08 February 2012

Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 12:00 AM

  Title: Pure                                                       Pages: 448
  Author: Julianna Baggott                             Source: Publisher
  Publisher: Grand Central Publishing       Published: February 8, 2012
  Series: Pure #1                                             Purchase: Amazon
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.
I had not heard much about Pure before I read it and while I ultimately came out liking the book, there were a few flaws that stood out to me.

Pressia was a fantastic character. She was strong and independent and doesn't like leaning on others, so she doesn't have to owe them favors. She lives on people owing her favors, to ensure her survival in the bleak and dangerous world that is her home.

I didn't see much growth in Pressia, though she did get more optimistic as the book went on and I was glad that she did.

I enjoyed the other characters immensely as well. The only character I had a slight problem with was Bradwell. He was always the "brain" of the pack and was always the one to explain all the conspiracy theories to the other characters. While it would have been okay if they were kept as theories, Bradwell was always right, which was highly unrealistic.

Another problem I had with the characters, is there were too many "points of view." I say this with quotation marks, because the whole novel was in third person, so for example, a chapter would be about Pressia, but Partridge's thoughts were explained as well. This wasn't that big of a deal, because it went further in depth with the story and characters, which is always a good thing.

The writing was beautiful. It was absolutely lyrical at times, but this had its drawbacks. Some passages were a bit hard to decipher and I had to reread the paragraph to truly understand what just happened. Also, a lot of the new vocabulary wasn't explained at all, or explained later in the story when I had already guessed what it was, using context clues. Now some of the vocabulary words were very straight forward, but I would have liked a description of them nonetheless. Another, smaller gripe I had, was things got a bit too political at times for my tastes, though this was easy to overlook, because it would soon go back to the story.

The plot was amazing. It was action and emotion-packed. I found myself caring about these characters and hoping that everything would be okay for them. I guessed a few of the twists, but I was left stunned by the rest. Julianna Baggott pulled out all the stops for Pure and she didn't back down until you were done reading and craving book two.

Overall, I really liked Pure, even with all the gripes I had. I was able to look past these flaws and see Pure for what it is: a wonderful addition to the dystopian genre and definitely a book series I'll read. I'd definitely recommend to fans of the dystopian and sci-fi genres.

Pass or Read? I'd say give it a shot!

Cover thoughts: I really, really like it. It has that dystopian feel and it has to do with the story. It also continues on the back, with a mechanical butterfly like the ones Pressia makes, which was a wonderful touch.


Jasmine Rose on February 11, 2012 at 7:14 PM said...

I'm definitely looking forward to this one. It always drives me a little nuts when there's not much character growth, but to be fair, this is a series, so there's a good amount of time left to grow. Hopefully we get to see that :]

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