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Origin Hardcover – September 4, 2012

156 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Corpus Series

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Editorial Reviews


"Khoury's debut captures the lush rhythms of the rainforest. . . . The plot moves at breakneck speed. . . . Utterly refreshing." —Kirkus

"This well-written first novel concerns 17-year-old Pia, who, as the result of advanced genetic engineering, is invulnerable and immortal. . . . [Khoury’s] descriptions of the rainforest and the native people contrast beautifully with the laboratory setting . . . and Pia is a fascinating protagonist." —Publishers Weekly

"This first novel is a gripping read . . . with a clever blend of elements. It is an adventure story with romantic overtones, has a lush exotic setting framed by science, turns the eternal-love concept on its head, and rotates around a compelling moral quandary." —Booklist

"Readers will be thrilled with the page-turning adventure/survival scenes in a descriptive and imaginative setting, and will root for Pia and Eio to the end." —SLJ

"Origin is a startling mystery played out in the vivid and lush Amazon jungle. In this deadly clash of science and nature, a heroine emerges. Pia clawed her way through the pages and left her mark on the landscape of my imagination as the almost tangible danger left me breathless." —Colleen Houck, New York Times bestselling author of Tiger's Curse

"I loved Origin's action, romance, and mystery and I couldn't stop thinking about the questions it raised." —Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of Across the Universe

"Is this science fiction? It feels too scarily real. This spellbinding tale of the horrors of genetic engineering gone mad is both thriller and love story, breathlessly paced and beautifully told." —Judy Blundell, National Book Award winning author of What I Saw and How I Lied

"A lush, dreamy page-turner that will live forever in the hearts of its readers. Pia may be the perfect antidote for those suffering from Katniss withdrawal." —Josh Sundquist, author of the national bestseller Just Don't Tell

About the Author

Jessica Khoury is 22-years-old and was born and raised in Georgia. She attended public school followed by homeschooling, and earned her bachelor's degree in English from Toccoa Falls College. Origin is her first novel. She lives with her husband, Benjamin, in Toccoa, Georgia.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill; First Edition edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595145958
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595145956
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #752,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Jessica Khoury is of Syrian and Scottish descent and was born in Toccoa, Georgia. She wrote her first book at age 4, a fan fic sequel to Syd Hoff's Danny and the Dinosaur, which she scribbled on notebook paper, stapled together, and placed on the bookshelf of her preschool classroom. Since that day, she's dreamed of being an author.

Besides writing, Jess enjoys playing, coaching, and watching soccer and is an avid FC Barcelona fan. She also spends time directing theater for college and student groups.

Jess draws inspiration from many places: her travels all over the world, the mountains where she's always lived, the innumerable stories she's consumed over the years, and her faith. Her books are built on all of these.

Jess currently lives in Columbia, South Carolina, with her husband, two terrible dogs, and an abundance of books, shoes, and sweet tea.

She is the author of Origin and Vitro.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Candace Robinson VINE VOICE on September 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Writing a review for this book is proving to be difficult for me and is quite possibly the worst review I have ever written. I have so many mixed feelings about the book. There wasn't anything that I didn't like, but yet nothing really wowed me.

I liked the setting of the rainforest a lot. And I liked the laboratory hidden in the Amazon and the story behind it. I liked the science behind Pia and her immortality. I liked Pia and I liked Eio. But the plot was slow moving and the romance felt a bit blah at first. In the last bit it pulled through for me and I liked it, but I wasn't feeling it for quite a long time. The story line was good, I liked the history and I liked that Pia was finding her morality when she'd basically been taught not to have any, but I wanted things to happen sooner. There's not much action in this book until the last little bit. And if some conflict had occurred sooner I could have felt more passionate about the book I think. I think it had potential for greatness but didn't quite pull through for me.

