Origin–by Jessica Khoury

(reading–at last)


I read a book. I…read…a…BOOK!

You see, I haven’t read in, oh, four months. Not a book. Not for fun. As much as I love to read–and I do love it!–it fell behind the list of to-dos.

Sad. I know. 

But I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, especially last night. That means I was curled up in my jammies in bed with a book. A good book. A great book! Although I’m feeling better now, I was hooked and had to finish it this morning.

And I loved it! For many reasons.

Here are the official details:


by Jessica Khoury

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.

Origin is part of Penguin Teen’s Fall 2012 Breathless Reads.

I’ve wanted to read this book since March, back when Jessica Khoury did a guest post here on my blog for March Madness. I loved her post on editing (read it here). She gave authors a ton of great tips, including one to listen to your gut as you edit. I’d never heard it put quite that way, but it’s so true!

Seriously, if you’re a writer, go read her tips here. They’re great. 

Plus, she’s a super nice, super sweet person. Seriously sweet. I love people like that. I love writers like that. It was extremely nice of her to guest blog for me.

Like I said, I anxiously awaited her book. I’ve visited her website (here) and watched her book trailer (here). Both are awesome!

Can you tell I’m a big fan? :)

But really, I would have loved her book without all that other stuff.

It’s set in the Amazon jungle, and Jessica did a beautiful job of making me feel like I was there, listening to the cicadas and feeling the hot, humid air on my face. Her writing is awesome.

The story was also very different and unique, which in the world of YA fiction right now, was very refreshing.

I loved Eio, he was a good strong character and love interest for Pia, which for me can make or break a book. Seriously, I go searching every story for the romance, and if that flops, so does the rest of the book.

Case in point: I didn’t like The Help. I blame it on the failed romance between Skeeter and Stuart. Pretty sure that makes me immature and pathetic.

Oh well. You guys already knew that. :)

Origin was also unpredictable.

I thought I had the elixir figured out, and then was surprised. And the ending was action packed and awesome. The whole book was great with a strong lesson on morality and right vs. wrong. Though she had me worried for a minute, Jessica ended the book well. Very well.

Pia was a true heroine.

It’s definitely a safe book for your daughters to read. There’s a little language, but nothing else. That’s important to me. I know that’s important to a lot of you, too.

Really, truly, Origin is a fun, fast, great read. Go check out Jessica Khoury’s website, and read her book. She’s only 22. If she can write like this at 22, I’m sure we’re going to be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

Have a great one!

Comment here. Have any of you read Origin yet? If so, let me know your thoughts.  


11 thoughts on “Origin–by Jessica Khoury

    1. I know! I’m 36 and feel like I’m just getting a small hang of this writing thing. Definitely read Origin, though. It’s awesome.

      (Btw, your book is next on my to-read list. I’m hoping my life will give me more time to read–not that I want to be sick, but I want to read. And your story still sounds so awesome. Can’t wait. Oh, and when I do finish it, would you want to answer some questions on my blog here? About writing? About the book? How crazy is your life? Would you have time?)


      1. I have Origin on my list. It was a cool plot idea. And I am open to whatever you’d like me to do. Questions aren’t hard or time-consuming to answer. I’ve been on a slump because I got a slammer review on Goodreads that has made me feel like crap. I’m rereading my own book thinking, “Why did she think that about my book?” Oh well. I guess we have to have thick skin (which apparently I do not have).


        1. Great, I’ll ask away when I get some time. Don’t worry about reviews. I’ve had a few doozies. I know several–if not most–authors who don’t look at goodreads. Ever. I’m not willing to go quite that far because I want to know the overall feel readers have of my book, but…I look more at trends in what people say and less at specifics. Not sure if that helps. Btw, thick-skinned people are overrated. We’re all human. :)


          1. Not looking at Goodreads would be a good idea. People are usually more blunt on there than on Amazon (I know I used to be before I started writing; back then I didn’t have a clue that writers read those reviews. I thought they were only for me and my friends). Thanks for the pick-me-up though. I haven’t read my 1st book for months since I’ve been working on the 2nd, and as I’ve been reviewing it over the last day, all these little tips I’ve picked up over my months of reading other writing blogs, etc, now make me see lots of sentences I want to rework. Argh! I love my story, but I think I might want to do a 2nd edition to polish it up even better. You’re still free to read it (I think Amazon has it for 99 cents right now), but I might do a more polished version in the next couple months. I won’t tell my husband. He already thinks I’ve revised it WAY too much.


            1. I understand the need to tweek. It drives my hubby crazy, too. After Sadie was published, I refused to crack the book open because I knew it was permanent, and if I saw something I didn’t like, I couldn’t change it. It took me six months. Sad. But the great thing is people are forgiving of first-time authors–usually. At least I am now. There’s so much to learn. Each book I feel my skills growing leaps and bounds. So don’t worry too much. I’m sure it’s great. :)


              1. It is nice that we learn more and more each book we do. I guess the goal that keeps us writing is to write the ‘perfect’ story.


  1. Just finished yesterday. So good! The tension in the book has a steady incline to the very last page. A HARD thing to do. And the language is literally three words in one speech where most everyone would be screaming something.


    1. Hey, I was going to ask you today if you’d read it yet. :) Funny the timing. I agree on the tension. It is hard and she nailed it.


  2. Great review. I read four books this weekend. I normally don’t read that much, but I was in pain and couldn’t move around very well. So I just sat on the couch and read.


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