Book Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott

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.

Hardcover: 431 Pages

Series: Pure #1

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

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Following the detonations, the world irrevocably changed and two kinds of people were left: the pure ones and wretches.

The pure are the ones who got to the Dome before the radiation and explosions happened and they’re normal people.

Wretches are the ones who got hit by the blast and didn’t die. Instead they transformed; forever altered, fused to whatever objects and/or life forms where close to them at the moment of the detonation.
As such, some have fused with the earth and the blasted buildings, some have glass forever embedded into their skin.

Our heroine, Pressia, has the head of a doll instead of a hand. Also, all children born after the Detonations are mutated as well.

Think…Total Recall mutants.

The world is one incredibly sad and dark and bleak.

Now, I’m sure, this story sounded awesome as an idea. However, once on paper, not so much.
Even though the writing is good and very descriptive, with a helluva lot of visuals for the mutations and this post-apocalyptic world, that’s about as much as I liked in Pure.

The characters seemed flat to me and I couldn’t relate to either one. Pressia came across as way too jaded and judgemental, even for someone in her position, and I didn’t enjoy that.
Bradwell, the conspiracy freak, didn’t sound like a teenager or even young adult.

The plot moved far too slow for the potentially great story this could’ve been and it picked up far too late into the book.
Actually, let me back up here for a second. The plot..was literally unbelievable for me.

Partridge wants to find his mother and with the help of the others, uncovers huge secrets along the way.
What jump-starts this voyage though and what keeps it going in a fairly logical way are unbelievable and far-fetched coincidences.

That didn’t sit well with me either.

Long conversations about war and a lot of technical terms also make it hard to keep reading.

I’m surprised this book is labeled as Young Adult lit, since the only YA element is the characters ages. I think it’s far, far too heavy for a 14-year-old for example.
Hit and miss. I guess this just wasn’t for me. Shame, I really wanted to like it after reading the blurbs.


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