Pia has grown up in a secret compound hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who bred her to be the first of a new immortal race. Now those scientists have begun to challenge her, with the goal of training her to carry on their dangerous work.
On the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia stumbles across a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home. Free in the jungle for the first time, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Unable to resist, she continues sneaking out to see him. As they fall in love, they begin to piece together the truth about Pia’s origin – a truth with nothing less than deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.
First Sentence: I’m told that the day I was born, Uncle Paolo held me against his white lab coat and whispered, “She is perfect.”
I received an ARC of Origin through ARCycling. Thank you ARCycling! (:
I’ve seen Origin everywhere (and now, since I have the ARC in hand, that makes sense, I mean, 250,000 copy announced on first print run? Whoa). On a cold Wednesday back in September, when I was making a trip to Barnes & Noble, I happened to see a huge tall stack of Origin on the floor, more than twenty copies in total, sitting there, waiting for people to pick it up and buy it. Man, I had thought, this book must be popular. Usually Barnes & Noble only keeps ten books or less of a certain book in stock, unless the book is written by well-known authors.
Flash forward a month or so later and I started to hear about why people didn’t like reading Origin – it had a bad case of insta-love (where the author defended her decision to write it that way) and it portrayed all scientists as simply bad, which didn’t sit well with most readers. Flash forward another six months or so later and I saw Origin available on ARCycling, and curious about how I’ll feel about the book, I decided to request it for review to see how I’ll feel about this whole debate about Origin.
Right from the beginning, I didn’t like Pia. She is just a jealous, immature, attention-loving brat. When another woman moves into the lab, Pia gets insanely jealous and hates her for absolutely no reason, except for the fact that everyone likes the new woman. Basically, Pia wants everything to be about her because she is so perfect. Excuse me while I gag. (Pia does get a little better in the end, but I still didn’t like her that much.)
“What a dope,” I say to Uncle Antonio. “Who invited her, anyway?”
“What’s your problem, Chipmunk? She seems nice.” He stares at the dining hall wistfully, and I sigh. At least he hadn’t joined the welcoming committee. (ARC 20, 21)
It also took Pia too long to figure out something was wrong in Little Cam, the place where she lives. I mean, us readers knew that something was wrong in Little Cam ever since the beginning if you’ve read the summary, which I’m pretty sure most people do before they actually read the book. It takes Pia more than half the ARC to figure out that most of the people she grew up to know and live with was evil. I rather whoever wrote the summary not include a strong hint implying that something was wrong with the place and people Pia lived with so the book wouldn’t have dragged on so much and kept us readers on the edge of our seats, thinking, well, when is the big reveal coming?
“Kapukiri says there is evil in the village of the scientists.”
“Little Cam isn’t evil,” I reply, bristling. “What do you know about it?” (ARC 78)
And now, onto the insta-love. It wasn’t exactly insta-love because my personal definition of insta-love is love at first sight, but Pia and Eio pretty much fell in love in the short span of two weeks, based on each other’s looks. I mean, let’s face it, if I met Eio for two weeks, I would definitely not fall in love with him, especially after his degrading comments.
“I will take you back,” he repeats in a firmer tone. “It’s not good for a woman to walk alone in the jungle without a man to protect her.”
He thinks I’m a woman. I stand a little taller. “Well, all right. If you want.” (ARC 82)
Right. Just because we’re woman and so weak, we need a man’s protection. How romantic. Eio is lucky the jungle doesn’t have any pepper spray there. If only I was lucky enough to find my true love in two weeks like how Pia did -unladylike snort-.
Last, but not least, a side note to all you animal lovers out there: Skip this book. If you don’t listen to me, you’ll regret it. Right from the very first chapter, there is a story on animal abuse and animal torture. There are other cases of animal torture too throughout the book, even a case of human experimenting.
Overall, Origin would have definitely not have been a bad read if 1. There is no insta-love, 2. If Pia wasn’t so annoying, and lastly 3. If the big reveal of why the scientists were so evil was discovered towards the beginning of the book. Don’t get me wrong, Origin was an enjoyable read sometimes, but if it was up to me, I would have skipped this book altogether if I knew how much I would have not really enjoyed reading it.