Pia is the first- and only- of her kind. She is immortal, created and raised by a team of scientists in the Amazon rainforest. Her entire world is the compound she has lived in all her life, but on her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole on the electric fence that surrounds her home. She enters the jungle to find a boy from a nearby village, Eio. The two of them begin to find out the truth about Pia’s origins, revealing dangerous secrets the scientists have hidden from Pia.

I’m not a huge fan of science-fiction, but this book is a must-read. I really like how some of the science is explained to the reader, and it’s almost fantasy-like. The characters were well-developed. Pia is sheltered in her isolated compound, her whole day is scheduled, and everyone (except her Uncle Antonio) is constantly telling her she’s perfect. You’d think that would make her really full of herself, but Pia simply accepts it and doesn’t let it get to her head. Pia’s dad (Uncle Will) seems nice and Uncle Antonio is pretty cool but Uncle Paolo is a total psycho, same with Pia’s mom. Pia doesn’t obsess over escaping from the compound; she’s content, if a little curious about the outside world. When she meets Aunt Harriet and finds a hole in the fence, she decides it couldn’t hurt to look around. I think it’s better this way than if Pia really wanted to leave, because as the book progresses she realizes the place she thought was safe isn’t safe at all. The scientists are keeping dangerous secrets from her, ones that would change everything she’s believed.  Eio is the first boy Pia’s age that she’s ever met, so it’s not surprising that she’s attracted to him. But the insta-love bothers me. Despite that, after a while I could wait for them to just kiss already! Khoury has some serious skills seeing as she got me to be okay with insta-love. The other thing that I didn’t like was how the flowers are dumped into the river. Throwing an entire field of flowers filled with poisonous nectar into their water supply is not the smartest move. Still, Origin is definitely something to look forward to in September.

— Emily
About the Book:
Title: Origin
Author: Jessica Khoury
Release Date: 09/2012

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