I am honored to be part of Penguin's Breathless Reads blog tour for ORIGIN, the debut YA sci-fi/dystopian novel by Jessica Khoury. This blog tour is a little different in that, at each stop, an except from Origin will be posted, along with Jessica's thoughts on that excerpt. Here is mine!
I know Uncle Paolo’s eyes are on me, searching for any sign of weakness. It’s all I can do not to wince.Thoughts from Jessica:
I can’t fail this. I can’t. Of all my studies, the Wickham tests are the most important. They gauge whether I am ready to be a scientist. Whether I’m ready for the secrets of my own existence. Once I prove I’m one of them, my real work can begin: creating others like me. And that is everything. (Origin, page 6)
Objectivity is not a bad thing. It’s necessary in everything from reporting the news to writing a novel. But if done excessively, to the point of immorality, then it becomes a bad thing. Many dystopian stories are set in worlds where objectivity completely rules out emotion. For example, in Ally Condie’s Matched, the government controls everything according to a set of very objective rules which allow no room for emotion, because they believe this will maximize the quality of life for everyone. When we cease to view and conduct ourselves with emotion and morality, we reduce ourselves to machines. Are emotions messy? Yes. Can they lead us to make rash or irrational choices? Yes. But are we human without them?
In Little Cam, the scientists seek to create a new race, and they are fully aware that one of the things which will differentiate the immortals from humans is the lack of emotion they hope to instill in them, as they try to do with Pia. In their minds, this is a strength. They want the immortals to be able to see “clearly,” to make objective, rational decisions. And this is a good thing—but not to the extent that it erases emotion altogether. Our emotions hinder us, but they also define us and make us what we are. Sure, you could try to live a life based only on unemotional objectivity—but that life will be dry and meaningless. We just weren’t designed to function as machines, and in destroying one’s capacity to love, hate, fear, or weep, one’s humanity is also destroyed.
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.Links
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.
Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost. This is a supremely compelling debut novel that blends the awakening romance of Matched with the mystery and jungle conspiracy of Lost. [summary from Goodreads]
More about ORIGIN! http://origin-book.com/
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmhQtC336ro
Breathless Reads Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/breathlessreads
Breathless Reads Tumblr: http://breathlessreads.tumblr.com/
Breathless Reads Scribd Samplr: http://www.scribd.com/doc/89698531/Breathless-Reads-Fall-2012-Sampler
Jessica on the web: http://www.jessicakhoury.com/
Monday 8.27 - The Book Smugglers - http://thebooksmugglers.com/
Tuesday 8.28 - Pure Imagination - http://www.pureimaginationblog.com/
Wednesday 8.29 - Steph Su Reads - http://stephsureads.blogspot.com
Thursday 8.30 - Mundie Moms - http://mundiemoms.blogspot.com/
Friday 8.31 - Forever YA - http://www.foreveryoungadult.com
Monday 9.3 - Novel Thoughts - http://www.novelthoughtsblog.com
Tuesday 9.4 - Page Turners - http://www.pageturnersblog.com
Wednesday 9.5 - Frenetic Readers - http://freneticreader.blogspot.com/
Thursday 9.6 - Bookshelf Banter - http://www.bookshelfbanter.com
Friday 9.7 - The Story Siren - http://www.thestorysiren.com
Monday 9.10 - Green Bean Teen Queen - http://www.greenbeanteenqueen.com
Tuesday 9.11 - The Book Muncher - http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com
Wednesday 9.12 - The Book Cellar - http://thebookcellarx.blogspot.com
Thursday 9.13 - Book Chic - http://bookchicclub.blogspot.com
Friday 9.14 - The Compulsive Reader - http://thecompulsivereader.blogspot.com/