Pure by Julianna Baggott
Series: Pure #1
Published by Grand Central Publishing on February 8th 2012
We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.
Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.
When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.
It's not often when my first impression of a book comes from a book trailer, but that is definitely how I became aware of Pure. In the trailer, I was so impressed with how stark everything was. And the fusion of humans with animate and inanimate objects got my curiosity going.
Pure is not, definitely not, your typical dystopian. I almost felt going into the book that I was in a reading the book after seeing the movie type of situation due to the book trailer. And if I had thought the trailer was stark, I am not sure I could find the right word to describe the brilliance of the book.
Pressia's world is divided. You are either Pure or not. You either live in relative comfort or you live everyday like it could be your last. For me, a dystopian is made or broken based on its world. It is that fundamental element that sets the stage and can really drive the point home for a book. With Pure, Baggott nailed it. The world is vibrant in its simplicity and the utter destruction of the world as we know it. People outside of the dome have fused with objects, animals, and even other people to create a hybrid unlike anything I have ever seen before. Even at this new version of humanity's ugliest, it is beautiful.
Pure is told from quite a few POVs: Pressia, Partridge, and a few other secondary characters. While I adored Pressia and Partridge's POVs, the other secondary characters were not my favorite. Although, the addition of the other POVs did add a nice layer of understanding to Pure. Giving the book an extra layer of depth that I think may have been missing had the other POVs not been added in.
Pure is not without its flaws. The plot sometimes ground to almost a halt a few times. And other times it seemed a little rush. But once it got into that perfect middle, I was in heaven. The romance, overall, was done nicely. A twist placed here and there so the experience was not tied with a nice little bow. Plenty of loose ends make up Pure's ending, and I know I will be back for more.
Kate is the co-blog owner of The Book Monsters. I am a twenty-something year old who is passionate about reading. I currently hold a B.A. in English and am married to my high school sweetheart. We have two (cat) children, Gracie and Kit, who are total divas. I have an insane and possibly unhealthy passion for reading. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book.
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