Monday, February 6, 2012

Pure by Julianna Baggott

Pure by Julianna Baggott
Release Date –  Feb 8, 2012
Publisher Website –  Grand Central Publishing/Hachette
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  448 pages
My Rating- 7/10
**Obtained from Book Expo America for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
Pure is the sort of book that is hard to review. There were things I loved about it, and there are things I didn’t.

Julianna Baggott’s writing is certainly impressive. She has a unique style and it fits this type of story.  Her writing was one of the stronger aspects of the story.

The description of the post detonation landscape and the people who inhabit it are chilling, horrific and wonderfully vivid. I could imagine this world, and the horrors the people faced and what they had to do in order to survive. The fusions between people and the items around them at the time of the detonations were hard to read, but quite realistic. In contrast the people of the Dome are pure, unblemished and live a much different life. The Dome holds it’s own sinister secrets under the veil of helping humanity.

The characters of Pressia and Partridge tell the story for the most part. I felt I was able to connect to Partridge more than Pressia. Pressia almost keeps the reader at a distance. She has to in order to survive but Partridge provides a view point that is needed. I also enjoyed Bradwell, a young man who helps Pressia. He’s one of those characters whose tough exterior is due to circumstances and he has a softer underneath. He was wonderfully written.

The biggest issue for me with the book was the pacing. It felt like it read very slowly. The only other issue was the occasional  coincidences of the plot. Characters lucked out being in the right place at the right time, or had things/people appear in the nick of time. It seemed like they were able to find things from “before” a little too easily.

This being part of a series there are a lot of questions left unanswered. I feel like the history of the Dome and how the detonations came to be are just beginning to be flushed out. The secrets revealed in book one will have a huge impact on the characters and I am curious to see what happens in book two. I also think the second book may move a little faster as the world has already been so fully developed.

Julianna’s writing, the amazing world building and some fantastic characters make this an intriguing read. However, be prepared for a slower moving story. It’s a story that won’t be for everyone, but it’s a story that will certainly stay with you long after you’ve finished.


  1. I agree that this story had a slower pace. It was a bit longer than needed to be. But I definitely enjoyed this! Julianna did a great job with the world building, and I am really excited to see what happens next. Great review!

  2. I've been hearing a lot of similiar reactions on this, especially about the pacing. But I think maybe, given that the worldbuilding and descriptions are so detailed and chilling, I may enjoy it more for its strong points than its flaws. I hope so, anyway! I have a copy here waiting to be dived into and your review has made me all the more eager. Thanks, Kathy! :D


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