17 November 2011

Pure (Pure #1) by Julianna Baggott

Pure (Pure #1) by Julianna Baggott

Expected Publication: 8 February 2012 by Grand Central Publishing

Pages: 448 (hardcover)

Genre/s: Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Young Adult

Source: Publisher for review


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.

My Thoughts

When I first read the synopsis of this book, I was a little bit reluctant to start reading. Although dystopian fiction is one of my favourites, it all sounded a little bit ‘YA-romancey’’ to me. However, as I skimmed through the first few pages, I decided maybe it could be better than it sounded.

Julianna Baggott describes the post-apocalyptic/dystopic world after The Detonations in a way that sucks you right into the story from page one. Mutated animals, disfigured humans, creatures that defy definition are all part of a world that is unrecognizable, yet recognizable at the same time.

The characters, particularly Pressia, are so well defined and drawn I was immediately immersed into their lives, their feelings and their very different situations.

For me, this book is not YA in the traditional sense. It is brutal, ugly and beautiful all at the same time, and although the main characters are in their teens, their speech, thought and actions are for the most part that of older characters, giving a real sense that they had grown up in the world so intricately created by Ms. Baggott.

The science behind the Detonations and the Dome are examined and to some extent explained, but not in a way that is overwhelming for readers who may not be overly interested in that facet of the book – in fact, it is so well intertwined that at times I didn’t really even notice!

The only negative for me is that I found the book to be slightly long, perhaps 50 pages longer than it could have been, but that didn’t dampen my enjoyment of this book.

I highly recommend this book to fans of YA-dystopia, dystopia and post-apocalyptic genres.
(And yes, it's the first book of ANOTHER series - why do I do this to myself?!)

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