Thursday, November 22, 2012

Review: Origin by Jessica Khoury

Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 394
Received: Borrowed from a friend

Release Date: September 4, 2012
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Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

My Review:

Everyone has been talking about how interesting this book was, so I had to check it out for myself and I found myself in love with another one of Penguin's Breathless Reads (and am understanding more why these are the chosen ones...) I have to express my love that this is a standalone novel, I feel like the story was perfect and Khoury definitely gives a satisfying ending (though I wouldn't necessarily mind seeing a little more of Pia and Eio).

The whole book is told from Pia's perspective, as she slowly learns that there is so much more out in the world than she has ever known about. Pia is content with her life until she realizes that there is more to know and from there her life changes drastically. Khoury really brings out questions about morality and mortality in this book, what would you give to live forever? Even more so what would be the lengths you would go to for that purpose?

Pia was an interesting character, she was raised to be scientific and think about everything around her in that way. Her life is comprised of working on experiments and she is also taught that emotions have no place in her world. What I really sympathized about with Pia was how she is this perfect being but she never feels like she belongs, even though she is similar to the scientists around her, there is one glaring difference... her immortality. Pia strives to be perfect for her family (the scientists) she spends her time trying to make them happy so that she can finally join their team and find the secret to immortal life so that she can help create more people like her. I was actually surprised what the secret was to immortal life, I wasn't sure what exactly I was expecting but it wasn't that...

My favourite thing about this book though was the morality issue brought up again and again. Readers see this epitomized in many of the characters throughout, but it definitely is seen the most through Pia's warring thoughts between what is right and wrong. I loved watching Pia learn more about herself and really begin to understand what is asked of her to be the perfect scientist.

This book is absolutely beautiful and Khoury's writing really draws you into Pia's life and her emotions. I recommend checking out this book if you're a little tired of the same old dystopia books and you're looking for something a little more real.

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