Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott

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Julianna Baggott
Release date: February 8th, 2012
by Grand Central Publishing

Goodreads / Purchase

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.

*A copy was provided by Grand Central Publishing for review purposes*

A doll-face for a hand! Babies protruding from necks! Do I have your attention yet? Ok, this book is harsh! The world is one of THE most disturbing dystopian world I’ve ever read. It’s cruel, it’s very bizarre, and it’s strangely fascinating. Some things are definitely hard to swallow, but a merciless world such as this – that is built with excellence, might I add- makes for a spine-chilling read that you will not soon forget!

Pressia lives in the aftermath of an atomic bomb that almost destroyed the planet. However, when this bomb erupted, it fused people with objects, earth or other beings. A doll-face for a hand as her biggest fusion, Pressia came out pretty lucky. I enjoyed Pressia as our protagonist. She’s brave and has a good sense of loyalty – to her friends, to her kind, to humanity. She’s not the only character we get to know as there are multiple perspectives visited during the story. Pressia and Partridge are the most common. Partridge, a character from the Dome where humans survived the bomb unscathed, escapes it to try to find his mother. He has never seen anything other than civility, or even normality, in the dome, so getting to see him take in this brutal world is terribly interesting. In addition to these two, we’ve got a few less visited POVs from characters that we meet throughout the book; some good, some evil, for an overall eccentric mix.

With the world building that is clearly well researched as well as grotesquely imaginative, the multiple perspectives help even more in showing us this world thoroughly. We see enough point-of-views to know what’s happening in every corner; we get the big picture! The novel can seem overly descriptive at times, the pace can also drag a bit in the middle, but I can’t say I was ever bored. If you’re a fan of darker dystopians, Pure is one that will stick with you, make you think, and appreciate what we have!

4 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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36 Responses to “Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott”

  1. Karen

    Oh yay! I have this one at home right now and I’ve seen some not-so-favorable reviews so I was wondering if I should bother. I think I will now. Thanks for the review!

  2. Rebecca (Kindle Fever)

    I wish I could have finished this one! It sounds so fascinating and odd, but I just couldn’t get into it at all… The way it was written… I just had to keep struggling and I can’t read those kind of books even if I might be one of those, who like you, did enjoy it! I guess it’s a bit like Hunger Games for me; I love the idea of it, I just can’t actually read them. o: (Yes, I’m one of those who didn’t adore Hunger Games. *hides*)

    Love your review though!

  3. Amy

    I am still just letting my mind settle. My review is going up on Thursday. It was a really disturbing book at times, but I enjoyed it. Great review!

  4. Giselle from Book Nerd

    Wow! When you said it was a little bizzarw, you definitely weren’t kidding! I started reading Pure this morning and as soon as I read she had a baby doll infused on her hand my face resembled this O_O whoah I can’t wait to finish it! *goes to read all day*

  5. Giselle

    Thanks guys!

    @Rebecca: You did not like Hunger Games? *faints* haha. This one especially is NOT for everyone though so I can see why opinions are mixed.

  6. Giselle

    @Amy: I needed to wrap my head around it too! Curious to see what you think!

    @Giselle: Haha yes and the dollface hand is the least bizarre of it all trust me! I hope you like it! 🙂

  7. Jackie's Little World

    I was all set to go out and buy Born Wicked and then I started reading things about this book…I’m so intrigued that I might have to purchase this one first 🙂 I’m really excited to read it for myself and see how I stand.

    Great review!

  8. Sam

    Great review as always, Giselle. I’m glad you liked this one! I know it gets soon mixed reviews, but I enjoyed it quite a bit myself, too. I’m looking forward to reading the next book now! 😀

  9. Jana

    I got this free on NetGalley, and actually couldn’t finish. I’ve never declined to review something there, and felt really bad. I just found it to be too disturbing and upsetting! I’m glad you enjoyed it more than I did. 🙂

    – Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl

  10. Kat Balcombe

    The world-building was the best part of Pure for me – it was preeeeetty freaky! Didn’t feel so much of a connection to the characters though – Bradwell was the only one that interested me in the end.

    But I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  11. Missie, The Unread Reader

    Based on some of the reviews I’ve read for this one, it seems like people either really like it or really dislike it. I’m not sure that it’s for me, but I’m glad it worked for you. I consider it a very good thing to not find the story boring even during the slow parts.

  12. Giselle

    Thanks for the comment love! <3

    I agree that it’s one you either really like or really dislike.

    @Jennifer: Haha I haven’t seen that Sat. Night Live chick. I’ll have to google that! O_O

  13. Jaskirat@SeeitORreadit

    hahahaha I just posted my review for PURE too lol 🙂 So this means we’re review twins ha! Anyway I couldn’t agree with your review more. I just adored the writing style and concept but I thought it was very dark and a bit too slow paced. Awesome review Giselle 🙂


  14. Katie @ BlookGirl

    The description alone made me add Pure to my TBR List on GoodReads immediately! Wow, how intriguing! You and I seem to have a similar taste in books, so I am sure I will enjoy it as much as you did.

    Thanks for another great review, Giselle!

    (Great, now I’m going to have nightmares about a doll-face hand!!)

  15. Candace

    I’ve been wanting to see some reviews of this one! It sounds strangely horrifying but intoxicating at the same time. I’ll have to watch for it at the library and maybe give it a try.

  16. Maja

    *sighs* I really should read this as soon as possible, but for whatever reason, i can’t bring myself to do it. I shudder every time I think about it.
    Amazing review, Giselle. I’m so happy you enjoyed it.

  17. Asheley (@BookwormAsheley)

    I *REALLY* loved this book so much. I wonder if the reason so many people may have struggled with it is because of its crossover appeal…it is very mature in not only content but length and use of description, which is prevalent in more adult-like post-apoc/dystopians, which is where I think a lot of the more YA-loving genre-lovers may have lost their interest. I tend to read both, so this appealed to me in a BIG way. I think the comparison to The Hunger Games may have thrown people off a bit too, because this was certainly not like that series at all, but more bleak like a Cormac McCarthy-type book or The Passage, which was used on the back cover of the ARC and in the marketing campaign.

    I just wish more people would have been able to stick with it, because the world-building was so amazing and the characters were so well-developed and great…even the villains. I called this my “total package book.” I just loved it so much. Glad you loved it too!

  18. Janiera

    I won a copy of this and just haven’t gotten around to reading it. Now I really, really have to because it sounds good. I love dark things.

  19. Elodie

    Your review is the first I read on this book 🙂 !! I’m really intrigued by this book and I’m hoping to buy a copy soon .. Thanks for the fabulous review 😉

  20. A Canadian Girl

    Ooo, your first two sentences had me really confused but the middle paragraph cleared that one up. This might be a little too dark for me but I’m curious enough to give it a try when I have time. Isn’t it really long?

  21. Giselle

    @A Canadian Girl: It’s a thick book but it’s actually pretty easy to get through. It’s about 450 pages but it didn’t take me longer to read than the average 350 page book though for some reason.

    @Asheley: I really agree. I think most who really hate it or couldn’t get into it were maybe expecting a more “fun” dystopian like Divergent. This one if def. disturbing but it makes a great creative world that really stands out. I’m happy you enjoyed it too! I also didn’t know it was being compared to the Hunger Games. I guess every dystopian is now.

    @Maja: Aaww you should give this a try! Knowing how you like gory, different books I think you may like this one!