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