Monday, December 5, 2011

Pure by Julianna Baggott

Release Date: 8th February, 2012

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Pages: 448pgs

The Story

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, who father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss - maybe because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; 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 suggest 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.

The Review

A big thanks to Grand Central Publishing on netGalley for accepting my request in reading this book early!

Ever since reading book reviews and all the high praises for Julianna Baggott's 2012 dystopian novel PURE, I was really looking forward to seeing what the book was going to offer to me and you can't go wrong with another dystopian trilogy (though I haven't come across one that has blow me out of the water yet - well except Hunger Games). Now after reading PURE and taking in the events that occured throughout the novel, I can definitely see why the hype is there and why so many fans of the Hunger Games series are going to jump on broad of this action-packed adventure. Me on the other hand, as much as I wanted to savour it and take in the storyline with all its strong characters, I'm sad to say that I struggled a lot with the book from the beginning to end. Whether it's because I wasn't in the mood for it or because nothing really captured me with interest, the bottom line is: It just wasn't for me.

With movie rights already being sold to studios, I can definitely see the PURE trilogy making a great film with a lot of CGI and actions sequences involved. There's plenty there to keep you entertained movie wise. However when it comes to novel wise, while the book had an exciting beginning with some opportunity and promise to make it even better, but the plot slowly loses its way and ultimately starts losing me as a reader. There was so much to take in in this world of Baggott's and too many lengthy scientific explanations that distracted me from the storyline itself. I admit the idea the author had was a fantastic idea - nothing new on the table, but it was still a great idea to work with and it should've been fantastic. It should've been. But when you add long conversations about war, bombs and serve up other confusing elements . . . it's hard to connect to the book like that and not to mention its characters. A real shame on my part.

Even though I couldn't connect . . . doesn't mean you won't. Don't get me wrong, there's still a lot to like about this book but like I stated above, it just wasn't the right book for me. PURE is a dark, gritty and sometimes a disturbing novel, and I'm sure a lot of readers with a profound love of the Hunger Games, Matched and the likes of Divergent will eat this baby up, and become a classic young adult hit.

The Rating

2/5 stars


  1. Sorry to hear this wasn't for you. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll enjoy it more.... 'dark, gritty and sometimes disturbing' definitely draws me in :D Although a shame about the long, lengthy descriptions which can sometimes be annoying. We shall see! Thanks for the great review, Erin!

  2. Oh thank you thank you thank YOU for this review! I've struggled through every damn page of Pure and I've still 100 to go >.<

    I agree with you completely on every aspect of this review (including not quite feeling the dystopian love).

    I just haven't... connected with the characters. Pressia seems kind of cold and aloof, but so much younger than she's actually meant to be?

    And you're right: all the scientific explanations, and then there's so much description, explanation, philosophy and so little action and dialogue in comparison. Even when action is happening, I never felt it, just a distant observer.

    I'd LOVE to see this as a movie, but it just hasn't quite worked as a book for me. SO SO glad to see I'm not alone. I thought I was going mad.

  3. Brodie: Who knows . . . maybe you'll enjoy it more than me. :)

    Sarah: Yay! I thought I was alone too. It's such a shame with this book . . . but ah well. I know what you mean when it comes to Pressia's character - she was definitely cold and aloof sometimes. And it WILL make a great movie even though - like you said - it didn't quite work as a book. But I'm glad to see I'm not the only one here. :)

  4. It's weird, because it seems to have a lot going for it... but I just didn't feel it. I didn't *enjoy* reading it, and that's the key :/

  5. Sarah: It did have a lot going for it. But I didn't feel it either. Hopefully the sequel is better . . . that is if I decide to read it or not.

  6. I'm struggling just to finish it. Me reading a sequel is pretty much off the tables. I hope you love it if you do :)

  7. Sometimes when I disliked the first book I read the second to see if it improves, cause in some cases the series does improve and I start to like it. But we'll see. Hopefully you finish the book. I struggled to but I managed to finish it . . . don't know how though. :)

  8. Awww, sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this as much as you would have liked! But I think I might try it when it comes out! I seem to be enjoying all Dystopian books lately, although like you, really lengthy scientific explanations really puts me off! Still...I'm willing to give this one a try! Thanks for the honest review, Erin<3

  9. Shirley: Definitely give it a try. You might love it! Thanks for commenting and stopping by.

  10. Hello all! I want to thank you for this review. I'm the author -- Julianna Baggott -- and just wrote a post called MY FAVORITE TWO-STAR REVIEW.

    (The comment will be posted as by BRIDGET ASHER, a pen name of mine. Not sure how to switch that.)

  11. Thank you for this post of yours. A lot of readers need to be aware of this. Good luck with your book PURE. Many people, I'm sure, will love it.

  12. Seems like the author didn't like your review:

  13. I've already read the post and I think it's the opposite of 'not liking my review'. If you read it closely, she's basically saying there's a difference between a bad review and a good review. Even with low stars. The author - in my mind - appreciated my review as I didn't criticize it as a lot of reviews do nowadays.

  14. I loved this book, too. Baggott is definitely an author to keep your eye on... and buy her back catalog!

    Marlene Detierro (Hunting and Fishing Stores)


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