Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott (Pure #1)


“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.”

Goodreads Description

A new feature where I discuss post-apoc or apoc style fiction.

A new feature where I discuss post-apoc or apoc style fiction.

Thanks to BookBridgr and Headline for the copy! 🙂

I loved Pure, but it is definitely not an easy read. It’s very dark, very haunting, and there are things I will never, never forget about this book. One particular scene will stay with me forever. This book will stay with you for a very long time.

The main characters are Pressia and Partridge. Pressia was fabulous. Realistically damaged and wary which fit her world and the events in her life very well. She was incredibly mentally/emotionally strong and I loved her self-consciousness about her deformation. Partridge was well-done in that he was also realistic. He was a tad bit spoilt and naive, but you would expect that, given how and where he grew up. A little bit selfish, but again, you would expect that. He was annoying, but if he had been done differently, he wouldn’t have been real enough. I didn’t gel with Partridge much but I loved Pressia. I can’t stop thinking about Pressia and I finished Pure a few weeks ago.

The secondary characters were awesome too. I loved El Capitan and Helmud although they freaked me out a bit. Most of the fused people freaked me out a bit. (As I said, it really is not a book to go into lightly. It gets very, very dark, there are freaky, weird things and the world is just generally an incredibly harsh place to be.) Bradwell was awesome and his fusing issue is glued to my brain. I can’t stop thinking about that either. After Pressia, my favourite character was Lyda and I hope we get to see more of her in the next two books. That girl is STRONG. Her storyline made me hate Partridge. He could be so selfish at times.

That said, the worldbuilding was OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD. It may be dark and somewhat creepy at times, but the world in Pure is totally worth it.

The actual storyline was gripping and heart-wrenching at times. There was A LOT going on and plenty of action. You have to pay attention to this one. It did get a little confusing and because I loved Lyda so much I wanted to go back to her story quicker, but there were large gaps between her POV and the others’ sometimes.

I had some issues though, mainly that at the beginning, it felt kind of like the author knew how the plot was going and just jumped from plot point to plot point with no set-up. Partridge makes a very rash decision based on something that could have been nothing at all. It was a bit like the author skipped the part where Partridge works things out, makes plans… We didn’t get to see him making these decisions. He had this whole elaborate plan that appeared from nowhere. It just… rankled a bit.

I also hated the chapter headings. They were labelled with the character whose point of view it was in and then given a title. These two headings were in scrambled cases. E.g pReSSiA. It REALLY irritated me and I didn’t see the need for it. If it was done to enhance the feel of a broken world, well the writing should (and did) be able to do that for itself. It shouldn’t need anything fancy to back it up. In my opinion it just didn’t need that. (Looking at the third book,  Burn, which I have out of the library, the headings are normal. I hope they are in Fuse too. I have it on order so I haven’t read Burn yet. I have a thing about reading things in order.)

In general, I loved Pure! I would recommend it if you want something really gritty and maybe a bit out there. Or if strong female protagonists are your thing.


Quality of Writing: 4 out of 5

Enjoyment Level: 4 out of 5

Emotional Depth: 5 out of 5

[Goodreads Rating: 4 out of 5]

*Plus kudos for sticking to my brain long after I finished it

NB: I decided to change my Reading the Future feature to feature books, rather than discuss the content.


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