Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Book Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott



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.

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.

WARNING: This review is dark and full of spoilers

Plea:
I’m pretty sure I bought this book new (2012-ish?) and it’s been sitting on my shelf ever since. It was probably on sale. I’ve never heard of Julianna Baggott. The cover is so-so. The summary is really long and a bit confusing. But…why not? I’ll give it a read. I love me some apocalypses. They’re always fun.

Evidence:
What the hell did I just read?

Pure was… the best way to put it is “odd”. It wasn’t bad. In fact, it was really good. But it was just fucking weird. If I had to compare weird-ness, I’d say Pure reminded me of everything I’ve ever read by Margaret Atwood (okay, I’ve only read The Handmaiden’s Tale and Oryx and Crake). In this new world, after the Detonations, people are fused to other objects. Pressia has a doll head for a hand. I can’t even imagine what that would look like. Two of the other main character, Bradwell and El Captain, also have fusings. Bradwell has birds in his back, and El Captain is fused in a permanent piggy back position with his brother. That’s just… what… how does someone think of that? At first the fusings pulled me out of the story. It was really hard to picture, and I had to think intently. Once I had the character appearances down, the read was much smoother.

The world of the Pures in the Dome was easier to picture, but almost dull compared to the outside world where Pressia lived. That’s where the true story was. Actually, now that I think about it, the storyline wasn’t that unique. It was the world the story was situated in that made Pure awesome! That, and the fact Pressia and Partridge weren’t experiencing a “world shatter”, as per the summary, because of epic love. They were half-siblings! Before reading, I would’ve bet my left hand on them being a romantic item, but was delightfully surprised by their actual relationship. I don’t think I would’ve liked a romance between their characters, anyway (assuming they weren’t siblings). They make better friends. Then again, it’s sad this book couldn’t have a purely male-female friendship. It’s like Baggott introduced the sibling aspect so there could never be anything sexual between them (unless they feel like getting their Lannister on).

All in all, Pure was fun, and I can’t wait to read the sequels, Fuse and Burn!

Verdict:
Despite being one of the strangest books I’ve read in a while, Pure was an excellent read! I loved the characters and the plot. I eventually even fell in love with the crazy-assed world, where in which children could be fused to their mothers. Just the thought of being fused to another person… egh. Just egh! Pure is worthy of a 5 out of 5 stars rating!

Next week I’ll be reviewing… The 100: TV Show vs. The Book