Author: Julianna Baggott
Series: Pure, #1
Genres: Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (Imprint of Hachette)
Date Published: February 8th, 2012
Source: eARC via Netgalley
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.
It’s very rare for me to not finish a book, even if I’m not enjoying it all that much. I like to give books a fair chance to make up for the beginning. It can be hard to grab someone, pull them into the story and not let go. But with Pure I feel like I gave it a pretty decent chance, having gotten to about 69% on my Kindle, but I just could not keep going any longer.
It’s not so much that it’s a terrible book. It’s not really. But this post-apocalyptic novel is quite a shocking and disturbing one. I’m not sure if it’s my mood or what, but I just could not get past the visuals and overall icky-ness of this novel.
Let me just paint you a little picture here. Imagine our world is “detonated”, at least that’s what they call it in this book. Then take that one step further. This detonation does not just kill people or injure people. But it changes people on a molecular level, it merges people with other people and things, even buildings and the ground we walk on. So imagine this new world does not have anyone who is “normal” looking, but everyone has some kind of deformation. People are attached for life to whatever it is they were touching at the time of the detonation. Toys, people (including children and babies), walls, cellphones, pets, whatever it may be. If they were touching it, it’s forever apart of them. So yeah. Imagine that for a second. What are you touching now? Your keyboard and/or your mouse probably. You want that attached to you forever?
It’s gross. It’s obvious that Julianna Baggott was going for major shock value here, and for that I applaud her because it’s quite imaginative the things she comes up with in this book, which is the only reason I’ve given this an extra star (usually I give books I can’t finish one star). But the thing is that it got to be a little bit heavy handed on the shock factor. Perhaps I should have just gotten bored with that, but it just proved to disgust me more and more until I couldn’t take it anymore.
Perhaps I could have gotten past the gross parts if it had been for a more interesting plot line. But I wasn’t really even all that interested in where the story was headed, and I wasn’t even attached to any of the characters all that much. Everything and everyone is just too strange and disconnected that I couldn’t relate to any of it.
If you’re interested in a book that will shock, disturb you, and make you squirm a bit, then you might like this. If not, then you should probably stay far, far away.
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