Sunday 9 September 2012

Pure by Julianna Baggott

Title: Pure
Author: Julianna Baggott
Publisher: Headline
Page Count:  480
Publication Date: February 8th 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.

What I thought:

Pure’s your regular dystopian novel set in a sombre, disturbing post-apocalyptic world where people have been disfigured or have mutated beyond humanity. We mainly follow the lives of Pressia and Partridge whom, at the start of the novel, live two very different lives.

Firstly, this isn’t a bad book, it just isn’t great. It’s one of those stories where you can see the potential but for whatever reason it doesn’t quite reach it. The main problem with this story is the plot. There isn’t really a story here and frustratingly there are certain things which are never properly explained, like the OSR. Maybe I missed the part where we were told what they actually stood for. It seems like the writer has too many ideas but there isn’t enough space in the novel to execute them all.

The front of the edition I bought say’s ‘Love The Hunger Games Love Pure’. Well I did love The Hunger Games but I can’t say the same for Pure. Which brings me onto another point, The Hunger Games - it is not. There was way too much unnecessary and often unexplained violence. I expected the book to be a little gruesome but when it came down to the actual killings everything seemed too forced. This is in a sense a coming of age novel and as Pressia turns sixteen the OSR come after her to recruit her which leads to her getting her hands on some weaponry that she can't bring her herself to use on an old acquaintance. Oddly later in the story she doesn’t think twice to end someone’s misery – that someone being a character closer to her in certain respects.

I still don’t feel like I know who Partridge or Pressia are which is why some of their actions can be a surprise but at certain parts of the novel, as we were going from one person’s view to the other, I felt like they were the same person. Because of the characters and the lack of a proper plot I couldn’t really get into this novel the way I would another and so I couldn’t really enjoy it.

Rating: 3/5


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This was a DNF for me. I really tried many times to continue reading this but unfortunately I just couldn't get into it. I've seen some of my friends enjoyed this but I guess this just isn't for me. Great honest review, Lettora. I'm a new follower! :)

    Eunice @ Book Overdose

  3. Great review, sorry it wasn't better!

  4. @Eunice

    This book was nearly a DNF but I hate not finishing a book. (I've only done it twice.)

    Thanks for following, I'm following back.

  5. I hadn't seen this cover before. I guess they are really trying to push the book as a Hunger Games kind of book which I didn't find it similar at all. Why do they insist on the comparison? I guess it's just to make us buy the book!

    I couldn't even finish it.

  6. I had not even heard about this series until just now! But wow does it sound good. I love the idea of the Dome, I absolutely love books like this!

    1. Well before I read it I thought it sounded quite good but it just didn't catch me as a reader. Don't let that stop you from trying it for yourself though!

      - Lettora (I'm Booked!)