Author: Jessica Khoury
Publish date: September 4, 2012
Source: conference (arc)
"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." (Goodreads)
I'm in the process of getting everything back on my classroom bookshelves (which takes forever since I tend to read the back of every book) and while I was unpacking a box of books from a conference, Origin caught my eye. I like the cover and the plot sounded really intriguing so obviously I HAD to read it. As usual, here are my mixed feelings.
Origin took me forever to read and I blame 2 things for that: 1) the fact that school started and I am crazy busy and 2) the book just didn't grab me like I thought it would. It was interesting, yes, and pretty original, but not in a "I can't do anything but read" kind of way. I never found myself itching to pick it back up, but I enjoyed it when I was reading it. Does that make sense?
This book has a case of something I typically hate: instalove. I despise instalove, especially when it is between teens. I can see WHY the author chose instalove here, knowing how Pia grew up and everything, but how convenient that the first person she meets outside Little Cam is an attractive boy her age, right? Right?? I don't know. I would have found it more believable if Eio and the rest of the Ai'oans were better developed, I think, and weren't just rather convenient plot devices.
Reading back through my review, it sounds like I didn't like Origin, but I really did! The plot was enough to sustain me despite some character issues and I think this will be a hit in my classroom. Also Jessica Khoury is only 22. Damn.