Title: Pure (Book 1 of Pure)
Author: Julianna Baggott
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing – Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Release Date: February 8, 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.
The secrets, the lies, the intrigue and the complete and utter destruction, but not utterly destroyed because there’s still life forms, despite their sometimes horrendous and truly grievous mutations. This book was instantly captivating, and I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Everything you could want in a book was there except for magic, and who’s to say some of the emotions and acts of bravery aren’t magical? The book was so unique – it’s actually one of the only apocalypse stories I’ve read. I was so immersed in every aspect of the book – characters, relationships, plot, the whole shebang.
The main characters? Great. Love Love LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!! I think I might love them a little. With the third person point of view, each chapter from a different perspective, I wasn’t confused AT ALL. There was seamless fluidity between how each character thought. And because it was third person, there were scenes that just can’t be shown from a first person POV. Each of the people were so unique – Pressia and her doll hand and her insecurity and how she changes with every new obstacle that she endures; Partridge with his newfound knowledge of the world outside the Dome and the naivety yet determination he shows in confronting obstacles; El Capitan and Helmund, each with their own very personal problem, but then the combination of love and thorough hatred that is revealed; Lyda and Bradwell, different in their own ways but learning the power of love.
That was one of the best parts of the book – learning to love in a place where one’s mentality is “It’s easier to survive alone” or in a place where the only thoughts going through some people’s minds have literally been imprinted into their brains, and then the other half of the population is controlled by their husbands. The book combines so many different ideas – feminism and yet patriarchal societies where females only appear to have limited rights, if that; apocalyptic/dystopian aspects of both totally different environments; the several different romances; the (some-what screwed up) family dynamics; and the action and violence, plus whatever I’ve missed. It’s pretty perfect – everything sort of balances the book out and works with the plot to create a book that you can’t look away from.
I loved how the two worlds were imagined and how they merged in ways that I couldn’t have thought possible while I was reading, and even the history that was also entwined in the story came together in the dialogue and the scheming of the characters. The thrill and suspense throughout the book had me practically screaming in class while I was reading – I couldn’t focus on anything except possiblilities of what could happen next when I wasn’t reading. I am sooooo happy with this book – I HIGHLY recommend it – to EVERYONE above the age of 14. It was cute, it was exciting, it was downright scary at a couple points, and I LOVE IT!!
Well? Go get reading!
**There were some grotesque descriptions, violence, and semi-pyschotic characters.