This is where Julianna Baggott succeeds the most the world that she s created is genuinely frightening and conceivable This is an author who really understands that a dystopian setting isn t just a conveniently popular backdrop for a coming of age story or a romance it s a stark and gruesome vision of our potential future This one is the real deal she s not just hopping on the bandwagon.
On the day of the detonations, millions were killed and the survivors were left with scars, amputated limbs, and deformities In some cases, they became horrifically fused to anything in close proximity glass, metal, dirt, stone, animals, and even other people Those blessed to be inside The Dome during the detonations were protected Now The Dome stands apart, a brightly lit reminder to all of those on the outside that they were denied safe haven Pressia is a sixteen year old survivor, enduring the daily horrors of the new world, and living in fear of the OSR, a militaristic group that forces every child to join up after he or she turns sixteen.
Inside The Dome there are the Pures those who still maintain perfect skin, teeth, and limbs Partridge was lucky enough to be inside the Dome on the day of the detonations, but through his perspective we see the truth of the inside What were the detonations Why did they cause such gruesome side effects in the population How did the world get to this point And who are the people behind it all Pressia and Partridge will have to combine forces to answer these questions.
The writing is not my favorite, but it s not a deal breaker either This is written in third person present tense, and it moves around between four different heads Or is it five I lost count Third person present tense only works for me about 10% of the time, and with all the moving around I couldn t help but think this would have been better with a third person omniscient point of view.
There s a lot of foundation laid in this book, but I found it all to be very compelling The history of this world, the circumstances leading up to the detonations, and the horrifying aftermath all completely captivated me And she doesn t lay it all out lecture style it s revealed organically and incompletely leaving room for the sequel I do wish that I could just dial back the horror a bit in a few scenes It s not that I don t love the over the top grisliness of it all, but in a few places it feels too exaggerated without enough support from reality It edges into cheesy horror territory But, the world is satisfyingly frightening The social turmoil and environmental atrocities remind me of my favorite dystopian novels from Margaret Atwood and Paolo Bacigalupi I also could have done with a bit less romance It mostly feels unnecessary although, it s not a large element of the story I can pinpoint the exact scene where I became invested in the characters and their plight, and it started with El Capitan Before El Capitan, the groupies people fused into the same body seemed a bit vulgar and cheap, but he made me feel all the complicated emotions of existing as part of a whole Baggott also does an amazing job of showing the soul crushing exhaustion that comes with years of survival the weariness of near constant cold and starvation, and how it often seems like it would be a relief to just end it all I also just loved Our Good Mother and her gang When the world ends, that s exactly where I ll be Hunting down a few Deaths Perfect Musical PairingBruce Springsteen Thunder RoadYeah, okay Pressia I guess it s not a bad lullaby.
Some books try too much Pure is that book It tries to be chilling and gritty and blah blah It s just plain weird On the ARC there is some publisher heavy weight telling you this is going to be the next Hunger Games Yeah Choke me read the comment session for This book wont really appeal to teens, for several reasons I cant be bothered to list The science in it, is called fantasy The good part The main character isnt too bad The girl The boys are sort of meh And the writing is pretty decent Borrow it, or at least read a sample first Because my guess is that you are going to have a hard time getting past the first 100 pages Oh, and she decided to criticize my review of her book.
com 2011 I said in an earlier draft of this review that the book wasnt as good as the publisher thought it was Of course, I said that After opening a book and reading blurbs from publisher heavy weights telling me the book is going to change my life, that 2008 was the year of Katniss, but 2012 will be the year of Pressia I m sorry, you ve just raised my expectations very high And when I read it and see it isnt even changing my tiny toe, then yes I m going to say it isnt as good as the publisher thinks it is Haha She has so much to learn.
Authors stop criticizing everyone that doesnt write the kind of review about your book that you like It s called a review for a reason 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 RunBurn 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 Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash.
