Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Guest review: Pure by Julianna Baggott

Pure by Julianna Baggott is a young adult dystopian setting out to bring something new and original to the genre. Sadly it got a little too much for my liking.

Gorgeous cover, ain't it?!
The Story:
Our planet has been through something devastating which involves biological weapons and the consequences have been disastrous. The humans that are left with a shattered world, a broken mind and little to survive on. We follow the story of Pressia and Partridge, two teens that have been brought up in completely different social environments. Pressia is one of those that experienced The Detonations at firsthand, while Partridge was one of the lucky chosen ones that lived in The Dome, when the blast happened. Pressia has become a mutant while Partridge is what they call a Pure with no visible imperfections. To Pressia life is no picnic, every day is a fight for survival. Partridge on the other hand has lived a life inside the safety of The Dome; little does he know about the reality for those on the outside.

Our heroes’ path crosses in Pressia’s 16th year. Outside of The Dome turning 16th is a huge and life altering event. In a society that is almost anarchistic a military group has the power and they are suppressing the people by using terror tactics making fear a weapon. At sixteen it is expected that you either join the group or else you'll become their target. Pressia tries to escape her destiny and on her journey she meets Patridge, who has run away from the safety of The Dome - in search of someone he hopes is on the outside. The mutated teens and The Pure teens has one thing in common; they have very few memories of the world pre-detonation.

My thoughts:
Pure had an ok plot, a history in true “the world is doomed and survival of the fittest style”. The story was by no means boring but for one thing all the different mutations that occurred because of The Detonation were a bit over the top. For example there was a boy who had birds stuck fused to his back, another one had a dogs head for a foot and some mothers had their children permanently attached to the hip. All parts attached to one body is more or less alive. Not only living things have mutated into people, oh no, some people have fused with things they were nearby at the time of The Detonation such as their surroundings. I wonder how anyone could have died in this society when it was possible to fuse together with virtually anything and still live. On the other hand I wonder how one could survive while being fused with trees or rocks or soil. It makes no sense at all and therefore it annoyed me! I know what I’m reading and I agree that some things make no sense in dystopian/sci-fi and that is how it is, still not this much though.

Let’s talk about the characters. The development of the interpersonal relationships was, in my opinion, very poorly executed. The progression in the relationships felt unnatural. I’m sorry to say that I struggled to connect the characters and feel what they felt. I’m the kind of person that disappears inside a story, it devours me, and usually I have no problems connecting with a characters thoughts and emotions. In Pure nothing is really happing between the characters but all of the sudden people love each other. Really? After Bella and Edward, Katniss and Peeta, Sookie and Eric you have to give me more than that!

A third thing that annoyed me was the inconsistency in peoples knowledge, I mean they rarely knew anything about how appliances and objects worked Pre-Detonation but then they knew i.e. how to operate a car.

Still after all these cons there is just something that captures my interest in Pure. Pure is the first book in a trilogy and I would very much like to read the next two installments. I’m not really sure why this is going to be a trilogy, add another 100 pages to Pure and I would have imagined it would be possible to wrap it up without any loose ends. The movie rights have been sold already; I'm curious about the end result of that project. One thing is sure, there will have to be a lot of special effects.



Final thoughts:
I might have been a little harsh in my judgment of Pure, still I’m giving it a 3 star rating. As I said earlier the book most definitely got something good going for it, it is just difficult for me to pinpoint it. While I was irritated and moping when writing this review I almost felt sorry for the book. Somehow it managed to get into the little book-nook of my heart.

Author Julianna Baggott set out to, it seems, write a story that was going to be something new and original; a story that really stood out among the mass of post-apocalyptic books out there. It feels like she might just have tried too hard. I’ll give her kudos for the effort but as I said it ended up being too much.

Want to know more about Julianna?
Visit her website.

The book was received from Headline Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much.

Review written by Nina, not the Nina who usually blogs here but Mari's little sister :)


  1. I almost finished with this and I like it a lot.

  2. Hi Nina :)

    Hm, I am not sure at all about this one, and the cover is so creepy

  3. I am really looking forward to this one, it sounds so different.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)