Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Origin by Jessica Khoury

Pia has never known more than the enclosed scientific community she has grown up in. Bred by scientist to be the first of an immortal race, Pia has been groomed to become a scientist herself and then to become head of the entire project. Their purpose: to create an entire immortal race.

For Pia, her entire life has been spent hidden from the world and the world hidden from her. Until just before her seventeenth birthday, that is. A new scientist helps Pia open her eyes to the ignorance she has been taught and the night of Pia's seventeenth birthday, she discovers a hole in the fence of the enclosed compound. Yearning for a chance to see some part, even a small part, of the outside world draws her outside.

In the Amazon jungle she has always seen, but never stepped foot in, Pia meets Eio - a boy from a nearby village. The attraction is instant as they race to discover the history of Pia's origin. How she was created and how others of her kind can be created. The truth could get them killed and will change both their lives forever.

Overall I thought the book was great. I really got into it and I enjoyed the plot. There were small things that confused me, like the passage of time. I wasn't quite sure how much time had passed from the beginning of the novel to the end and the days seemed to mesh together. Other than confusion with the passage of time, Pia was a strongly voiced narrator. Readers will be able to feel her confusion at all of the secrets and her passion for what she believes is right. Pia is a strongly relatable character. Parts of the book were more gruesome than I expected and there were times when the gruesome bits made me feel a bit green. Other than those two complaints and some minor grammar errors, the book was really good. The romance of the jungle and the first boy Pia meets are driving factors in the novel as much as the secrets of Little Cam - the scientific community. I feel that older teens will enjoy the book a bit more than younger teens or tweens.

I received an ARC from Goodreads Firstreads. The book comes out in September.

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