When I was a teenager I uncovered a photo album in my grandparent s house, tucked into the back of a cabinet, dusty and long neglected under stacks of hoarded papers The album was full of pictures taken in Japan, where my grandfather had been stationed after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WWII It was like looking at stills from a black and white horror film destruction on a scale I had never seen before, fragments of the devastation captured on paper and stuck into a book Prior to this, I had known nothing of this part of his life It was verboten within the family And turning those yellow pages, I think I began to understand in a very small way part of why he wanted to silence and forget this time of suffering both for those who were lost and those who survived But I doubt he ever will, or even can I mention this because of a statement Julianna Baggott makes in the acknowledgements of Pure around her research, which took in accounts of the atomic bombings and their effects It s a sentiment with which I think her character Bradwell would concur there are horrors we cannot afford to forget.
While much of Pure reads like it was spilled from the darkest corners of subconsciousness into a grotesque and unsettling nightmare world, elements of this story are firmly anchored in our own reality, the shadowed parts of our history Beneath the richly realised post apocalyptic setting, this is a thematically resonant, futuristic story that echoes our not too distant past Dome fiction is not certainly not a new concept and Pure does not attempt to revolutionise the premise of a select few living in cloistered privilege while the outside world ekes out a life exposed to the usually hellish elements What Pure does do is construct a uniquely disturbing and sinister world, almost dream like in its surreal elements, maintaining a sense of unease as the reader plunges deeper into the story.
There is an atmosphere to this book unlike any I ve read before the familiar and the frightening are crushed together into a bizarre symbiosis The people of this world are similarly affected horrifically burned, scarred and fused with objects both animate and inanimate, some forced together with other people into irreversible codependence, some enmeshed with animals beyond identification After the cataclysmic Detonations, the world is startlingly foreign, yet also vaguely recognizable in places The pervasive, unsettling tone that results is one of Pure s strongest points, in my opinion.
The plot of Pure revolves around two of the central characters, Pressia a wretch with a doll s head for a hand, and Patridge a Pure from an influential dome family, coming into contact with each other and the repercussions for their vastly different lives Raised on opposite sides of the dome, their understanding of their own worlds are challenged, and neither will remain unchanged Pure is another multiple viewpoint book, the perspective shuffling through four different third person vantage points Honestly, I do not love multiple viewpoint books I generally find the shifts cumbersome, not always adding much in the way of tone or texture to the story However, I make an exception here, because while I still was not completely taken with the number of viewpoint characters, I didn t find it detracted from the story being told I felt invested in all of the characters, so I didn t mind when a different person took up the narrative What makes a tough heroine has been discussed at length elsewhere, but as I read Pure I was struck by how Pressia s strength was developed and expressed While not physically imposing, athletically gifted, or particularly bold, Pressia s tenacity in the face of fear and personal doubts were rather moving My investment in Pressia grew steadily as I read, and I found myself afraid for her, proud of her, even tearing up for her While it developed slowly, I found myself similarly attached to Bradwell Initially, he was a character I found remote, even slightly repellent By the end, I felt oddly concerned and fiercely protective over this blunt young man and what he represented I feel that Pure s largest weakness lay in the occasional over neatness of the plot There are a few too many instances of characters who happen to be in just the right place, who conveniently show up in the nick of time, who land in exactly the right spot, who know exactly what to do and where to go Some segments of the story dovetail a little too neatly to be entirely believable, and the difficulties one would reasonably expect to arise are occasionally glossed over to progress the story In a similar vein, there are a couple of scenes that read awkwardly to me, given the physical condition of the characters It was distracting at times when the actions they were described taking seemed at odds with what they appeared to be capable off view spoiler I spent what is probably a disproportionate amount of time trying to work out the logistics of Bradwell and the birds in his back, for example, and fearing that the poor birds were getting squashed hide spoiler This book is dark It is disturbing It is ruthless in places and feels dangerous in others Despite the fact that Pure has been released by its publisher as Adult fiction, it has been quickly embraced as YA Though I feel as such, it should maybe come with some sort of disclaimer Fans of popularized YA dystopias choosing Pure for the same satisfying adrenaline injection packaged in a safe, sanitized story with a sweet romantic subplot are likely going to be put off even repulsed over what they encounter here Further, the conscientious detail in the world building will seem heavy handed to readers seeking a fast moving thrill ride Pure does not give up its secrets easily or all at once Not all loose ends are tied up, not all questions are answered There s enough juiciness and potential left over for the sequel At least this is my hope