Review: Origin by Jessica Khoury

Title:  Origin
Author:  Jessica Khoury
Series:  None
Publisher:  Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Group
Publication Date:  September 4, 2012
Pages:  394
Format/Source:  Hardback/Purchased

Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Science Fiction

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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads)

Tons of Action and Conflict…

Origin is my kind of story.  It reminded me of Lost meets The Village, meets some kind of story about creating the perfect human–and my memory is evading me right now because I know I’ve read plenty of books and seen plenty of movies with that premise, but I can’t think of any.  But I really enjoyed the plot of Origin, with its Science Fiction aspect and also the idea of what it is to be human, what it is to be mortal.

And I loved how there was so much conflict in this novel!  In my notes I wrote down that there were so many conflicts and I was only a third of the way into the book.  It reminded me, as a writer, to have lots of little conflicts in my stories, to keep the plot moving along.

A Few Questions…

I did have a few questions about some of the story, though.  For instance, the specifics of her immortality were a bit strange.  It was like nothing could kill her, she couldn’t even suffocate.  Of course, this was kind of explained later but it was kind of strange to me.  And this may be where I get a bit strange, but if she can’t die from any kind of disease, why does she need to brush her teeth?  I guess to simply clean them from any food residue, but obviously she doesn’t need to brush them to keep from getting any diseases or anything.  I also had a bit of an issue with something that happened at the end of the book, but I won’t get into that because of the spoiler factor.

But I did really enjoy the story and I thought that it moved at a great pace, and there were some nice twists.  I saw a few things coming but that didn’t disappoint me at all.

Great Quotes…

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Origin:

“Thin tendrils of sunlight creep through the trees as if embarrassed for having been so long absent.”

“‘She’s not a math problem.  You can’t subtract the parts of her you don’t like.'”

“If knowledge is ‘the wing wherewith we fly to heaven,’ then I am a bird with clipped wings.”

My rating for Origin, by Jessica Khoury:

4 big stars.  I enjoyed meeting Jessica Khoury at the Austin Teen Book Festival last year, and I really enjoyed her debut novel.  I’m looking forward to reading more from her in the future!
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Penguin Group
You may also enjoy:  Oryx and CrakeUglies
Disclaimer:  I purchased this book myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.


  1. Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books

    January 22, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I'm curious as to what issue you had at the end of the book. It's been a while since I've read it, and it obviously didn't stick with me because I can't think of what it could be. Email me :)

  2. Kate Midnight Book Girl

    January 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I have Origin, and I will read it, but I assumed it was part of a series. Because it's not I want to read it even more now!

    And maybe her teeth aren't immortal? lol

  3. fakesteph

    January 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    You would think that the perfectly engineered human wouldn't need to brush their teeth OR shower… I mean…. clearly far from perfect. ;)

  4. Andrea @ Cozy Up

    January 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    I loved this story, and it was great that it was a standalone. The romance aspect wasn't over done and I liked the science behind it (in a way). I'm happy to hear you liked it, and I know what you mean about a few things missing from the explanations, but I still loved the character of Pia, she was like a normal teenager in a lot of ways.

  5. Debz

    January 22, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I'll be reading this soon! It's definitely a unique premise. I'm not a huge fan of things being left unexplained, but maybe being warned in advance will help me deal with it. Anyway, great review!

  6. Sarah Elizabeth

    January 22, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    I'm not sure if I want to read this book or not! It sounds like you had a few issues and they would probably bug me too!

  7. Kay

    January 23, 2013 at 12:25 am

    I have picked this book up so many times while at the bookstore and the library. I read the synopsis and then I just never feel satisfied enough to grab it, so I put it back down. After reading your review I have decided to just give it a chance and get it the next time I'm at the library.

    Thanks for the review and finally helping me make up my mind!

  8. Bittner

    January 28, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Great review Andrea, sorry it took me so long to read it! I promise I have a plan to keep me from falling behind on my blogs that I follow in the future.

Leave a Reply

Want to include a link to one of your blog posts below your comment? Enter your URL in the website field, then click the button below to get started.