Wednesday, September 26, 2012

REVIEW: Pure by Julianna Baggott

Title: Pure
Author: Julianna Baggott
Reviewed by: Cassie
The Fairies Say: Dark and Exciting!

Summary (from

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 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 . . .
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 family 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.

First off, I'd like to mention that on my copy of the book, it said that Fox already bought rights to make this into a movie. So, if that's your thing, maybe you'll love this! But before I get into it, I'd like to point out the summary has improper grammar. Everyone does not equal their/they. Big no-no.

Pure is different. I thought this was going to be a lot of different things; I thought Pressia and Partridge were quite possibly going to fall for each other (When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again); I thought she was going to go on some wicked adventure on a fight-to-survive non-stop adventure; I thought it was going to be some epic battle. I was, however, pleasantly (depends on how you view things) surprised. I say 'depends on how you view things' because I did not expect this extremely dark aspect of life. But it is. And it's a harsh darkness, not a dark beauty. But man, Julianna Baggott WORKS IT!

The story begins with Pressia's grandfather telling her the story of how things got to be how they were. Basically, somehow the U.S. was using bombs/detonations in defense and either we bombed ourselves on accident or the opponent bombed us. And from the Detonations, the world shattered. Humans and animals fused with each other molecular-ly and with the earth, metal, plastic, dolls... you get what I mean. Nine years later, Pressia's about to have to stay hidden from the OSR because she's about to turn sixteen. And that means they're going to come collect her either for training to kill, or to be killed.

The characters in Pure were definitely unique. Pressia: tough, but in an innocent way. She hasn't had to kill and she hasn't been hunted. As the story progresses, she matures. She's half-Asian (WOOT!) and she's not only on a journey to survive, but she's also trying to get memories and a sense of family. She wants to live live. Partridge: he's difficult to like at first, and also the 'outcast character'. You know, the one character the author creates so s/he is an outcast (even if for no reason) and we feel pity for him/her even though he might be annoying. However, he is cool in that surgically-enhanced-smart-thinker way. Bradwell: he is blunt and suspicious, and also a genius. He is a complex character and I must say, he was a success for me. The rest of the characters were important, yes, but there are so many and too many of them are deep to keep this post short.

Honestly, I don't think there were any issues. I just didn't take with it well because it's so blunt. It's layered, brutal, and fabulously new. The world is cruel, savage, and has a strange beauty to it. All of the characters are beautifully flawed and complicated. Pure doesn't do tea and biscuits; no, it pours the scalding tea on you and crumples the biscuits onto your burning skin. It's harsh and throws you into such a uniquely disturbing world that it's slightly stunning. As in, whoa-seriously-um-WHAT-WHOA-foreverdisturbed would be my train of thought. I admit, I began the book and wanted to put it down. I didn't think it was worth my time, but I stuck through it because I knew you fabulous readers would like a review. And then, eventually I was drawn in and I wanted to return to reading it.
Pure is a world where humanity's cruelty is really highlighted and elaborated. Unimaginable monsters pop out of the pages, countless strangers are murdered in cold blood, and the world keeps spinning despite these horrible things. It's definitely something that will stick with me, and if it does become a movie, I will probably go see it. But it might be rated R so I'm not sure if I really want to, knowing what happens on these pages.

Don't let the darkness of it scare you off though! And, don't forget to follow us! We have 0 followers and we always follow back and I will make sure it is worth your time!!

Cassie :)

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