because I m hooked now and want to know everything There is such heartrending beauty in Baggott s vivid descriptions of Earth s utter destruction and the devastating deformities of the survivors I will never think of the word fusion the same way again At the height of the Cold War, an entire generation of people lived with the mind numbing fear of nuclear annihilation It s a fear that s largely left us now, though I m hard pressed to think why the weapons still exist and there are still enough crazy mofos out there, in charge or gone rogue, to make use of them if they so choose Even the most cursory research into the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will chill the blood and horrify the mind This is what we are capable of doing to one another To think that it can t or won t ever happen again is wishful thinking I figure of the most deluded kind But I am grateful we ve stopped crouching under desks and building bomb shelters in our spare time That shit just ain t healthy, you know Pressia is a survivor of the Detonations a global nuclear holocaust that has left her and every other survivor with a diversity of glaring malformations and fusions When the blasts came, they were so strong, the light so bright, humans fused with whatever material closest to them at the time of the explosion, whether it be inanimate, human or animal Pressia, a child at the time, held her favorite doll and now carries the mark of that day in her doll s head hand Such external deformities are a physical manifestation of the pain and loss carried by all survivors, whose souls have surely been burned and scarred just as severely as their bodies There are other survivors of the Detonations however Pures who have been safely harbored in the Dome These are the select privileged, protected, their skin perfect But the Dome has its secrets too, and while the wretches outside the Dome have been busy surviving, those inside the Dome have been watching, and waiting, with a plan of their own This was a convincing world to me that left me wanting to knowabout everything The characters are strong and there without coming across as overly sentimental It takes a while to get to know them, and it takes even longer to warm up to them and start to care I really enjoyed that slow build In no way could Pure be labeled a shocking or controversial novel however, there were several scenes that jolted me, and if you can surprise me in that way where I flinch or my mouth gapes open, I figure you are doing something right This book has been called cinematic and it is a very visual novel I m also not surprised to find out that Hollywood has already come a courting Parts of the Dustlands and Meltlands even reminded me of Stephen King s Dark Tower landscape and that is high praise indeed.
What can I say If you are looking for a meatier dystopian read with teeth then this is the book for you.
Pure was deliciously dark and twisted, but to me, it just wasn t good enough Three women step out all fused a tangle of cloth hiding their engorged middle Parts of each face seem to be shiny and stiff as if fused with plastic Groupies, that s what they re called One of the women has sloped shoulders, a curved spine There are many arms, some pale and freckled, the others dark.
It took me about 120 pages to really get into this book much than it should have, of course I always struggle with dystopias at first, but it s usually for two or three chapters, not than that The beginning was very slow, and although I understand the need to build the atmosphere, especially in a book whose main goal seems to be to shock and repulse, I felt that it should have been done gradually, or at least differently As much as I appreciated though not enjoyed the descriptions of people fused with objects or other people, I couldn t help but wonder if that s all I would ever get Fortunately, things started moving just a little faster after those 120 pages, but Baggott still kept pressing the pause button on her action scenes in order to describe every little thing her characters came across Everyone who knows me at least a little bit knows that I m a big fan of descriptive writing when it serves to evoke a wide palette of emotion My problem with Pure was that it aimed to evoke only one disgust After a hundred pages or so, it became extremely tiresome The story is told from multiple points of view Oddly enough, the one I preferred, the one I could easily identify with, was neither Pressia nor Partridge, it was Lyda, the girl Partridge sort of liked, but mostly just used to get out of the Dome I eventually started liking Partridge too, even though that took a while, but Pressia never really came alive for me I still have no idea who she really is and how I m supposed to feel about her I would have loved to know about the creatures she made to trade them on the market, but the one thing I wanted described in detail was just mentioned once or twice in passing As far as I m concerned, the most important thing in a dystopian post apocalyptic novel isn t the romance, the action, or even the writing it s social structure You can be the most skilled writer on the planet, but if your society isn t convincing enough, you will lose my interest before you can say write a better book For me, this is where Baggott failed the most I wanted to know about the government on both sides but outside the Dome , about how it all came to be, and especially about the day when the world went to hell in a handbasket I want to know how Partridge s father became the most important person in the world, the only real decision maker Where were the old governments Who exactly pulled the strings ever since Partridge s parents were young Instead of focusing on endless descriptions of Groupies and Dusts, I would have liked to see at least some of those questions answered Unfortunately, the little information I was offered wasn t nearly believable enough.
