Copy received courtesy of Grand Central Publishing.
In a year where post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels seem to dominate YA fiction, Julianna Baggott’s latest novel, Pure, is prominent among the subgenre. Laden with haunting imagery, powerful prose, and well-written characters, Pure is sure to win the hearts of teenagers and adults alike.
Pure is told from multiple points of view, but focuses primarily on Pressia Belze and Partridge Willux. Pressia does not remember much from her life during the Before, try as she may. Now, after the Detonations ravaged the earth and everyone has permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies as a reminder of that terrible day, Pressia only wishes to pretend to be invisible from the horrors that surround her. However, as she approaches the age when everyone is required to turn themselves over the militia, a possible death sentence for Pressia, she knows that she can no longer pretend. She must go on the run.
There are those, however, who escaped the Detonations unharmed; secured safely inside the Dome that protects their vigorous, superior bodies. In spite of this, Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels different, lonely, and isolated. Whether it be because of his loss—his brother killed himself; his father is emotionally distant; and his mother died outside of the Dome—or his claustrophobia at the Dome’s rigid order, Partridge is unsure as to the root of his feelings. When a slipped phrase suggests that his mother might still be alive, Partridge leaves the Dome, and risks his life to find her.
Neither Pressia nor Partridge realize what awaits them when they meet each other.
Fans of darker dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels, such as The Hunger Games, will devour Pure with reckless abandon. Baggott does not attempt to sugarcoat the chilling world she has created, possibly rendering Pure unreadable to squeamish readers. Baggott’s brutally honest description, characterization, and plot all lend themselves to make Pure a haunting, fascinating world that will horrify readers. Yet, they will find themselves unable to escape Pressia and Partridge’s gloomy reality, no matter how much they may want to. Baggott’s evocative imagery will give readers a clear picture of Pressia’s world, as well as the individuals who surround her.
Each character has a unique, albeit horrible, story to tell, leaving readers feeling empathetic and emotionally connected to the characters that are introduced. It may take readers longer to connect with Partridge than Pressia, as Baggott’s superb writing allows for readers to adopt the same prejudices that Pressia possesses towards Pures. However, once readers delve further into Pure, they will find a connection with most, if not all, of the main characters. The plot flows well; all of the narratives that are introduced strengthens and adds depth to the storyline. Baggott leaves just enough questions unanswered, easily paving the way for Fuse, the next installment in the series.
Pure will be released on February 8, 2012. For more information, visit Julianna Baggott’s website, or follow her on Twitter.