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April 17, 2014

Origin by Jessica Khoury


O is for Origin by Jessica Khoury

When I post reviews, they are for books I like and gladly recommend to others. I am also including tips for writers based on what I read. Now here is my review of Origin by Jessica Khoury, a young adult Sci-Fi novel.

My Reader’s Review:

This story was a real journey. I enjoyed getting to know Pia, an immortal girl cut off from the rest of the world. She was an interesting character and the setting, the Amazon, was amazing. Jessica Khoury’s descriptions of the jungle and its natives were mystifying.

I love the story Pia tells to explain how she became immortal. It is so scientific, but also believable and that is a major plus for fiction. I found myself asking the same questions as Pia: What would it be like to live for all eternity? The questions and the mystery that are part of the story line lingered in my mind and I wanted to know the answers just as much as Pia. 

The climax is thrilling and my heart was racing. Then at the peak of the story, my heart shuttered and broke. But that moment is oh so good!

That's me at a wedding, but I'm pretending it's Pia.

My Writer’s Review:

I couldn’t help but think the moment when Pia eats Skittles for the first time was sadly lacking with just “a burst of fruit”. When I recall what it’s like to eat Skittles, I imagine the crack of the shell when my teeth sink into the candy, the chewy heart, and the explosion of fruity flavors.
TIP: If you’re writing about a character experiencing something for the first time, imagine you’re that character. Then go above and beyond in your description to share that experience.
While I was reading, I noted an abundance of similes. These are great for enhancing your writing, but too many close together is too much.
TIP: Readers are smart and can understand what you are telling them, so cut out unnecessary similes.
I also spotted an overuse of specific words such as unwitting/unwittingly. In just one paragraph there were two uses, and several in a matter of pages.
TIP: Use words that standout only once or at least far apart from each other. A thesaurus can help you to find an alternative word.
My take on the Elysia flower.


But before you think my writer’s review influenced my overall view of the book, it didn’t. I gave Origin 4.5 stars! :)




40 comments:

Trisha said...

This definitely sounds like an intriguing read. Thanks for the review!

Stephanie Faris said...

I love your analysis of the Skittles scene! I write about children, so there are a lot of firsts, but it's not the same as sci-fi, where there's an otherwordly element to it.

Anonymous said...

Your tips are a gentle reminder regardless of the genre one writes. Taking the time to give your reader a great read depends on caring enough about them to go the extra mile.

SM Blooding said...

This is a great review! It does sound like a fun read, and I appreciate how you're able to put on your reader's hat, and then switch over to the writer's hat. Excellent.

http://www.frankiesbookshelf.com/

Chrys Fey said...

It is a good book! :)

Chrys Fey said...

Firsts are important to get right in stories. They have to live up to real life firsts. :)

Stephanie Bird said...

Since I am in the process of writing a novel, (the early process), I find your suggestions of what to look out for as a writer in this post, very useful. Thank you!

Chrys Fey said...

These are the kinds of tips I like to give best . . . gentle reminders. Thank you for your lovely comment, Stepheny! :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, SM! It's important to separate our reader's hat from our writer's hat. Unless a book is notrociously written, similes and repeated words shouldn't lower a books rating or warrant a bad review.

Thank you so much for your comment, SM! :D

Chrys Fey said...

That's awesome, Stephanie. I'm glad to help. You should check out the "About Blog" tab and "How to Write a Novel" tab at the top. They are full of tips! :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Haven't read it. I do try to search and destroy those overused words. I know most of the ones I tend to use often.

Chrys Fey said...

I do the same. I actually have a list of words to check for and eliminate from my writing. :)

David P. King said...

I've been meaning to read that one. :)

J.L. Campbell said...

Haven't read Origins. Your tips are helpful for writers.

Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

Not one I've read, but sounds like an interesting book. Good tips too :)
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

Unknown said...

I can't tell you how many times I've had to edit my work for overuse of words. I still find them sometimes. :)

debi o'neille said...

That the book and definitely going to want to read. What a wonderful review..
Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

Chrys Fey said...

I think you might enjoy it, David. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, J.L. :)

Chrys Fey said...

It is an interesting book. And different too, which I like. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I still do too, Melanie. :)

Chrys Fey said...

If you do read it, I hope you like it. Thanks! :)

Crystal Collier said...

LOL! And this is why writers should maybe not review books. We're way too picky. =)

True Heroes from A to Z

Donna Smith said...

The overuse of words that stand out really bugs me when I'm reading. I'm not sure I could give something a 4.5 (out of 5?) with overuse of words and similes, even if the story line was good. I hate when I do it, too!
Love your picture as Pia.
Donna Smith
The A-to-Z Challenge
http://mainelywrite.blogspot.com
Mainely Write

Chrys Fey said...

I agree, but my writer's review did not impact the rating of Origin and normally doesn't for any other book.

Chrys Fey said...

I liked the story. I liked the characters. I liked the plot. I really enjoyed reading the book, but I couldn't give it 5 for my own personal tastes. But if you want, you can think of it as 1/2 a star was deducted for the overuse of similes and words, which would be a fair penalty in my mind.

River Fairchild said...

It sounds like a good book and I really liked your writer comments on it. I'm constantly leaning on the thesaurus, but I'm sure not nearly enough!

Chrys Fey said...

I love my thesaurus! It's old so it has words that Microsoft Word doesn't even consider real. lol

Sonia Lal said...

That sounds like an interesting read. Also, great writers tips. I realized a few Years ago that it is possible to have too many smiles and that was so shocking.

Chrys Fey said...

It is a very interesting book, Sonia!

I know. When I was a kid, I loved similes and would have one in every other line in my stories. :P

myriad234 said...

I'm so glad you stopped by my blog and commented. As a result, I have found you. I love the writing tips along with your review. I'll be back. :-)

Jocelyn Rish said...

I haven't read Origin yet. But I like how you gave a review from the reader's perspective and from the writer's perspective.

Hope you’re having fun with the A to Z challenge,
Jocelyn

Chrys Fey said...

I'm happy I was able to find your blog on the list. Thank you and I hope to "see" you again. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you. I believe in separating the two perspectives. To me it's only fair. :)

Carrie-Anne said...

I also like how you gave a review as both a reader and a writer. Sometimes it's hard to separate your inner editor from your raw reading self, and one forgets how to just read a book for pleasure instead of looking for what could've been done differently.

ilima said...

I LOVE this book...it was so unique and different.

Chrys Fey said...

Exactly, Carrie-Anne! I couldn't have said it better myself.

Chrys Fey said...

You're the first person to say you read it. :) I also loved it for the same reasons.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

That is SO not my genre, but I admit you've got me curious. I love how you reviewed it both as a reader and as a writer!

Chrys Fey said...

You should definitely try reading books in genres that you don't think are for you. You may be surprised. :)