Friday, February 17, 2012

Book Review - Pure

Pure
by Julianna Baggott

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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.

Why I Picked this Book:  I had heard some great hubbub about it, and come on: Look at that cover!

(I received this e-book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review.  I was not compensated in any way.)

My Thoughts:
Pure, a dystopian novel set in the not too distant future, was quite a different read than I was expecting.  The world inside Pure is a scary place, full of deformities, fear, and struggles.  Julianna Baggott has proven herself to be quite the creator of worlds, though sadly this was a world I wasn't too keen on staying inside of.

Overall, it was a good read.
In Pure, some sort of detonations (atomic I gathered) ended up ending civilization.  Those who were lucky escaped into the Dome and are now living in a utopia (or so they think... aside from the genetic tests done on young men, the brain washing of young women and the utter control of everything...)  Then there are those who were unlucky enough to be outside when the detonations happened.  The people who are now simply known as the Wretches.

Something was in the detonations.  Something that managed to cause people to fuse to whatever they were closest to at the time of the big boom.  People are mutants now.  Some fused together, some melded with fans, auto parts, toys, animals...  Some even became so unlucky that they lost most of their humanity, become Dusts: monsters in the sand.

Yes, this is a scary, scary world.
Picturing all of the mutations... imagining what it would be like... that was pretty intense.

Pure ends up bouncing between 4 point of views.  Pressia, who has lived outside the Dome and has a doll permanently fused to her hand.  Partridge, who has lived inside the Dome but has now escaped, intent on finding his lost mother.  The other two POVs were seldom, and honestly: Felt completely unneeded.  I feel as if the story could have felt more solid and gripping if those two hadn't been thrown in.  If I had been given a choice, I personally would have chosen to stay solely inside Partridge's head the entire read.  His was the story I wanted to hear.

Though the world was scary, the overall story fascinating, something about this read fell a little short for me.  I am a fast reader: It took me two weeks to read this book.  There was a ton of info dumping (via rants), many parts I cannot even remember, along with the unneeded POVs.  Because of this, I felt myself dragging to finish this read.  I wanted to.  But picking it up to read became a chore more than a desire.

Then there was the ending.

Okay, I get that this will most likely be some sort of trilogy.  But the way this book ended made me mad.  Because... it didn't end.  I honestly felt no true resolution.  Though I will most likely read the next book whenever it comes out, I felt cheated at the end of this one.  Two weeks of reading, and nothing but the frustration that I now have to wait for book two to help me understand most of what I just read.

Like I said: Pure was a good read.  There was something about this book that I did love.  The creativity Baggott had in forming the people/creatures, the world, all of the in depth histories, left me impressed.  I have a feeling many people will enjoy this read.  As for me: It will rest on the "that was good" shelf.

My Rating:
(3 out of 5 stars)

1 comment:

Dunx said...

Very interesting review. I particular, thank you for expressing your frustration at the book one-ness of it: it makes me want to redouble my efforts to make each book of my trilogy a complete story.

Thank you.

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