Friday, January 24, 2014

Vitro by Jessica Khoury *Blog Tour*

** I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Razorbill!

Welcome to the VITRO blog tour! Jessica Khoury, the talented author of Origin, is back with a death-defying tropical adventure. Follow along over the next two weeks as Jessica takes readers behind the scenes of her latest novel.

VITRO Synopsis:

17617762When Sophie is summoned by her long-absent mother, a scientist who works in a classified lab, Sophie throws caution to the wind and heads to the South Pacific. She sweet-talks her way onto a tiny supply plane piloted by Jim Julien, who lives on Guam with his alcoholic father. Jim is captivated by Sophie and against his better judgement agrees to take Sophie to the secretive and tropical Skin Island where her mom has been working for so many years.

There Sophie and Jim are met not by her mother but instead by Nicholas, a handsome, brilliant boy who leads them to Lux--a girl who looks exactly like Sophie. Lux is Sophie's genetic twin and was bred using in vitro fertilization. But why? And just what have the scientists created Lux to be capable of?

With lyrical writing and ever-increasing tension, Jessica Khoury draws out the explosive answers in her much-anticipated followup to Origin.

About Jessica Khoury:

Jessica Khoury is 23 years old. She has red hair. She was homeschooled. She's an avid soccer player and was a three-time All-American striker. She is of Syrian and Scottish descent. She went to college in the same tiny Georgia town in which she was born and raised. And she's a prodigiously talented writer with a huge following.

Jessica Khoury lives in Toccoa, GA with her husband, Benjamin. You can visit her online at

Jessica’s Guest Post:

Vitro is told through multiple perspectives, with half of the story seen through the eyes of Jim Julien. At 18, Jim has taken over his dad’s charter flight business on Guam. He spends his days taxiing tourists through the Pacific skies, surfing, and hanging out with friends. It’s been ten years since he’s seen Sophie Crue. They were neighbors as children and often when Sophie’s parents were working, she spent the day at Jim’s house. Though he doesn't recognize her at first when they reunite a decade later, Jim is quickly intrigued by this grown-up version of his childhood friend. Sophie’s desperate pleading leads him to go against his better judgment in flying her to Skin Island.

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I loved writing from Jim’s perspective and he quickly became my favorite character in Vitro. His love for flying, which is central to his character, is inspired by my dad, who flies the same kind of plane as Jim. For the scenes involving Jim’s plane, I was constantly sending questions and excerpts for my dad to check. He’d counsel me on what kind of plane Jim would fly, how it handled, and teach me how airplanes actually land or crash or take off. It’s always helpful having experts in the family!

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A Cessna Caravan outfitted with floats—the kind of plane Jim flies.

My Thoughts:

When I originally requested this book from Penguin I did not realize it was a companion novel. I then flipped out for a minute because I thought I had to read ORIGIN beforehand...well to those wondering YOU DON'T. :-) I was able to follow along in this book just fine without even knowing what ORIGIN was about. 

I'm going to make this review somewhat shorter than my usual because I found this book really hard to put into words overall. I'm also skipping a recap since the synopsis is above and I don't want you all feeling you are reading for days with all the other words. ;-) 

 I enjoyed reading this book and thought it was a very good sci-fi. There was a good amount of action and suspense, and some slight romance thrown in there too. The writing was well written and made it a very quick read. The setting of Skin Island was very vividly described. I felt like I could see the island through the characters eyes, and could feel the darkness and fear from the unknown. The setting and way it was described was easily my favorite part and quickly drew me in. 

Characters were not the strong suit for this book, but it did not keep me from enjoying it. The book switches point of views between Sophie, Lux, and Jim in third person. I always enjoy switching point of views because I get to see everything going on and not just something in one place. Since the three were on different parts of the island or handling different aspects it was nice seeing what all was going on at all times. I just wished we had had a little more time with Jim and Sophie to become more familiar with them before all the action started, without that it was too easy to be detached from them while reading.

With that being said, my favorite character point of view was Lux. It was mainly because I never really knew what she would do or say so it gave me some angst. Sophie was my next okay; I liked seeing her outlook on the entire situation since it was so close to her emotionally. She was brave also so that made me like her even more. She was however a little naive to some situations and I wanted to reach in and shake her several times. Jim was my least favorite character. I never could connect with him through the entire book. I just felt no real emotions from him or anything to make me connect. I felt he used the same "tone" through the entire book and those chapters made me want to step back from the book a few times. Thankfully Lux and Sophie's chapters were much longer and took over most of the book as a whole. 

The plot flowed easily and while I could see a lot of the twists coming I still enjoyed seeing everything happen. I hated some of the things that happened but I find that to be a good thing because that means I was emotionally wrapped in the book. I found myself really disturbed by things that happened on Skin Island with the Vitros. The science lab and Vitros were really interesting in the scientific aspect of things. While not all questions were answered or tied up for you in a pretty little bow, I still felt it was a solid plot and gave me all the answers I NEEDed. 

Overall I would recommend this book to fans of ORIGIN and a quick-paced science fiction read. I think there will be many readers that completely love this book! This is one book I think I would enjoy better as an audiobook. Simply because I feel like the narration would possibly make it feel like there is more emotion when it lacks emotion from characters in scenes. I'm considering getting the audio just to test this theory. 

My Ratings:

1 comment:

  1. I think I'll definitely add this ot my list, since I love reading sci-fi!


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