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Review: Pure by Baggott

By Julianna Baggott
Out: 2/12
Review Copy: tour
Stars: 4.5 out of 5

Super short booktalk: In the future, after deadly bombs have laid waste to all of civilization there is a society of survivors living in a dome. In the wastelands, there are survivors as well. They are mutated, and waiting to be "saved" by the folks in the dome.
One young man, in the dome, has just learned that his mother may be alive and living in the wastelands. He wants his mommy, even if he has to bring the entire world crashing down to get to her.

Okay I can't say this is one of the best dystopians of 2011 because it does not come out until 2012, but believe me, it's a winner.
All of the elements are right-the geography, the society (both in the dome and out), and the creatures, oh, the terrifying creatures. Horror fans will be pleased as well. The characters are drawn so well, they come to life. I felt a connection with all of them.
The story is told in alternating POVs, each chapter lets the reader in on more that is going on. In this way, the reader has a complete view of the situation without having one character's POV to depend on. I especially liked Lyda. At first, I did not understand the point of remaining with her character after her big moment, but I think I understood dome life more through her experiences than the early ones with Partridge.

Pure is an adult novel that will appeal to the YA crowd. It's strengths are in the images. Holy cow, there are things in this story that I will never, ever forget. The battle scenes are really exciting too. Please, please do not make this into a movie. My favorite character is El Capitan, and there is no way Hollywood will get him right.(Did we not learn from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's Zaphod Beeblebrox?) Pressia, I am afraid, may come off as hokey too. Just, please, read this and allow your imagination do the work.
Two tiny gripes: there are many instances of coincidental savings. Too many in fact. Any time someone is truly in peril, someone miraculously shows up to help. Because of that, many of the characters did not get a chance to prove themselves as kick ass as they really are.
Another gripe is the tagline on the back of the arc (not the author's fault, of course)!
In 2008 there was the Hunger Games, in 2010 The Passage, in 2012 it will be: Pure.
To me, these books are apples and oranges. Honestly, I thought The Passage was best used as a door stop, and every book this year has been compared to the Hunger Games.
Book pairings: I was overcome with a feeling of connection between Pure and McCammon's Swan Song (which is in my top ten list of books-EVER), not just because of the swan references, but for many reasons. I would also pair it with The Stand.
It is a must read.


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