I enjoyed this book but it lacked emotion for me. I felt it at the end and the final conflict, but I guess it was a little too late. At the same time I loved how Pia found her way. So I don't know, I liked it, but definitely didn't love it. I have been back and forth between 2.5 stars and 3. I decided to go with 3 as I think that really reflects how I feel even though my review sounds so negative.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Nikki Wang on September 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Um wow. Just wow. I'm so impressed by all the Breathless Reads so far and Origin has just made me love them even, more!
Origin is an amazing debut and I really wish that a sequel will be on its way, but won't. But Pia and Eio are definitely some awesome characters and I'm hoping that there'll be at least a short story for them after the ending of Origin! (Please? Pretty pretty please?)

I loved the world of Origin. Or, rather, the description of it. It's the real world, but the way that it's described seems way more enchanting. Maybe it's because it's set in the Amazon or maybe it's just Jessica's writing. Maybe both. But the world and descriptions are amazing and...magical? Even if it's a sci-fi book. Origin definitely has some amazing descriptions and scenes that I'd kill to see! Apparently, I've had this secret craving to see the Amazon. Huh. Who knew?

The thing about Origin is the development you see throughout the story. Not just character development, but something else. Slowly but surely, you can almost feel Pia's trust shift from her family of scientists to the wild boy she meets secretly and starts falling for.
But there's more than just that. Pia herself goes through changes. In the beginning, her dream was always to become the lead scientist in the Immortis team, creating more Immortals, more perfects, like herself. But when things start getting suspicious and the Wickham test (A test designed for each scientists specifically, making sure they're prepared to become an Immortis scientist) getting more brutal, her hackles are raised and she starts searching for answers herself. Suddenly this protected, whiny (bragging-ish) girl suddenly becomes this independent strong character who I loved reading about.
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47 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Christina (A Reader of Fictions) on September 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
You guys, I have been so excited to read Origin. Unfortunately, just because I think a book sounds awesome does not mean that it actually will be. Sadly, I found Origin to be an entirely disappointing read for me, full of mistreatment of animal, bitching, and unsurprising plot twists.

Origin kicks off with animal torture. Yup. They believe in animal testing in Little Cam, the scientific community where Pia has lived all of her life. In the first chapter, she and Uncle Paolo (not really her uncle, but she calls everyone there Uncle or Aunt, since they all aided in her creation) put a sparrow through a cruel test. This is not the last instance of animal abuse in the book. If you're an animal lover, be warned that this book will make you extra super sad. I didn't like that and it set the tone for the novel.

The next thing that turned me off to Origin was Pia, our heroine. In novels, so much hinges on one's relationship to the main characters; there are some authors that can interest you in horrible characters, but that is rare and difficult to do. In theory, Pia is just the kind of person I would totally want to read about, since she, through the power of scientific inquiry, has been rendered immortal. Blades cannot cut her and she has crazy stamina. I love people with powers, people beyond human.

However, the scientists raised Pia for all of her seventeen years telling her how perfect she is. Well, after being told that for so long, she believes it, and acts accordingly. Perfect Pia is, in my opinion, a perfectly pretentious prat. Ugh. I just wanted to slap her for the whole of the opening of the novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly on December 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Here is another book that I waited for for months to read until last month when I finally got my hands on a copy from the library. Then when I brought it home I read a couple iffy reviews so I went into it very hesitantly, expecting the worst but I was surprised at how much I really enjoyed Origin.

The story centers around Pia (love the name) who is a genetically enhanced human who has the gift of being immortal. She's raised in a jungle compound where she is heralded in as the future of humanity and expected to be as cold and calculating as those around her and she is almost convinced that she will be until she escapes the compound and meets the boy of her dreams Eio. However a series of events take place and she finds out what kind of sacrifices were made for her to gain the immortality that those around her so value and she has to fight for the life she truly wants.

I thought that the book was great. In many ways it reminded me a lot of The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna click here to read my review. Because both novels focus on strong female characters that were somehow made different through scientific advances and there was secrecy and romance in both of these. However, I found that in Origins the author did a much better job at developing the plot a lot more because a lot of the questions I had about how and why Pia was the way she was were answered. I appreciated how well explained the plot was because it created a steady story line.

Pia though has to be one of my favourite heroines of the year. She was so strong willed, smart, and kind that there was very little that I couldn't like about her though I do wish she had grown a backbone when it came to certain things a wee bit sooner but it wasn't anything major in terms of effecting the novel.
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