Pure by Julianna Baggott

Posted February 24, 2012 | 25 Comments

Pure by Julianna BaggottPure
Author: Julianna Baggott
Series: Pure #1
Published by: Grand Central
Publication Date: February 8, 2012
Format: eARC
Pages: 469
Source: Publisher
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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.

I’ve procrastinated on writing this review for way too long. Pure… why is this so hard for me to write about? Why?!  Don’t misconstrue my difficulty of forming a coherent thought about this book as me not liking it.  I did like it.  I really did!  It’s just that Baggott’s  imagination has overloaded my brain (haha).  This is one of those books that had me in awe of the author’s ability to develop such a unique and disturbing world.  I’ve read a lot of post-apocalyptic books, but this is definitely one of the more grittier of the bunch. I love that.

The characters, the setting, the story, everything… are disturbing and shocking.  I can’t even tell you how many times I had the “what.. the… heck” reaction.  I really like that.  Also, I like how the author made some of the situation seriously messed up, there wasn’t always a good or happy outcome for them.  The reality of this world is harsh, and surviving in it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns.  And I appreciate that the small love interests in the book doesn’t take over the story.  Another thing I liked were the creepy singsongs; they’re dark and disturbing.  But really, aren’t most nursery rhymes through history kind of dark?

The book is told from multiple POVs, but mainly Pressia and Partridge.  Pressia  is a 16-year-old girl who survived the Detonations.  She has scars, just like everyone else does from the Detonations. Her hand is fused in a doll head and the side of her face is scared.  I didn’t love Pressia, but I didn’t dislike her either. I liked her determination, and that she accepted certain situations even though she felt bad about them, instead of fighting over everything little thing.  It just made her feel more… real. Then there is Partridge, an 18-year-old Pure. He was inside the Dome at the time of the Detonations, which protected him and others from the mutations and fusions. He hasn’t been outside the Dome since that day when he was just a little boy, and only learns about the things the Dome leaders allow.  That is, until he discovers his mother may still be alive on the outside. I wasn’t completely wow’d by Partridge, but I did like him.  He was stronger than I expected him to be.  And when Pressia and Partridge paths cross, they are thrown into a situation that is way bigger than they could imagine.

Honestly, my favorite characters were Bradwell, El Captin, and Helmud.  Bradwell is a rebel, and won’t let history be forgotten or misconstrued.  He has information about what really happened before the Detonations, and knows that the Dome isn’t all it appears to be.  What is Bradwell fused with?  Birds.  Yes, real birds are fused to his back.  My other favorite characters, El Captin and Helmud… well, you’ll just have to see.  As weird and grotesque as it is, they made me laugh.

I could tell early on what the connection with Pressia and Partridge was, but it was still a wild ride following them as they came to the conclusion. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, because I need to know what the Dome plans to do next.  I think this is a good book, especially if you like it more gritty.

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25 responses to “Pure by Julianna Baggott

  1. I'm just over half way through this book. Its very disturbing, in a good way. Its an amazing read. Keeps me on the seat of my chair. I love the imaginative way the writer wrote this story. Its an amazing premise and something I wouldn't put past our government today. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it, your review was very informative. I'm curious to know the connection between Partiridge and Pressia, cuz its not obvious to me.

  2. Great review, Christy! I'm so sad I couldn't finish this one… Not because of the world, because I really like the idea of it, but because I just couldn't get into it at all. It was slow and somewhat boring. :/ I might have to pick it up again some time in the future and see if the writing fits me any better. You do make me want to read it only for the world again though, with your review! Lol:)

  3. I'm so glad to find out I am not the only one who has loved a book, but struggled to get my thoughts/feelings about it into a review! You certainly did a great job on this one, though, and have definitely made me want to read it! I love gritty… and multiple POV's?? Yes, please!

  4. Sam

    Pure is definitely one of the more stranger and gruesome dystopians but I really liked the fact that it was! 🙂 Great review, Christy. I'm looking forward to the next book too.

  5. Haha I had a What the Heck face the whole time too. But it was still fascinating in a sense. I really enjoyed this one Im glad you did too! 🙂

  6. I've seen some reviews about Pure, and they all agreed on the fact that it was disturbing! I don't think I'd love it, but it's certainly great to see an author who has created a world able to insire such strong feelings.

    I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for the great review

    Ron @ Stories of my life

  7. Great review! I LOVED this book SO SO SO much. It was really hard for me to review too, I just couldn't find WORDS. I LOVE Helmud and El Capitan too! They are probably my fav side characters I think 😀 There's a scene (which you know) that Helmud surprises El Capitan and i was like YES!!! It cracked me up and I love El Capitan's reaction to it. I love that Baggott gave every character the dignity it deserved even if they were forced into situations where we wouldn't necessarily think them very dignified. I guess part of what Pure “said” ot me was – dignity is OURS, we determine what we let others take from us. There are so many other great themes in the book and gaaaahh I wish more people would read it through 😀 I do understand the negative reactions too.. it's definitely not an “Easy” world to get into, I struggled with it at first too. And the pace isn't always fast , but I loved every minute of it – even the implausible things. 😀

    haha I should stop rambling before this comment gets even more out of control LOL 😀

    April @ My Shelf Confessions

  8. I find that I can't seem to get some reviews out now and again. Sometimes it's just hard writing about a book. Good or bad sometimes I just feel like I say the same things over again….

    Mary

  9. From what I can gather, your reaction to Pure isn't alone. It seems like people all around the blogosphere have had this kind of mind-blown reaction to the book, in spite of whether or not they actually ended up liking it. The fact that Pure has been creating such strong reactions is one of the reasons why I'm so interested in it.

    “And I appreciate that the small love interests in the book doesn't take over the story.”

    Yay! In the romance-heavy world today, I'm always excited to read a book where the romance is more in the background. Don't get me wrong, I like romance, but I feel like the amount (and realism) of it lately has been ridiculous!

    Also, you're a Doctor Who and Torchwood fan?!?!? How have I not found you before now?!? 😀

  10. Same here. I love me some romance, but there are some stories that don't need it. And I think it's great when the story can stand on its own without needing to throw in a strong love interest.

    *High five* for The Doctor and Jack! 😀

  11. Yes! I totally know what part you're talking about. It made me laugh and <3 Helmud!

    It is a bit of a struggle, I think partly because it is so different. But the little bit of struggle is so worth it!

  12. hi Christy,
    Well I think this is a hit or miss book. I reviewed it a couple of weeks ago on my blog, I agree with you the apocalyptic setting and the fusions were so fascinating. It was like with every page turn another grotesque fusion that was more disturbing than the last. My big problems with this book was that I didn't love all the view points, I hated how the romance just instantly develops and the ending well it just ended..I doubt I will read the next one.

  13. Alternating POVs are my favorite. I actually prefer them because it tends to hold my attention better. As for instant romance.. between who? I don't think there was any REAL romance between Pressia and Bradwell yet.. I think there will be in the next book. I mean, they obviously like each other, but that's it so far. Partridge and that other girl (I forgot her name) had some romance going on, but it wasn't overbearing. I don't know, I felt this book was one that had very minimal romance, and that was something I appreciated about it. I think the author did a good job at keeping the main focus on Pressia and Partridge.

  14. Yes! that struggle is definitely worth it! I think helmud was one of my fav characters – besides Pressia and Partridge 😀 I seriously can't wait for Fuse to come out!! *dances*

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