Packing, cleaning, and watching Korean soap operas with my roommate during rest breaks took up most of my reading time this week, but I did manage to fit in one novel.
Origin by Jessica Khoury
Origin is another YA ARC that I picked up at the ALA conference. Every so often I wonder how much I’m missing out on by not reading tons of YA lit. There are tons of book blogs out there that write solely about YA books. There’s a huge market for this genre, as evidenced by any Barnes and Noble. So, I try to read a few YA books every so often, just to try to stay slightly relevant. And, honestly, I’m often disappointed.
Origin isn’t a bad book. It has an interesting premise– Pia is a singular teenage girl. She is the immortal, nearly indestructible product of generations of selective breeding by scientists in the Amazon. She is never allowed to leave their compound, and never has too much desire to, until, surprise surprise, she meets a cute native boy the one and only time she decides to sneak away. To be with him, she’ll need to make some tough decisions and also figure out what evil lurks below the surface of the community where she was created.
So, it’s not bad, and I was interested enough to read it at a fairly quick pace, but the problem is that it’s just so darn predictable. Of course, she meets a cute boy. Of course, it’s love at first sight. Of course, the community she has lived within is super evil. Why make things complicated?
Don’t teens deserve more than this? The real world is almost all gray area, and yet these books rarely show that. The gray areas are always more interesting than the black and white. Let’s make them think! Let’s make them wrestle with characters who aren’t always easy to like/ who aren’t pure good or evil. They’ll be better readers for it.
And could we have a teenage girl who decides to change her life for herself, not because a boy comes on the scene? I’m certainly sick of reading about that, but maybe that’s because I’m some rah rah independent woman.
Please, please, please recommend some great YA novels for me. I don’t really want to be the grumpy old lady moaning about what kids today are reading. I think I just need some guidance.
And please forgive any typos in this post. I wrote this on my phone as I waited for AN HOUR to return my cable box to the cable company. AN HOUR. Gahhhhhh!