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Showing posts from September, 2012

"Origin," by Jessica Khoury

Jessica Khoury’s Origin, which has gotten good reviews from journals like Kirkus, is a great gateway book. And by this I mean that it can lead librarians and teens, or teachers and teens, to a host of other books and start great discussions.

I mean no disrespect to Ms. Khoury when I say that I was reminded of several other books while reading Origin. This is not to say the story is not, excuse the word, original. In some ways, it is. But it also has a little of Flowers for Algernon (by Daniel Keyes) and The House of the Scorpion (by Nancy Farmer) in it. There’s even a Romeo and Juliet-like scene near the end, and there’s a sequence of native Amazonians dancing that reminded me of Peter Pan visiting Tiger Lily’s camp (I’m sorry to say).

Origin tells the story of Pia, an immortal girl. She was created through years of genetic research and lives deep in the Amazon forest, where scientists working for the Corpus conglomerate have kept her hidden (and imprisoned). Pia longs for the day when…