Science and Folklore: A Review of ORIGIN by Jessica Khoury


Jessica Khoury
372 pages
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: September 4th, 2012
Source: ARC from 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.

   Debut author, Jessica Khoury drops into the YA scene with a novel that defines unique. Set in the wilderness of the jungle, with the scientific promises of immortality, Origin is the epitome of uniqueness.

   Pia, as headstrong as she is, has no idea how life is outside the glass walls of her home. And even if she had the urge to leave her glass home, she would never be able to leave the electrified perimeter surrounding the compound of Little Cam.

   It takes a fiery new scientist for her to ponder the question: is the electrified fence meant to keep intruders from coming in? Or Pia from getting out?

   Origin lacked in action until the last quarter of the book. Despite the lack, I was still captivated. I was flipping the pages, my breath held. There were countless times when I just had to set it down and wonder: how on Earth are they going to get past that?

   Origin sets to blur the lines of science and folklore with its intricate plot. While the plot was unique, the characters weren’t forgotten. They are a mixture of people, attitudes, and emotions, all playing an important role in Pia’s life.

   Origin puts a twist on the classic tale of the ultimate price of freedom. With the air of Ally Condie’s writing style in Matched and a whirlwind of a plot, Jessica Khoury’s breathtaking debut is just that – breathtaking.

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Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply


    September 11, 2012

    I thought the combination of science and the mystical was very well done. Origin was definitely and interesting book!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  2. Reply

    Amber Elise

    September 11, 2012

    Fav review! I like when a book doesn't rely on action to make it interesting! :)

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

  3. Reply


    September 11, 2012

    Ahhh! Why must the blogoverse torture me with all these fabulous reviews?!?!?!?!? I guess it's a sign that I need to go to Barnes and Noble. Now I just have to beg my parents for money. Anyway…awesome review!

    Debz @ Debz Bookshelf

  4. Reply

    Vyki @ On The Shelf

    September 11, 2012

    Glad you enjoyed it! I loved it, too, and felt it was a wonderful one-shot book. Don't get me wrong I enjoy many of the trilogies coming out, but a good single serving book can hit the spot and you don't have to wait for the seconds!

  5. Reply


    September 12, 2012

    I'm not dying to get my hands on Origin but the more reviews I read for it, the more intrigued I become. Electrified fence? Doesn't Delirium have one of those? Hmm. I love how unique this sounds, if I'm ever looking for something fresh and creative, I'll be sure to consider this one.

    Fabulous review!

  6. Reply

    Jessie Marie

    September 12, 2012

    So, despite all the hoopla and hype surrounding Origin, I (believe it or not) haven't read a singly synopsis, blurb or review until just now. The synop makes it sounds really interesting and your review helps solidify that assumption. I dunno if I'll be rushing to the stands to get my hands on a copy but I'm definitely more intrigued now. Sciencey-brain of mine and all can't help but go “Hmm…”

    Great review!

  7. Reply


    September 13, 2012

    I loved Origin, too! It was a wonderful, thought-provoking read. I can't wait to read more by Jessica Khoury. I can't believe she's only 22 years old!

  8. Reply


    September 14, 2012

    I definitely agree with you that it took a little while for the plot to pick up. The first couple of chapters for me actually took some time to get into it since I was kind of confused. But I really enjoyed the dynamics of the book. Especially with all the different relationships. Plus her “pet” fascinated me.

  9. Reply

    Kate@Midnight Book Girl

    September 20, 2012

    I picked this up at BEA but I still haven't read it, which I feel bad about it. I can deal with slower paced books if I know that there's a pay off at the end, so I will make time for it soon!

  10. Reply


    September 20, 2012

    Great review . At first I thought the book sounded a little iffy but now I'm considering reading it :)

  11. Reply

    Katharyn Vela

    September 21, 2012

    I have only heard great things about this book! Im glad to see scifi is slowly coming into YA!

  12. Reply


    September 21, 2012

    This book sounds fascinating, can't wait to read it. Great review :)

  13. Reply


    September 22, 2012

    Although I enjoyed this book, I wasn't wowed by it. I needed more of the science developed. But overall, I liked it.

  14. Reply

    Christina K.

    September 23, 2012

    This sounds like such a great premise – totally different. What's cool is that despite the pace you enjoyed it:)

  15. Reply

    Gina @ My Precious

    October 1, 2012

    “a novel that defines unique” – well, that has me hooked already!!! This sound SUPERB. Your review has be salivating for this book. It sounds just like the kind of book I enjoy reading. I'm very excited. I will add it to my TBR right now (if its not already there) and start looking for it in Kindle format.

  16. Reply


    October 17, 2012

    I was particularly bugged by the science vs. morality trope. I’m just so bored of it. Science and morality can and do co-exist hand in hand. I found myself slogging through at the end. Great Review :)

  17. Reply


    October 24, 2012

    I felt the same way! Usually I put the book down if I was promised action and didn't get at a fourth way in the book. But the storyline was so intense I kept reading and Iam happy I did! I wouldn't agree with you though comparing it to Matched. To me Origin was in a whole different ball game. The plot was orginial and it made me think. :) Anyways Im glad im not the only one who enjoyed this book; a few others arnt. :(

  18. Reply

    Aimee Nelson

    November 6, 2012

    I am really looking foward to reading this book! You had said that Despite the lack of action, you were still captivated, which to me means that it must be a really good book! thanks for the review! Cant wait to read it! Hopefully soon!

  19. Reply


    November 14, 2012

    I have been debating reading this one. I will definitely give it a shot. Thanks for the review.