REVIEW: Pure by Julianna Baggott
Author: Julianna Baggott
Release date: February 8, 2012
Series or stand-alone book: Pure Series, Book 1
Format/Source: Ebook from NetGalley
Genre(s): YA, Dystopian
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Earth has been laid to waste by a nuclear event. The only place that remains whole and pristine is the Dome, a controlled environment where the lucky got to stay.
Nine years after the Detonations, Pressia Belze lives out in the ruined land, where survivors of the Detonations are forever fused to whatever they happened to be near at the time of the explosions–glass, metal, even other people. Pressia has one hand fused with a doll’s head. She lives with her grandfather, who is getting sicker by the day. The worst thing of all is that Pressia knows it’s only a matter of time before she has to leave him all alone. It’s two weeks before her sixteenth birthday–at which time she will be forced to join the OSR, a sort of guerilla regime intent on taking down the Dome.
In a completely opposite world, Partridge Willux lives inside the Dome, and feels like a constant disappointment to his father–the man who designed the Dome. Those who live inside the dome are called Pures. Partridge is a student at the Academy, when one day he takes a field trip and finds out that the mother he believed died in the Detonations may be alive on the outside. So he decides he must escape. When Pressia and Partridge’s worlds collide, they bond together and come to discover truths that will turn both of their worlds upside down.
I really liked this book a lot. The world the author created is so despondent, you can feel it coming through the pages of the book. The characters are likable and you can identify with their struggles. I especially liked Partridge, because even though he had no idea what he was looking for or even where to begin his search, he never faltered in the fact that he needed to go out there and find it. Any other Pure who had been in the safety of the Dome for the past nine years would have been terrified to leave it, but not Partridge.
That’s not to say that I didn’t have a couple of problems with this book. First of all, the author is asking you to suspend your disbelief by quite a bit. It’s hard to believe that people could be fused with other people. or even animals, and both being would still be able to live. This takes a bit of imagination, but the rest of the book was so good that I got used to the idea after a bit. Secondly, the author writes in the present tense, which was not quite noticeable at first. I could tell as I was reading that something was different, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. One I saw what it was though, it didn’t bother me too much–it was just a different style than what I am used to.
Julianna Baggott has a graceful, descriptive writing style, and really knows how to give a good sense of urgency and danger. The first bit of the book was a bit slow, but once it picked up, it never let me go.
Pure is a great addition to the dystopian genre, and I cannot wait to see what happens to Pressia and Partridge in the next book.