Rating: 5/5 jaguar heads Release date: 4 September 2012 Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin) Goodreads | Amazon UK | The Book Depository 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.
The two books I read before this were thrilling YA romances - entertaining, but quickly forgotten - and I was sort of expecting more of the same. Origin completely exceeded my expectations, and I was surprised by the level of depth it achieved - at least for me. Origin deals with some pretty heavy themes, and because of this I think it'll be a love/hate kind of book. Some will find the approach heavy-handed or uncomfortable in its depiction of the 'natives' and scientists, but it worked for me (or I at least was able to forgive this) because I really connected with Pia on an emotional level. Some of the religious/spiritual issues explored are ones I've dealt with a lot growing up, and I've been wanting to read a book like this for a while. For me, at least, it was very thought-provoking and amazingly relevant to my life, and books like these are exactly why I love YA no matter how controversial: it's amazing to be able to read a book that captures, explores, and makes entertaining the challenges and angst of growing up. Was this book perfect? Of course not, and many other reviewers have already pointed out some of its flaws. But as Khoury addresses in Origin, both in the book's opening line and repeatedly throughout, perfect is in the eye of the beholder, and Origin, at this point in my life, was absolutely perfect for me. I loved it, and unlike some of the other YA books I've read recently, I found myself still thinking about it a day later.
Check out the Origin book trailer:
Side note: This is not the most informative review, but these were my thoughts immediately after reading Origin last month and I didn't feel the need to expand! Also, I'm aware that postings/general blog interactions have been scarce for the past few weeks, so apologies for that, but I should be back on track starting next week. Happy reading!