Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Review: Pure by Julianna Baggot

Title: Pure
Author: Julianna Baggot site
Format: eARC, 368 pages
Release Date: 2/8/2012
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: Ebook Reading Challenge (hosted by Workaday Reads)

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. 

At first, Pure seemed to have an interesting assortment of characters. Unfortunately these characters have a nasty habit of behaving out of character, doing things that don’t make sense based on the picture painted of the character. I had really liked Pressia in particular. And El Capitan. I can’t say I cared for Partridge though. Partridge became really uninteresting once he left the Dome. I almost dreaded the parts of the book from his point of view. (Lyda eventually became the same.) Still, even when there were characters I liked, they weren’t consistent.

Plot and Story:
What I’d really liked at the start of the book, were the creepy creatures/ deformities as a result of the bomb. Julianna Baggot has a great voice for creating almost disturbing mental images that are sure to give you goose bumps. But as the story progressed, even this attribute became too much.

There was way too much going on in this book for 368 pages, and that’s saying something. It was like an episode of the 3rd season of Heroes, you almost need to take notes to follow it. The story became too hurried. All of the different twist and turns of the plot, and all of the new information introduced toward the end of the book was just too much for one novel. It almost seemed like the author was trying too hard, and just kept adding and adding to the story until there wasn’t room left for more. What I read was just a review copy and the final version has almost one hundred more pages, so perhaps the end result will be a little more balanced. Though, I’m doubtful.

Point of View:
Pure is written in third person selective multiple, following the POVs of Pressia and El Capitan, who live outside of the Dome, and Partridge and Lyda, who live/lived inside of the Dome. (For more information on different POV types, click here)

Pure had a good start but in the end, left me disappointed. I’m rating it 2.5 of 5 stars for inconsistent characters and an overcrowded plot.


  1. I've read mixed reviews of this one. I have a copy, so I'll have to see for myself.

  2. Great review! I've heard so many rave reviews of this book - now I'm really wondering if I'll like it or not. Interesting stuff.