Name: OriginAuthor: Jessica Khoury
Release Date: September 4th, 2012
Format: ARC copy
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This book definitely exceeded my expectations and was much more interesting than I had originally thought it would be! Pia, a young immortal girl created by scientists, was born and raised in “Little Cam” (a small, hidden laboratory in the Amazon rainforest), brought up believing that she was perfect in every single way. She calls everybody who works in Little Cam either “aunt” or “uncle” and does exactly what they say. She is not allowed to know anything about what happens in the outside world and she is perfectly okay with that. Until one day, she isn’t.
Angry at her controlling aunts and uncles, her aloof father, and her cold mother, Pia embraces her curious nature and sneaks beyond the fence enclosing her home. It is there that she meets the first real boy her age she has ever laid eyes on; Eio is a cute jungle boy who shows her what she is missing in the real world. Pia then begins to sneak out on a regular basis to meet Eio. She begins to split herself into two people, thinking of her personality with Eio in the jungle as “Wild Pia”, whereas the Pia in Little Cam is much more reserved and submissive. However, she soon begins to discover that Little Cam is not the perfect place she has always imagined it was, and Eio helps her uncover the dangerous secrets regarding her home.
One thing I loved about this book was, even though it was about an immortal girl, it was still realistically crafted. The story accurately portrayed the slow process of undoing years and years of teaching. Pia was brought up loving her aunts and uncles in Little Cam and believing that everything done in the name of science was acceptable; no matter how despicable it might seem in the beginning, the results always justified the means. Instead of making Pia quickly understand the dangerous side to Little Cam and running away as soon as possible, Jessica Khoury did a great job of making Pia slowly put together little details that revealed her home’s true malevolent nature, not realizing its dangers until it was too late. Pia is reluctant to do anything drastic, like run away from home, without viewing sufficient evidence using her own eyes; it is difficult for her to undo years of upbringing in a matter of weeks. The fact that Pia’s distrust of Little Cam was slowly and delicately built made this book a much more realistic and enjoyable read!
I also liked how Jessica Khoury made this book a single novel instead of a series. Don’t get me wrong, I love series, but there are some series that are just too long. However, instead of dragging this book out into another classic YA series, the author found a great way – though the ending was somewhat predictable and I felt that it may have fallen together a bit too perfectly and easily – of making what could have been a drawn out series into one great book! You should definitely check out Origin if you’re interested in science fiction and want a great, non-series book to read!