Thursday, February 2, 2012

Book Review: Pure, by Julianna Baggott

Pure is a unique apocalyptic story of teens from two different worlds trying to make a future for themselves. I enjoyed the book, and I'm glad I read it, but I did have a few issues.

About eight years before the story, the world was destroyed by nuclear bombs. Apparently this event was anticipated, so there was a dome that was built to house the survivors. But it really wasn't for the survivors, it was for certain people who were chosen to be Pure.

Pressia survives outside the Dome in the barren wasteland, full of dangerous, genetically altered creatures and humans that have been melded with whatever objects (or other people) they were in contact during the flash. Pressia has a doll in place of one of her hands. This was bizarre to me, but required a lot of imagination on the Baggott's part. Every person, when they turn 16, is required to join the militia, to be trained to fight their way into the Dome. Pressia turns 16 very soon, and she is scared.

Partridge lives in the Dome, and his life consists of school and military training. The male teens also undergo treatments to make them have superhuman strength. For some reason, Partridge's treatments aren't working.  His father is the leader of the Pures. When his father speaks of his mother in the present tense, Partridge wonders if his mother is still alive out in the wilderness. Has his father been lying to him? So Partridge concocts a plan to escape the dome and find his mother.

Once Partridge and Pressia end up together, they begin to piece together a past that is much different than both of them have been led to believe. Their adventure is assisted by several side characters that are important to the story. I didn't love these characters. I don't know why. I was interested in finding out what happened to them, but I didn't feel emotional during their struggles.

I thought the beginning was a bit slow. There is a lot of prep before the actual adventure begins, and at almost 450 pages, this could have been pared down a bit. I thought some of the episodes were a bit cheesy. I don't know how else to describe it, but it seemed sort of like anything could happen in such a bizarre world, and so it did.

I enjoyed the major plot line. It is intricate, and there are a lot of details that added to the intrigue. The ending resolved some immediate issues, but leaves plenty for the next volume in the series. I will recommend this to apocalyptic, and even zombie lovers. I think, if they are willing to put up with the length, that they will be sufficiently entertained.

Published by Grand Central, February 8, 2012
eBook obtained from NetGalley
448 pages

Rating: 3/5

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  1. I enjoyed Pure as well, and I also agree with the slow start. But once it picked up, I was hooked!

  2. I didn't find the start that slow, but it was definitely too long - at times it felt like treading water.

    I also didn't fall madly in love with the characters - I actually liked Bradford a lot more than either Pressia or Partridge.

    But the world-building is certainly intense and intricate!

  3. You are giving a great round up about this book here. I also found it very slow at the beginning and I have to say that I was appalled by the aftermath of the big bomb. It was an interesting and unique idea, the fusiing - but I didn't like the idea so much.

    I agree with Kat, I didn't love the characters but I appreciate the world building! Great Review, that sums is up perfectly!

  4. This sounds really, really good. Even with the length problems.

  5. I had a hard time with this one--in fact, I haven't even finished it. I put it down about halfway through because it just didn't appeal. Great review.

  6. Thanks for the review. I've had mixed feelings about picking up thus book. I think it might be too dark for me. April, you did a very nice job on this review.

    Marlene Detierro (


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