That doesn t mean that Pure was all bad There were things I liked a lot, especially the fact that it managed to surprise me a few times In a genre where predictability is accepted and even expected, Baggott somehow included quite a few twists and turns that I never saw coming I think I would have liked Pure if it were about a hundred pages shorter It had its moments and I believe I will read book 2 when it comes out, but unfortunately, this one left a lot to be desired.
Favorite quote She glances back before stepping into the alley, and she catches her grandfather looking at her the way he does sometimes as if she s already gone, as if he s practicing sorrow.
For this review and , please visit The Nocturnal Library A doll face for a hand Babies protruding from necks Do I have your attention yet Ok, this book is harsh The world is one of THE most disturbing dystopian world I ve ever read It s cruel, it s very bizarre, and it s strangely fascinating Some things are definitely hard to swallow, but a merciless world such as this that is built with excellence, might I add makes for a spine chilling read that you will not soon forget Pressia lives in the aftermath of an atomic bomb that almost destroyed the planet However, when this bomb erupted, it fused people with objects, earth or other beings A doll face for a hand as her biggest fusion, Pressia came out pretty lucky I enjoyed Pressia as our protagonist She s brave and has a good sense of loyalty to her friends, to her kind, to humanity She s not the only character we get to know as there are multiple perspectives visited during the story Pressia and Partridge are the most common Partridge, a character from the Dome where humans survived the bomb unscathed, escapes it to try to find his mother He has never seen anything other than civility, or even normality, in the dome, so getting to see him take in this brutal world is terribly interesting In addition to these two, we ve got a few less visited POVs from characters that we meet throughout the book some good, some evil, for an overall eccentric mix With the world building that is clearly well researched as well as grotesquely imaginative, the multiple perspectives help even in showing us this world thoroughly We see enough point of views to know what s happening in every corner we get the big picture The novel can seem overly descriptive at times, the pace can also drag a bit in the middle, but I can t say I was ever bored If you re a fan of darker dystopians, Pure is one that will stick with you, make you think, and appreciate what we have For of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads Wow I don t even I mean, there s just so much toI don t even know where to begin, seriously I guess I ll just start by saying this book is so gross That s it, this book is gross And frightening It s everything Anna Dressed in Blood wishes it was disgusting and terrifying I mean, homicidal ghosts Pshh That s child s play But post apocalyptic life with all the food shortages, diseases, no order, no normalcy, mutants like really nasty looking mutant y mutants and horrible ways to die around every corner Now that s what I call pants peeing, nightmare inducing, huddle in corner crying out for your momma scary As far as I m concerned that s not a bad thing Funny thing is, this cover did not in any way prepare me for the demented, never ending county fair Fun House I entered I mean, it looks so innocent, doesn t it All pretty like with a sophisticated font and gorgeous sapphire blue butterfly It looks like a fairly tame book about something fresh and Pure, am I right Probably something about Soul Mates and rainbows and unicorns You know, the sort of cutesy idealized thing that typically makes me want to chuck a book across a room.
