Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book Review: Pure

Book being reviewed: Pure
I give this book: 
4 out of 5 owls.

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.
Within the pages of Pure, there's a post-apocolyptic world that has left many fused and disfigured people suffering after the Detonations, while the Pure's live under the Dome's protective roof.  The wretches, as the people in the Dome call those on the outside, believe those within the Dome must live a perfect life where no one dies from breathing in the ash that cakes everything, or dies from starvation or suffering.  Which isn't entirely true.  Many who live in the Dome do believe themselves to be lucky, but  every aspect of their lives is controlled, including the way they think; especially the men.  Pure is a book filled with nightmarish creatures and scary situations that one would never want to encounter or endure.

To be fair, I was on the fence over the rating for this book.  I was originally going with 3 owls but decided to go with 4 instead.  I figured that the creativity alone made this book worth the read, because Julianna Baggott's characters are an amazingly brilliant concept.  Everyone alive now who was outside the Dome when the blast occurred is fused with something, or even someone.  This definitely causes your imagination to run wild.  The main heroine, Pressia, has a hand that was fused with a doll's head when the Detonations went off.  The doll has become a part of her body, so much so that she feels when the head is touched, as if she has nerve endings beneath the plastic.

Another example is Bradwell, Pressia's love interest in the book who was fused with birds in his back. The birds are still alive, so their wings tend to flap and flutter underneath whatever shirt he's wearing depending on the mood he's in at the time.  It seems to be a little unsettling to most until they get to know him, but this is basically the same for most of the characters that are fused with some oddity.

You also get to know a few Pure's who've lived under the Dome their whole life.  Their skin is unmarked, they've been able to breathe clean, filtered air, nor have they ever had to go hungry for lack of food since they take pills to satiate their hunger and the pill also gives them the nutrients they need to survive.  They've also been afforded an education, which is not something that happens on the outside of the Dome.

We meet Partridge, he is a Pure who has grown up inside the Dome because his dad is the head-honcho in charge of everything.  We read part of the book in his account of how certain things happen. He has always believed his mother to be dead, but because of a few small instances, Partridge begins to wonder if his mother is, in fact, actually dead.  This leads him to break out of the cozy confinements of the Dome and head on a potentially deadly wild goose chase.

Pure is one of the stranger dystopian novels I've read.  But because of this, it made for one interesting read.  It's filled with suspense and heartbreak, so I'd recommend for you criers out there to at least have some tissues handy if you ever want to pick up this book.  All in all, I'd definitely recommend this book  if you're itchin' for a little something different.

Happy reading, bookworms,


  1. Different is my cup of tea!
    Ya know what else I like?
    Pistachio nuts.
    Annnnyway, Have you read Across the Universe, my dear TIT? It sounds somewhat similar to this one, except it takes place in a spaceship, there aren't pures, and they do have food but.... it's sorta similar... not really. But anyway. I'm gonna leave now... *hangs head and walks slowly out of TFB*

  2. I really think you'd like this one, TAT.

    And you did tell me about Across the Universe awhile back. I finally added it to my goodreads list. Yay! =)


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