Author: Julianna Baggott
Release Date: Available
When I started Pure by Julianna Baggott, I really had no idea what to expect. I prepared myself for something entertaining but not memorable, and hopefully not too typical. What I got… completely blew me out of the water. I’m beyond impressed with the totally engaging world, complex characters, and the fact that it made me think, and like thinking, and reminded me why I love reading.
Pure primarily follows two characters: Pressia, who lives in a world completely devastated by the Detonations, where everyone is fused to whatever they were near when the Detonations went off (i.e. a baby doll for a hand, birds in a back, a fan in a throat, two people fused together) and Partridge, who is part of an elite, “pure” society in a carefully controlled dome that is safe from radiation and other effects of the Detonations, but subject to mysterious experimentations that possibly take away one’s humanity. Both characters were likable and three-dimensional, and over time developed a real relationship for each other that wasn’t romantic, which is nice to see among YA’s “instalove” collection. Even minor characters were very well fleshed-out and I genuinely liked reading from everyone’s perspective and how it would bring the story to different places.
The best part by far, however, was the world-building. The Detonations were a science fiction expansion of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which is one of those morbidly interesting topics. Baggott is extremely skilled at developing her theories in several scenarios to make even the most unbelievable of things believable. Not to mention that it’s creepy! There is definitely some disturbing content, but it was all so very well done that I thoroughly enjoyed the being-creeped-out part. I also found it to be very neat, as in tidy, in that it’s organization and pacing held my interest until the end, at which point everything came to a (beyond) satisfactory conclusion. I was left wanting more, but NOT because of too many unanswered questions!
I really don’t know why I haven’t seen more about this book, because it is by far one of the best books I’ve come across since involving myself in the bookish world. It was fascinating, relevant, engaging and I just liked reading it without being distracted by annoying characters or “instalove.” I recommend it to anyone who enjoys dystopian, science fiction and a little bit of history, but is weary of reading something overdone, and most of all I recommend it to those who enjoy being told a good story. I feel that I can’t do Pure justice in words, but suffice it to say that I can tell it will always be a favorite of mine. 5/5 stars.
Review by Casey
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