Jessi's Reviews > Pure

Pure by Julianna Baggott
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Mar 07, 2012

really liked it
Read from March 01 to 06, 2012 , read count: 2

The startling world that Julianna Baggott presents in her gripping post-apocalyptic novel pulled me in and refused to let go. It's the kind of world that truly makes you think about what today's world is capable of because the stark and startling reality is that we are capable of bringing about this type of alternate reality with the push of a button.

This potential for fiction to become reality is really what makes Ms. Baggott's world so mesmerizing--like a wreck that you can't look away from. For me, the best post-apocalyptic novels bring to light the potential for disaster that already exists in our world and this novel did just that. The potential for us to virtually destroy ourselves is an ever-present reality that we may forget on a daily basis. Pure reminds us that it could happen and this world could be the disastrous result. Ms. Baggott's world-building is truly excellent. It will pull you in and allow you to walk around in this fantasy world of Pures and wretches--to see the destruction of nuclear explosions and the world created in their wake.

Baggott's dual narrative threw me for a loop at first. I had trouble finding a rhythm with the switching POVs, but eventually I was so pulled into their stories that I couldn't put the book down. Watching their stories intersect and overlap made the initial disjoint completely worth it because I knew the characters as individuals before their lives intersected. I had a better understanding of the very different lives that each one led and that definitely contributed to my overall sympathy with the characters.

Now you may be wondering, who are these characters? First off we have Pressia--a "wretch" with a doll's head fused to one of her hands who lives outside the Dome with her grandfather. The best way to describe her is this: SURVIVOR. This girl is tough as nails. The connection that I felt with her character was instantaneous. I'm not sure why, but she truly pulled me into the story. Something in her character was simply irresistible. I found myself inside her head and fighting her battles. Partridge was a different story and it took me awhile to truly connect with him--to really figure out what his part was in the bigger scheme of things. His role became quickly apparent and as he developed I found him to be much more sympathetic that at first glance. He definitely revealed himself as a multi-faceted character later on in the novel.

I'm not sure what else to say about Pure at this point. It is a fabulously written adult crossover novel that will appeal to a wide audience. Those accustomed to reading YA post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels should easily fall into Ms. Baggott's world and characters, although the actual story pacing doesn't move as quickly as many YA novels. This book left me breathless and waiting on pins and needles to follow my characters on their continuing journey. I know I will be first in line to buy this book and its sequel when they are released on the world.
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