Book Review: "Pure" by Julianna Baggott

There are two main groups of people left after The Detonations:  those who live in the Dome, and those outside the Dome.  The people within the Dome are Pure – they haven’t suffered the devastating effects of the bombs, they have enough nutrition, receive a proper education and are safe.  They are watching the world outside the Dome; waiting until it is safe enough for them to come out and re-inhabit the land.  They think of the people living outside the Dome as “wretches”.

Those outside the Dome are known as Survivors though they have suffered greatly.  Most of them became physically fused to whatever was near them at the time of The Detonations.  Pressia was a young girl, and became fused to her baby doll so now her right hand is the doll head.  She scavenges for food for her and her Grandfather – and stays clear of those who fused with things that drained their humanity.  Pressia finds Partridge, a Pure who escaped the Dome and they embark on a mission to find Partridge’s mother.  This mission takes them to places they couldn’t have imagined, and uncovers secrets they didn’t realize existed.

I’ll admit, I don’t think I would have picked this book up on my own.  Luckily, this was assigned for my YA Lit class and I am hooked.  The thing is that while it absolutely will appeal to YA audiences, I think it would also appeal to adult audiences equally.  Just because the main characters are teens does not automatically make it a teen novel.  This takes the dark dystopian world of the future, that idea that is so prevalent in today’s hot YA titles and kicks it all up a notch.  It is incredibly dark, gritty and twisted…  I had a big knot of dread in my stomach while reading most of this.  And it is fascinating.  This is the kind of novel in which I start to research the next title in the series before I’ve even finished the book at hand.  (The sequel, Fuse, was released in February of this year, by the way).  This is truly a complex plot, with plenty of twists, surprises and unique characters.  There is the possibility of hope amid the gray ashen skies, and you just want to hold on and make it out of the chaos.  I will definitely be reading on in this series!

by Julianna Baggott
Grand Central Publishing, 2012
431 pages
Series:  Pure #1
Source:  Library
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