Early Review: Pure by Julianna BaggottPure by Julianna Baggott
Series: Pure #1
Published by Headline
Pages: 448
Genres: Dystopian YA, Young Adult
Source: Received for review from publishers
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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.

Thoughts: I wanted to wait for this book to come out before I raved about it. Honest to God, I planned on waiting. Because, really, I loathe it when people rave about books that aren’t available for puchase. But in this case, I just couldn’t keep it all in. This book is fan-bloody-tastic, and I need to share.

Pure is quite possibly the most terrifying YA novel out there… which is saying quite a bit. The Hunger Games was terrifying, as was Blood Magic and The Replacement. But the very premise on which Pure is based is so horror-film terrifying that it has to take the cake as the scariest YA book I’ve ever read.

Ok, so how do I explain?

Well, Pure is set in a post-apocalyptic world. But unlike a lot of books, it isn’t set 50 years after the apocalypse – this end-of-the-world is in living memory. And the people suffering hurt all the more because they can remember the time when they weren’t in pain.

Pain, you ask? Well, that’s an understatement. Pure is set after a nuclear explosion has decimated the world. But the problem isn’t with the casualties of death, it’s with the pseudo-scientific effects of the radiation. At the time of the attack, people were merged with their surroundings. By surroundings I mean objects, animals, trees, dirt, and even other people. They fused together and everyone became, well, everyone else.

To say that this event made people less-than-friendly is an understatement. While the fused survivors are to be pitied, they are also the most fearful characters I’ve read in a long time. I found the whole premise utterly realistic and utterly haunting. Pure held me captive.

The reason, however, that Pure isn’t getting 5 stars has to do with the nitty-gritty character business. While I surprised myself by enjoying the multi-narrator style, there were things I found a bit too coincidental. Not to mention that some of the relationships in the novel felt rather… rushed. Unfortunately, these inconsistencies kept me slightly apart from the main characters. My hope is that I grow to understand them more in the next novels!

Bottom line? Pure is an original, steampunk-esque take on dystopian fiction. It’s the stuff of nightmares and you’re going to love it.

Kay

Your ghost host at Dead Book Darling
Kay's been blogging about urban fantasy, young adult and werewolves since 2009. She's a firm believer in the many uses of the towel, the science of deduction and other fandom in-jokes. To support her book-buying habit, Kay keeps up a day-job as a science journalist (so feel free to ask her about Physics).

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