by Jessica Khoury
Release Date: Jan. 14, 2014
When 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 follow-up to Origin.
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.
Find Jessica online...
Sophie’s journey in Vitro is one of discovery: discovering secrets about her mother, truths about her own past, and ultimately discovering herself. Writing this book was also a story of discovery for me, in many ways. One of the primary things I discovered is that characters, when they have a mind to, can completely surprise you and change everything about your book.
I’d heard of characters who surprised their authors by running off and plotting their own stories, and while I’d had a few minor cases of this in previous projects, I hadn’t really understood it until Vitro. The cast of Origin was like a well-behaved first grade class that lines up when told and sits quietly during class and only runs wild during the allotted recess hour. Vitro’s cast was like the first grade class across the hall that spends the morning in riots, the afternoon in mutiny, and recess in absolute chaos. There were characters running amok all over the place, demanding attention in the wrong chapters, showing up too early or too late for their scenes, and causing general mayhem and mischief. Once I’d managed to wrangle them into some kind of sensible plotline, I discovered the villain of the story wasn’t who I’d thought it would be and that other characters had killed themselves off or left the book entirely.
In the end, everything (and everyone) came together into a coherent whole. Despite the occasional threat I made to strike out an unruly character altogether, I also discovered it was fun, this business of discovering the story instead of dictating it. Characters who run away from you feel alive and vibrant, and for a writer, that’s a truly magical feeling—even when it’s exhausting.