But it s so not the sort of book I d end up throwing at a wall I figured out there is a reason for that, by the way, the whole innocent looking on the outside but jacked up on the inside thing this book has going for it, but that s not something I m going to discuss right now I want to give Pure stars because, story wise, it is pretty enjoyable, for the most part And the gross out factor is off the charts aaaaa mazing, same goes for the scare factor But did Julianna Baggott write a five star worthy read Not so much I mean, sure, when it comes to recent YA genre dystopias post apocalyptic books Pure is sort of up there with The Hunger Games and Ship Breaker, beating out all of the other competition Buttruthfully I wasn t so wholly invested that I was able to overlook all the sciencefailand believabilityfailAnd it s not like I m one of those people who find it difficult to suspend disbelief I read plenty of books with ridiculous and often impossible story lines and I m able to believe those just fine It s just, for whatever reason, there was much that didn t work for me because the author didn t sell it correctly, or whatever For example there is this one character that somehow knows everything about everything, even taught himself how to read Japanese Keep in mind said character raised himself in a post apocalyptic hellhole from the time he was nine years old I mean, come onThe world as we know it has ended, death and destruction and scary mutants are everywhere And you want me to believe some little kid who is taking care of himself is likeGee, I sure miss everything I think I ll teach myself how to read Japanese because it might actually come in handy some day You know, since Japanese, above all other languages, is the one I m most likely going to need to know how to readNo I don t buy it Orphan boy be learning how to fend for himself in a cruel every mutant for himself world, not teaching himself how to read Japanese OR study nanotechnology in depth And at no point during this book does the reader learn how our world got from how things are currently to some crazy go nuts ber religious society that shuns modern feminism in favor of some brand of not feminist feminism and eventually blows itself to high hell This bugs me If I were to be completely honest, for whatever reason I couldn t stop thinking about one of my favorite children s books of all time while I was reading Pure It s called Everyone is Different written by Strong Bad If you don t know what book I m talking about go read it, I ll wait right here.
Are you done Great book, right Anyway, Pure is pretty much the same as Everyone is Different I mean, you know, basically Maybe there isn t any squirrel handedness going on in Pure but there sure is a lot of doll head handedness and bird backedness going on Instead of characters being fangoriously devoured by a gelatinous beast there s a lot of characters being fangoriously devoured by dust beasts and other such mutants There are weird names, like Partridge and Pressia and El Capitan Some characters are tall and merciless Some characters are about to be hit by cars, and other characters who have rigged the enemy base with explosives There may even be a point in which no two characters are NOT on fire I wish I could give this book four or five stars, but I can t That said, I still do like it and I m going to recommend it to anyone looking for a disgusting post apocalyptic read Three stars.
3 generous stars for excellent world building and interesting ideas but no because of the novel s density and lack of actual plot.
When I recieved this ARC, I immediately discovered some very interesting facts from the back of the book This is taken directly from the back cover Won by GCP during a heated two day auction International language rights sold overnight in nine countries Film rights sold to Fox 2000 Pictures with Karen Rosenfelt, lead producer of the Twilight sagaYou d think this must be something pretty special, right Well, yeah I can see this making a really good film with lots of CGI opportunities and action scenes but as a novel it was dull The author definitely spent a lot of time on this dystopia and it wasn t a simple I didn t think this through idea like, say, Wither But the novel contained too many lenghty scientific explanations and often went off on random tangents in order to create some small and unnecessary subplots that almost sent me to sleep.
The idea that the author has had could potentially have made a great story Set in a dystopian future, those who live inside the Dome are guarded by strict rules and regulations, Partridge longs to escape and find out the truth about the world they all left behind Outside the Dome, Pressia lives in constant fear of attack from all the deranged mutants that were created by the detonations from years ago This story is about lies and radiation, friendships and conspiracies but the real question that Pure seeks to ask is what is important safety or freedom It could have been fantastic It should have been fantastic.
But, like Feed, it was filled with crap that bored me There were long conversations about war and atomic bombs that were snore worthy, rather than insightful and eye opening A lot of characters were brought in that didn t add anything to the story but served only to make it confusing, and it also kept switching to a random new perspective There were the two main POVs Pressia and Partridge, but then every so often it would switch to someone else for a chapter and it simply wasn t needed Plus, I would also like to add that the only thing young adult about this book was the characters ages I wouldn t be surprised if a lot of the younger end of the YA genre didn t have a clue what was going on, especially in the beginning it s mind boggling So, like I said, this is the kind of novel that I can see making an excellent film but the author s writing style made my head hurt so I m not sure I ll be continuing with the series.
Pure was a nice surprise and a great break from the current trend of dystopian societies that have been portrayed lately in YA literature The post nuked world that Baggott describes outside of the dome city is bizarre and dark, rick, and surreal, with people fused with objects they were near when the bombs went off The result is on of the most imaginative and, at times, disturbing cast of characters I ve encountered since China Mieville s early novels I m sure others will summarize the action better than I can, but if you want to immerse yourself in a rich, dark world with characters who are making difficult decisions, Pure is great way to spend your time I play to read the rest of the series.