Pure by Julianna Baggott
Posted by Caitie F on January 16, 2012
Summary 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.
I am posting this review almost a month before publication because you need to get excited about this book. There have been so many comparisons to The Hunger Games lately, and I don’t think a single one has been accurate. Even this comparison is not accurate, but that is because it is somehow even better. I thought Katniss’ trials were the be all and end all for YA dystopian, but I was wrong. This is.
The world that has been created is disturbing. Not only because of the mass murder that wiped out most of the civilization of the United States, but with how realistic it felt. Some dystopian book fells like they could never happen. But the idea of the rich and privileged surviving without a scratch while all the others are forced to die and suffer in almost unimaginable ways? That is the kind of “end of the world as we know it” that I can believe is possible. It made the need for power and manipulation even more gripping.
I always say that a great world and plot are not enough (though they are both stellar in this novel), that it always comes down to the characters and how the reader feels about them. Each and every character in this book is mufti-dimensional. They are all always fighting many battles both internally and externally. In a world where survival is key, the decisions they make for each other change everything. I will not go character by character because so much of the fun in reading this book was finding out who they were.
Even before publication, film rights have been sold. This book would make an excellent movie, but I have no idea how it could be PG-13. There are disturbing images that are incredibly necessary. Even as a young teen, I would have been able to handle them, but it is something to think about before you pick up the book.
This book is one of the best books I have ever read. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series and I hope everyone else enjoys it as much as I did.