Book Review: Origin 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.

The premise of Origin is quite interesting, and is what originally compelled me to enter the ARC giveaway I won for this book. Pia is a modern scientific success, she’s the first immortal to be churned out of a remote laboratory in a rain forest in South America. She’s lived a coddled life by those scientists around her, because of course she’s the prize and joy of all the hard work they’ve been putting in day in and day out. Though she first comes off as a bit spoiled, we come to see that not all is as wonderful as Pia first describes to the reader.

I particularly liked that she really and truly loves the laboratory she’s grown up in, and has come to call home. That all changes when a newcomer arrives and throws her well-balanced world off kilter.

I really wanted to enjoy this book much more than I did, but I can’t say that I loved this read. It was interesting of course, but at times the read wasn’t as easy flowing as I like. Also I was a bit disappointed by her immortal…abilities. I don’t want to spoil anything so that is all I will say on that topic. But I felt that there could have been more to what she was able to do. Other than immortality, for the most part, Pia is a normal teenager; aside from the fact that she’s grown up around scientists as oppose to kids her own age.

Her home is full of adults, who keep nothing but secrets from her, and I did enjoy finally learning about all of the mysterious secrets the adults had been keeping to themselves. All in all it was an interesting read, yet not enthralling enough to keep me turning that page late into the night. It’s a good read, but you won’t get fully absorbed in it until much later in the story.

OriginOrigin by Jessica Khoury
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

 

 

Reviews to come:

Crashing EdenCrashing Eden by Michael Sussman

 

 

 

The Bell JarThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

 

 

 

Currently reading:

Colin FischerColin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller

 

 

 

The Girl in the Blue BeretThe Girl in the Blue Beret by Bobbie Ann Mason

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Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

Though I can’t deny that this is a true literary classic, I can say that this  story wasn’t always my cup of tea. At times I was downright bored to tears while reading this book, I couldn’t understand why I’ve seen so many rave reviews about it! There I was thinking I’d be taken on some fantastically dystopian journey, hoping I’d be utterly sucked in, and instead I was feeling as though to keep reading was a punishment. Obviously for a book of it’s time it was quite creative, but I don’t think it translates the same way in the modern world of today. It wasn’t particularly unique by today’s standards, but I did appreciate it from where and when it was written.

Winston isn’t a character one sympathizes with easily. There’s something about his demeanor that I didn’t find appealing, but once the book continued I came to learn of his ways and understood him a bit better. Certain points of the story I utterly hated reading, other parts I thoroughly enjoyed. I found myself in a fifty-fifty situation while reading, and I knew I’d either love the next part or I’d hate it. Unfortunately the love/hate relationship went back and forth quite a bit.

There was a particularly dreadful section when Winston was reading a book that dragged on forever. I literally had to start reading other less tedious books just so I could make it to the end of this one.

While this most certainly isn’t a rave review, I must admit that by the end I was captivated. I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who haven’t read this book yet, but by the end we as the readers are able to see why the society Winston lives in is able to thrive as it is. All throughout you hope it’s something that can be defeated, or that maybe this is some sick little game, but I think the ending is quite conclusive in it’s meaning. It’s definitely a cautionary tale of sorts, and I liked that Orwell wasn’t afraid of getting to the nitty-gritty parts of human nature.

 

19841984 by George Orwell
My rating:  2.5 of 5 stars

 

 

 

Reviews to come:

OriginOrigin by Jessica Khoury

 

 

 

Crashing EdenCrashing Eden by Michael Sussman

 

 

 

Currently reading:

The Bell JarThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Book Review: Eye of the Tempest by Nicole Peeler

Nothing says “home” like being attacked by humans with very large guns, as Jane and Anyan discover when they arrive in Rockabill. These are professionals, brought into kill, and they bring Anyan down before either Jane or the barghest can react. Seeing Anyan fall awakens a terrible power within Jane, and she nearly destroys herself taking out their attackers.

Jane wakes, weeks later, to discover that she’s not the only thing that’s been stirring. Something underneath Rockabill is coming to life: something ancient, something powerful, and something that just might destroy the world.

Jane and her friends must act, striking out on a quest that only Jane can finish. For whatever lurks beneath the Old Sow must be stopped…and Jane’s just the halfling for the job.

I’m not entirely sure what it was about this book, but for me it wasn’t as addicting as the previous one in the series. I still enjoyed Jane being more assertive and she’s definitely come into her own, but this book felt as though something was missing.

There was no shortage of action, and though the story took a few twists, for the most part it wasn’t quite so shocking come the end. I definitely felt the lack of supporting characters in this book. Jane is a wonderfully entertaining character all on her own, but with the previous novels I’ve become accustomed to the presence of a group full of individuals surrounding Jane. In this book we feel that hole from the lack of characters, but we also get a lot more time with Jane. Obviously she’s the main character so we always have a lot of time with her, but really there’s always a ton of other characters and a lot of other things going on that we aren’t ever really focused entirely on her. This book we get a bit more Jane time, and we do get to see her from a different viewpoint.

I did enjoy the story, but compared with the others it didn’t quite live up to what I’ve come to expect from the Jane True series. I am interested in seeing where this will go next though. The ending was quite hilarious to me for obvious reasons, but also it allowed for a lot more craziness to undoubtedly happen in Jane’s life. It’ll be interesting to see how she copes and if she will continue to keep on growing.

