Review: Origin by Jessica Khoury

Origin by Jessica Khoury
Hardcover, 372 pages
Expected publication: September 4th, 2012 by Razorbill
Source: Publisher
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.

Writing a review for this book is proving to be difficult for me and is quite possibly the worst review I have ever written.  I have so many mixed feelings about the book.  There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like, but yet nothing really wowed me. 

I liked the setting of the rainforest a lot.  And I liked the laboratory hidden in the Amazon and the story behind it.  I liked the science behind Pia and her immortality.  I liked Pia and I liked Eio.  But the plot was slow moving and the romance felt a bit blah at first.  In the last bit it pulled through for me and I liked it, but I wasn’t feeling it for quite a long time.   The story line was good, I liked the history and I liked that Pia was finding her morality when she’d basically been taught not to have any, but I wanted things to happen sooner.  There’s not much action in this book until the last little bit.  And if some conflict had occurred sooner I could have felt more passionate about the book I think.  I think it had potential for greatness but didn’t quite pull through for me.

I enjoyed this book but it lacked emotion for me.  I felt it at the end and the final conflict, but I guess it was a little too late.  At the same time I loved how Pia found her way.  So I don’t know, I liked it, but definitely didn’t love it.  I have been back and forth between 2.5 stars and 3.  I decided to go with 3 as I think that really reflects how I feel even though my review sounds so negative. 

Disclosure: I received this book for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

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  1. Hehe writing reviews for a 3 star is often the worst!!!!! So don’t worry you did a great job telling why this book didn’t completely wooe you. I also do not like when you cannot fully connect emotionally with a story. That’s most of the times when I close a book, feeling satisfied abut not exacted….. I must say, although so many people seem to be in love with this book, I’m not entirely sold just yet…

    • Aw thanks Danny! You make me feel much better! I felt like it sounded so negative but I did like the book. I guess it’s just that blah feeling makes it hard.

  2. I know I had to recently write a review for a book that I didn’t love nor hate but I still couldn’t wholeheartedly recommend. It is so hard! Thanks for your honesty!

  3. This book sounds interesting but sometimes some books just don’t grab you and leave an impression. I still might read this one. I am interested in the rainforest and lab. It is too bad things are slow moving. I do hate when I hate to read a the whole book before anything happens.

    • Well I’m glad it made you feel a bit better about not getting it early! I didn’t even have this one worked up in my head because it showed up in my mailbox unexpected. I hadn’t even give much thought to reading it.

  4. Reviews for “meh” books are the hardest to write aren’t they? I often sit at my computer staring at a blank screen for what feels like forever when I’ve read an okay book because I just can’t think of anything to say. Too bad, I had high hopes for this story, but there are so many other books out there I’m dying to read so I think I’ll go straight to those and bypass this one:) Thanks for your thoughts Candace!

    • I think you’d be a little disappointed in the romance, knowing your style. But I hate ever advising anyone NOT to read a book cause sometimes a person can be surprised.

  5. Oh no! I have been reading so many books lately that have been good but have lacked the proper emotional connection for me so I’m sad to hear this one falls into that same category. I think I will read it eventually since I got a copy at ALA but it is now pushed down on my pile.

    Sorry this one didn’t do it for you.

  6. Ugh it’s so tough to write reviews like this! Books that are meh are so… I don’t even know. I just know it’s hard when you kind of like a book, but not enough to really say anything hugely great about it. You don’t want to turn people away from it, but you don’t want to lie either. Haha, well, you did a good job writing the review, anyway. =)

  7. Candace, I truly thought I’d wind up being the only reader out there who wasn’t thoroughly impressed by this book. I think, like you, my main problem was that this book lacked emotion for me. I didn’t connect with the characters until, as you said, the end, the romance didn’t move me, and Pia kept changing from someone I liked to someone I was irritated with, to someone I liked again. I also wanted to see more of the corporate politics alluded to in this and I felt as if this book was just so slooow and while the idea was phenomenal, the execution was not. Brilliant review, Candace, and thanks for sharing your honest thoughts! :)

    P.S. – Sorry for spamming your blog, but I’m been SO busy with school that I haven’t been able to comment as regularly as I’ve wanted to. I’ve been reading all your posts diligently though, so I promise to find more time to comment!(:

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