Synopsis: 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.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Pure has a great cover. My imagination went everywhere and back with the story ideas, and that was before reading the synopsis. From the feminine font, to the subdued colors, there isn’t anything that I don’t love about this cover. It’s understated and minimal, but it’s symbolism shouts so many things. And all of these things? I was very excited to find out what they were.
Julianna Baggott’s Pure was a great combination of fantasy and science fiction. It had the elements for a fantastic dystopian society struggling to survive after a post-apocalyptic tragedy. Friends, this isn’t a typical young adult genre book. The world is devastated, the people are suffering, and one of the few ways the people have survived is to put themselves back together, literally.
It’s hard to single out a favorite character. Each single character plays a key part to Pure. Each one holds their own and was created with obvious thought and love. For every flaw on the character’s exterior, Baggott made sure to include a balancing strength in their personality and very being. And while there are many characters in Pure, there is a fine thread that connects each one of them. As the story is told, each knot of information is revealed. It’s genius, really.
Pressia would have to be a heroine that I grew to love. Society must have programmed my brain to automatically dislike who she was due to what she was. I’m not proud of it, but it is a testament of Baggott’s underlying messages that I grew to love her. The symbolism built into Pressia is not something many would catch, but it’s there. And when you understand it, it’s amazing. There are characteristics that Pressia possess that does not hinder her, but instead empowers her. It is clear that she is an outcome of she has become. I loved her and would want her to be on my side should I ever be in a post-apocalyptic world.
Partridge is the antithesis of who Pressia is. He has everything life could offer him. In a dome, without the finer things of uninhabited freedom, he lives a perfect life. And like many other characters before him, Patridge seeks the one thing he doesn’t have – his mother. He seeks for information and the truth. And like other situations in other books, the truth doesn’t necessarily set him free. Patridge faces hard challenges, and his personality was written really well.
Pure has a multi-character point of view. It starts out with Pressia, but gradually includes others. I was a little put off at first, but that is my preference for a single point of view book. After finishing Pure, I couldn’t see it written in another way.
Baggot’s world building is fantastic. To me, the world is bizarre and abstract. It’s not perfect, nor is it pretty. It’s complicated and filled with sorrow. Reading about the people and their stories of survival? Borderline heart-wrenching and grotesque. Baggott included elements that would normally belong in the darkest corners of our nightmares and bring them to reality. Pure’s world is sinister, portraying the evils of science fiction, but bringing the mischievous personality of fantasy.
I know there are mixed reviews of Pure. Ignore those. I challenge you to stretch your limits and read about this very imaginative world with many different abnormal elements. This was a satisfying read, much more than a lot of books that I have read recently. I highly urge you to pick this up and read it today.