was expecting. Then there was Eio who completely melted my heart every time he appeared on the pages. He lives in a village nearby and I loved learning about his history. He was another character who turned out to be more than what I originally expected.
I love science so when I first read the synopsis for Origin months ago I had a feeling I would love this book, and I was definitely right. I loved how science played a huge role in the story and how Khoury explained it all clearly. I thought that the plot moved at a really good pace too. It was exciting and mysterious. I couldn't wait to uncover the secrets of the scientists and learn more of the tribe's stories. There were even several twists that I didn't predict correctly.
My favorite aspect of this book has got to be the setting though. Khoury describes the jungle and all the animals in amazing detail. While reading I felt like I was getting my own special look into the jungle. I loved reading every detail of the plants and the animals, even the deadly ones. Overall I loved Origin and highly recommend this book. Khoury definitely makes an excellent debut. The plot is captivating and it includes great characters.