Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review - Pure by Julianna Baggott

Expected Feb 8, 2012
Pure (Pure, #1)
by Grand Central Publishing
Rec'd from NetGalley

Premise: Ganked 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.

My Review without spoilers:

In a word:

Stark, destroyed, harsh, gritty, hopeless, horrible, pre-planned ---> phoenix, relationships, belief, teamwork, desperate, wrenching, persistent, love.

I love the cover of this book, the idea of a butterfly escaping from the black cover with the hint of a dome in the background. It’s a good cover for this book. Flying things are an important theme. Dark is important, the bubble is important. What this cover predicts that I didn't find so much was beauty. 

The harsh reality of the after-effects of a bomb, references to Hiroshima, made this book very difficult to read late at night - for me. It is not a spoiler to say that every "normal" person with the benefit of still being alive was fused to something - you run into "normal" on page 1. Whatever is impossible to imagine someone could live with as part of their body, it's there.

As Robert Olen Butler is quoted saying about Pure, "This is an important book, for adults young and old, by one of our finest writers."

The writing style is a sort of limited present tense alternating between players, not just the main characters, but a few side characters, as well. It always took me a minute to get used to the style, but it's pulled off smoothly, sucking me right back into the middle of the action. I really enjoyed the characters, pretty much all of them, even the ones I really hated.

I don't think I would reread this book just because of the stark sad horror of the bomb effects. I can't wait to read the second and third books, however, because I want to know what happens next!!

My Rating:  4 - Pretty Darn Good 


  1. GREAT review.
    I really, REALLY struggled with Pure. Beautifully written, terrifingly imagined, it's amazing... but I didn't enjoy reading it, if you know what I mean?

    Like you said, about the stark horror of the bombs? My mind just couldn't accept it, and I couldn't absorb myself in it, because it seemed like the world of Pure was a genuinely possible future for our own, and I believed it, but didn't want to, if you know what I mean? So it kind of freaked me out :D

    Seriously, though. FAB review!

  2. THANK YOU!! I seriously had to sit on this review for days before posting, and usually reviews spill right out. It was hard to honor the quality of writing, while being freaked out, like you said. The idea of this book as a reality is seriously freaky.

  3. EXACTLY. The writing was AMAZING. But the book freaked me out, and I kind of had trouble connecting with the characters.

    SOO glad, I thought I was being horrible for not exactly enjoying it, and I seriously struggled writing a review for it! I haven't posted it yet.

    And thank you commenting back! I really loved Touch Of Power--I hope you do, too, if you get to it! I want you to win it so I can indoctrinate you to the church of MVS XD

    And oh my goodness! “Deep calls to deep at the sound of your waterfalls, all your waves and breakers have washed over me.” ? This is one of my FAVOURITE bible verses. At Manly Beach in Sydney, Australia, there's a walk across to an almost-adjoining beach, and there's a lookout point. At this lookout point, there's a plaque engraved with Ps. 42:7, and standing looking out at the ocean crashing against the rocks and coast with that verse in your head? It's majestic... TOTALLY one of those 'God moments', if you know what I mean?

  4. You know, it's funny.. I never really gave the cover much thought before I read this review, but after you pointed it out, I got it. I feel so silly now. LOL I mean, HELLO! It really is a beautiful cover and ties in so perfectly with the book.

    I think if they could have left out El Capitan's POV I would of been happier. Lydia (I am thinking I spelled her name wrong, but I don't remember...) wasn't too bad, and it seemed like she had more of a purpose than El Capitan. I'm also more of a first-person narrative fan. I think that's what made it harder for me to connect with the characters than some other readers. I definitely want to move on with the series though. I am more than curious as to what will happen next!

    Wonderful review! ^-^

  5. Thanks for commenting on my review. I think I was comparing Pure to other dystopian books, including Divergent and Hunger Games. Those novels had such a strongly developed world that I felt a little let down with Pure. Thanks for sharing your review with me. It is great to see what someone else thinks!


This is an award-free, tag-free zone. Thank you for understanding!!!!

Sweet! Thanks for commenting - I love it!!

Please excuse the word verification. I'm not interested in comment advertising!! Lol.