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Origin Hardcover – September 4, 2012

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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: 5.9 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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.

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.

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Customer Reviews

It was well written and a great story and characters.
T. Smith
When I finally got hold of it and started reading, I really liked the writing style but thought the beginning as a whole was kind of slow.
There wasn't anything that I didn't like, but yet nothing really wowed me.
Candace Robinson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 34 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 sadly...it 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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46 of 59 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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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Jones on September 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Deep within the Amazon rain forest, groups of scientist have created something impossible. Strikingly beautiful and vibrant with life Pia, is the only one of her kind. With skin unable to break, Pia can never bleed and never die, she is immortal. But immortality is hard to bear alone. Knowing that everyone you know and love will one day die, drives Pia to become a scientist herself, and discover the secret to immorality and with that knowledge develop a race of immortals, and a Perfect immortal man of her own. Secluded within the small and secretive scientific community, Pia is completely unaware of the outside world. A world she hears about in whispers and sees through her glass house.
On the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that cages her, and escapes into the jungle. There she discovers a native village, and a boy Eio. Together they search for the truth about Pia's origin, and what the scientist are really hiding in their secret laboratory. Their discovery uncovers some shocking truths and the consequences of seeking immorality no matter the costs.
Filled with beautiful scenery and endearing characters, Jessica Khoury first novel provides a shocking storyline that is thought provoking and emotionally intense, readers will not want to put down Origin.
Recommended for readers age 12-17.
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