Author: Jessica Khoury
Rating: 3.5 Stars
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.~Goodreads
In all honesty, the beginning of this one was a tad bit slow for me. It took me awhile to figure out all of the characters and how they were related to Pia, and it took me awhile to truly understand what was going on—but once I did, the story was too interesting to put down!
I also really couldn’t connect with Pia in the beginning. I felt that even though she was created that way, she was too perfect. Her life was SO structured in a way that was almost boring. And the other characters that surround her in Little Cambridge? Not some of my favorites. Her Uncle Paolo was an obsessive-compulsive maniac and her mother? Yikes, just yikes. But there were a few characters I liked, such as her dad, even though he was quiet and I really liked her Uncle Antonio!
The story really didn’t take off, though, until Dr. Harriet arrived. Harriet challenges and questions Pia's perfection in a way no one else ever has and that unsettles Pia a lot. Other things that unsettled Pia? The fact that Pia has to swim at this time and draw at that time, Pia has to do this task and take that test, Pia can’t go outside, Pia can’t see a map, Pia can’t know about cities. Pia is SO sheltered I actually felt sad for her.
Until she one day she’s had enough. And she sees her escape and takes it. She slips through the fence and into the jungle. And she runs into a boy. Literally—smacks right into him.
EIO. This, this is when I FELL for the story, when I met Eio. He is just so...so adorably adorable. Like, I don’t know how to explain him...he’s so...he’s just...wild. His heart is wild, his soul is wild, his hair is wild. He’s so smart and Pia is absolutely fascinated by him, um, welcome to the club girrl! He calls her Pia Bird and it’s so cute and oh my gosh he gives her this necklace and it was so cute and he takes her to see the stars and river and it was so cute and he asks and asks and asks her to stay with him in the jungle and it’s so cute and oh man. I loved him. And the Ai’oans. (the native people he lives with.) Those were the BEST scenes, when Pia was in the jungle with them. And Ami?! Oh my gosh such a little sweetie! <3 font="" nbsp="">3>
But Pia can’t be free forever without a cost and the ending of this book!?!? It was so fast paced and intense and violent and totally unexpected in the most awesome way. Like whoa.
Overall, Origin is a unique debut novel that captivated me with its characters and enchanted me with its setting—you should most definitely check it out this fall.