Eye of the Tempest (Jane True, #4)Eye of the Tempest by Nicole Peeler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

 

 

Review to come:

19841984 by George Orwell
FINALLY finished reading it!

 

 

 

Currently reading:

Crashing EdenCrashing Eden by Michael Sussman

Book Review: Tempest’s Legacy by Nicole Peeler

After a peaceful hiatus at home in Rockabill, Jane True thinks that her worst problem is that she still throws like a girl – at least while throwing fireballs. Her peace of mind ends, however, when Anyan arrives one night with terrible news . . . news that will rock Jane’s world to its very core. After demanding to help investigate a series of gruesome attacks on females — supernatural, halfling, and human — Jane quickly finds herself forced to confront her darkest nightmares as well as her deepest desires.

And she’s not sure which she finds more frightening.

I seriously plowed right through this book, and for good reason! Jane True is back and in my honest opinion, better than ever! She’s still the same slightly awkward yet funny sex-on-the-mind girl we’ve come to know and love, but in Tempest’s Legacy we finally see Jane come into her own. No longer does Jane have to rely on others to fight battles for her, no longer is she satisfied to sit back and watch, she wants to get in the thick of it all. Not only does she want to be in the battle, but now she can honestly add something offensively to raids and attacks and no longer hinder and make others feel the need to protect her. Though obviously that’s easier said than done. With Anyan the ever protective barghest and Ryu always watching out for Jane, it’s sometimes tough for her to unleash everything that she’s capable of.

I really enjoyed reading this because for once romance wasn’t the sole focus of the book. Don’t get me wrong, I loved reading the steamy scenes of Jane and Ryu, but after a while it got old. I wondered if we’d ever see Jane toughen up and feel more comfortable with her skills. I was pleased to find that in this book we were able to meet a new side of Jane. She’s become a good fighter, and even though she’s not always confident in her abilities, I can truly say that we’re able to see a great improvement in what she’s capable of doing. Not only can we see it, but Jane and everyone around her notices her progress as well.

I can’t really go into much detail for fear of giving away too much of the plot. But one of the big events that’s found out early on in the story was a great contributing factor to push Jane to her limit, and it was only then that I finally saw how strong she was. This book packed more than enough action into the mix, as well as some much loved barghest time. Anyan has been a favorite character of mine, and in this book we finally get a better look at him as a character.

When all is said and done, I’m quite literally ready to jump into the next book in the series!

Tempest's Legacy (Jane True, #3)Tempest’s Legacy by Nicole Peeler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

 

Up next:

Eye of the Tempest (Jane True, #4)Eye of the Tempest by Nicole Peeler

 

 

 

Also still reading 1984! It’s finally less tedious for me to read, I’m about three-quarters of the way through with it. I’m hoping to finish it this coming week/weekend.

19841984 by George Orwell

Book Review: The Magnificent 12: The Call by Michael Grant

Twelve-year-old Mack MacAvoy suffers from a serious case of mediumness. Medium looks. Medium grades. Medium parents who barely notice him.With a list of phobias that could make anyone crazy, Mack never would have guessed that he is destined for a more-than-medium life.

And then, one day, something incredibly strange happens to Mack. A three-thousand-year-old man named Grimluk appears in the boys’ bathroom to deliver some startling news: Mack is one of the Magnificent Twelve, called the Magnifica in ancient times, whatever that means. An evil force is on its way, and it’s up to Mack to track down eleven other twelve-year-olds in order to stop it. He must travel across the world to battle the wicked Pale Queen’s dangerous daughter, Ereskigal–also known as Risky. But Risky sounds a little scary, and Mack doesn’t want to be a hero. Will he answer the call?

This is a right little adventure of a book, it’s unexpectedly funny, and takes you on a journey you would never have seen coming.

Mack is a kid who has so many phobias that I was surprised he managed to function daily. Despite all of his fears, he lacks the ability to stand down to bullies. This trait in a school where bullies come together to torture their classmates is quite a foolish one to have. However, this one seems to work in his favor because of course, Mack is a hero…of sorts.

Interwoven with Mack’s story is another character named Grimluk who has already been through the trials ahead of Mack. His story served to provide the readers with a bit of background and to let us know what will be in Mack’s future. Ultimately we find that Mack must defeat the evil Pale Queen’s daughter, as well as the Pale Queen herself, by rallying the Magnificent 12.

Known as the Magnifica, these individuals as well as Mack himself, each possess a certain quality that will help them defeat the Pale Queen. Although I often wondered how Mack would be able to defeat the Queen, once I got a taste of what he alone was capable of, by just uttering a few words, I found that the twelve Magnifca once rallied together would be a force to be reckoned with.

Although seemingly ordinary, Mack proves to be more than meets the eye. He shows courage and perseverance in the face of trouble, and before the book is up he will meet certain phobias head on and through his struggles you will find a few giggles escaping you.

The Call (The Magnificent 12, #1)

The Call by Michael Grant
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

 

 

 

Up Next/Currently reading:

I’m still trudging along with 1984! It’s slow going.

19841984 by George Orwell

 

 

 

Also reading:

Tempest's Legacy (Jane True, #3)

Tempest’s Legacy by Nicole Peeler