Author: Julianna Baggott
Reading Level: Adult
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hardcover, 431 pages
Date Published: February 8, 2012
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
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.
Pressia Belze is a disfigured, disheartened, and disenchanted 16 year old struggling every day to survive. Living through the Detonations that destroyed her family sounds dark, and it is. Pure isn’t light-hearted or joyful. Pain radiates off the pages and the death lingers in every chapter. But the characters are real and honest.
Pressia has heart and can somehow live off of hope, despite never experiencing it herself. Bradwell is angry and strong, but has a soft side. Partridge is almost naïve, but his innocence makes him so likeable. Having several characters – theses three among them – narrate the story allows for the reader to get a full view of the world they live in. We get to see life outside the Dome, as well as life inside the Dome. We see family life, the life of a revolutionary leader, soldiers, students, and everything in between.
Baggott commands attention with Pure. The world she has created is unlike anything else I’ve ever read, and it somehow makes sense. The fusions – Pressia has a baby doll for a hand – the politics, the creatures, and creations are astounding and disturbing, but so messed up that I couldn’t get enough.
Mesmerizing and stunning. Pure is exquisitely dark and grotesquely beautiful. Julianna Baggott somehow takes the most horrifying creations and situations and spins them into a tale of hope and perseverance; of survivalists in a terrifying world who can still see the goodness in others. This is a the first of a trilogy and I’m and now dying to see where things go next and who will live to see tomorrow.
Opening line: There was a low droning overhead a week or so after the Detonations: time was hard to track. ~ pg. 1
Favorite lines/passages: “All the losses mount up,” he says. “You can’t feel one without feeling the others that came before. But this feels like an antidote. I can’t explain it, like someone fighting back.” ~ pg. 320
More like 4.5*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.
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