Review: Vitro by Jessica Khoury


Rating: 2.5/5
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Release Date: January 14th 2014
Publication House: Razorbill
Source: Purchased
Check out on GOODREADS

On Skin Island, even the laws of creation can be broken.

On a remote island in the Pacific, Corpus scientists have taken test tube embryos and given them life. These beings—the Vitros—have knowledge and abilities most humans can only dream of. But they also have one enormous flaw.

Sophie Crue is determined to get to Skin Island and find her mother, a scientist who left Sophie behind years ago. With the help of Jim Julien, a young charter pilot, she arrives–and discovers a terrifying secret she never imagined: she has a Vitro twin, Lux, who is the culmination of Corpus’s dangerous research.

Now Sophie is torn between reuniting with the mother who betrayed her and protecting the genetically enhanced twin she never knew existed. But untangling the twisted strands of these relationships will have to wait, for Sophie and Jim are about to find out what happens when science stretches too far beyond its reach


This is one of those books that I picked up as a spur of the moment kind of thing. I saw the spine, recognized the novel from one of my Goodreads searches and bought myself a copy. I guess I could say that it was well worth it, although I would better recommend you borrow this at the library rather than buy it if you’re interested, since it wasn’t an amazing read.

The first thing that made me want to read it was the gorgeous cover. (I even mentioned it in a discussion post here.) I wanted to know the connection between the test tube and the island. It’s definitely intriguing, no? As was the synopsis of the novel.

The story stars of immediately at a fast pace. Unlike some other authors, Jessica Khoury doesn’t spend time beating around the bush with boring scenes of the heroine’s ordinary life, she instantly gives us the problem the heroine needs to solve. I mean it–the story begins with Sophie, our heroine, trying to find a plane to take her to the infamous–dangerous, they say–Skin Island. And no one wants to take her, until her childhood friend Jim Julien gives her a hand. And a series of new events take place.

Sophie was an okay heroine. There were times when I wanted to give her a pat on the shoulder for her determination, but sometimes I wanted to smash a test tube to her skull. It’s clear that all she wants to do is to save her mother, but then she does such irrational things that make her come off as stupid. I mean, she wants to leave the island without telling her father. If you’re desperate to do something, you need help, not secrecy.

Jim Julien was also just okay. To be honest, none of the characters gave me any feels–neither did the “romance.” (I honestly didn’t feel that there was a romance aspect in the novel.) Everything was just so blandly written for me, in terms of characters and relationships. None of them piqued my interest to anything more than, “Huh, interesting.”

Moving on to the plot–I enjoyed learning about the secrets of Skin Island as well as navigating around it. Descriptions were done well, things were planned out and laid straight for us readers. Things were mostly explained well enough. I liked the antagonist (from the island), as well, but there was something off about him (aside from, well–you’ll know when you read it).

Again, the pacing was fast. There was a decent amount of action, suspense and a bit of drama thrown here and there. I didn’t have problems keeping up, and the simple writing made it easier to go with the flow of the story.

All in all, it was an okay read. If you’re into science fiction and action, this’ll probably be a good fit for you. I might recommend it to fans of Taken by Erin Bowman, only if you’re okay with the lack of romance (’cause Taken had a looooot of romance).

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Aimee is a sixteen year old bookworm from the Phillipines! She reads any book that catches her attention, but she mostly reads YA. She's into graphic design, writing and sleeping. You can find her at Deadly Darlings, The Book Geek, Goodreads and on Twitter.

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  1. says

    lols! I just deleted this from my GR tbr. Idk, didn’t really intrigue me that much anymore and I’m secretly glad that you weren’t a fan. The cover and the synopsis definitely intrigue me, but not enough to buy this book. “If you’re desperate to do something, you need help, not secrecy.” omg this!!!! This drives me so insane when reading a book. Hmm.. I’m sorry you didn’t love the romance or get any feels. That happened with me when I read Eleanor and Park. Everyone talked about THE FEELS. I was like. Huh? Where?? I don’t see any O.o Okay, so the world in general was explained? That’s good to hear. I’m sorry this was a disappointment for you. I hope your next read is better, Christie:)
    Siiri recently posted…Review: The Destiny of Violet and Luke by Jessica SorensenMy Profile

    • says

      Hahaha! Yeah, it was really stupid of her to go off on her one. I think this one was the romanced that would’ve made the novel horrible! Glad there wasn’t much of it. :)

  2. says

    I was looking forward to reading this one, but it sounds like it would be a waste of time. I recently finished reading Plus One and the heroine in that one made feel exactly the same way as the you felt for the heroine in this book. At times, I wanted to pat her and other times I wanted to cry at her stupidity.
    The romance doesn’t sound great either. At least there were parts of the book that were entertaining. Sorry this wasn’t a hit for you Christie, but great review as always!
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  3. says

    Let’s be honest here but I want to buy this one jut for this cover! It’s so pretty, and the whole idea is so good. I mean test tubes and island. It’s something I’d never connect in my mind. So here I have it. But I’m not going to buy it just because the whole idea might sound good but I have a feeling like main character would annoy the hell out of me. I’m glad you enjoyed this book after all. Great review, Christie :)
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  4. says

    This is odd! I saw the cover and read the summary and it reminded me of that book “Origin” … and bam! It’s written by the same author! She definitely has something for that type of topic. Since I didn’t like her other book, I better skip this one.
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  5. says

    Awww this is a book I would have given a try, but after trying to read a sci-fi book I couldn’t finish, I realized sci-fi is just not for me. Too bad you didn’t connect with the book as much. It’s sometimes scary, no, to keep trying to read a book and hoping it will just blow you away every time!
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  6. says

    Eh, I’m dreadfully worried I’ll be disappointed by this. I haven’t read Origin, but I saw SO much promo for Virtro I kind of was caught in the hype without even having read it! I would like to read it still, just to see if everyone’s right. ;) lol But I’m concerned, because the character seems the kind I’d probably slap, too. *sigh* The whole premise rocks, though.
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