Friday, 10 February 2012

Early Review: Pure

-          Julianna Baggott
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing – released on 8th February 2012
E-Arc courtesy of netgalley and Grand Central
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

The post-apocalyptic scenario and/or dystopian environments with strict overlords is a pretty common theme in YA books these days, so at first this may not seem that different from many others, but I would beg to differ. This is raw, dirty and emotional. Set just ten years after the explosions that ended the world, those inside the Dome when the explosions happened are safe, living restricted lives waiting for their chance to retake the outside world when it’s safe. However, not everyone made to safety in time. Those outside who survived have been marked by the explosions...fused to whatever they happened to be close to at the time – whether that was a doll, a hand-fan, the earth itself, or their children...
Unlike other books, the consequences of those blasts are something the survivors have to live with everyday. The world is dangerous and difficult, even our heroine, Pressia, has a dolls head in place of a hand. Inside the dome, life isn’t much easier. Everything is regulated and their bodies and minds are given coding to make them more manageable. The start of the book is slow reading as this world is set up, but before long I was staying up late to read a few more pages. Survival is key to daily life, but the past over-shadows everything. There is much to discover about this world, about the past, about the possibilities for the future.
There is plenty of action as Pressia and Partridge find each other and are separated as survival and discovery conflict with each other. The writing surrounds you after a few sentences, creating this beautifully grotesque world and a story that won’t let you leave.  I loved the characters especially Pressia and Partridge, but also the others who are introduced from Ingership to Bradwell to Lydia and especially El Capitain who all feel like complete people that I just haven’t spent as much time with.  But I want too! I will be looking out for more books in this series.
Recommended for fans of Suzanne Collins and Patrick Ness. 9 out of 10.
PS - What is it with male leads being named after birds recently...? :)


  1. Really glad you liked it! My sister was very disgusted she couldnt even finish it :P Great review!!

    Farah @MajiBookshelf

  2. Lol, I have not thought about it but when you do mention it then yes what is up with the bird names lately?

  3. I really enjoyed reading this one. The post-apocalyptic setting was proto-dystopian at times, which was really interesting to see. There characters were engaging, the pacing was fantastic, and I was really drawn in by the way the author chose to use multiple viewpoints but keep everything written in the present tense instead of the more common past tense. This books was amazing, it really was!

  4. Bird names! LOL Never thought about that.

    I like these types of books. I am so going to put it on my wishlist. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  5. I'm so undecided about this one! Glad you enjoyed it thou, I'm sure it will make it onto my bookshelves at some point but I think I will wait for the paperback.