Pure by Julianna Baggott tells the story of two groups of people struggling to survive after a series of nuclear detonations ruins the Earth - those living in the protection of "the dome", and those outside it. For Pressia, life outside the dome is harsh. On the run from the militia, she must attempt to survive in a world which has been turned to dust, ash and mutilated bodies. Partridge, on the other hand, is a "Pure," one of those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. When Partridge discovers that his mother may still be alive outside the dome, he struggles to escape so that he can find her. As the story progresses, Pressia and Partridge's worlds collide in a way that they never would have expected...
After gorging myself with so much dystopian fiction over the past year (some great, some terrible), I picked up Pure with a little bit of hesitation. Part of me was worried that this would be yet another dystopian novel that failed to captivate me. As I began reading, however, I soon discovered that Pure was far from being boring, it was excellent! Pure was full of action and adventure, and contained a unique world that kept my imagination reeling!
Despite its monstrosity and horror, the dystopian world which Julianna Baggott brought to life in Pure was breathtaking and fantastic! I loved the creepy and grotesque visuals she created through the idea of fusion, which plagues the people living outside of the dome. During a series of nuclear detonations, those living outside the dome were fused to objects and creatures that they happened to be standing near at the time. For example, the character of Bradwell now lives with birds fused to his back, and Pressia's grandfather survives with a fan fused to his throat.
While the idea of fusion in the story allows for a unique cast of characters, it also adds a sense of horror to the novel. Some of the fused creatures in Pure caused me to shudder at times, as my imagination painted monstrous visuals in my mind. The creatures known as "Dusts," for example, were especially terrifying, causing me to squirm every time they popped up in the book. If Pure were to ever become a movie, I'm sure I would be jumping out of my seat in terror on more then one occasion!
One of the greatest things that Pure has going for it, however, is its ability to appeal to a wide audience. While Pure is shelved as adult fiction, it would easily be devoured and loved by those who prefer to read YA. Baggott's focus on teen characters mixed with her flowing prose makes it the perfect crossover book for young adults looking to make their way into adult fiction, or adults wanting to experiment with YA books. So, if you've been hesitant about giving teen fiction a try, or have been worried about picking up an adult novel, then pick up a copy of Pure to get a taste of both!
Rating: 4 Stars
Recommended to: Fans of dystopians!