Pure is Purely… Alright?

Blog, I must be kind of a big deal, because someone actually asked me to specifically review this book and then she sent it to me! This happens all the time for Real Live Book Bloggers, but usually from publishing houses and not from friends who read their blog. STILL. I’m basically famous.

Title: Pure

Author: Julianna Baggott

So here’s the scoop on this post-apocalyptic/dystopian tome. Once upon a time, everything was happy and people went to Disney and had 3D movie glasses (the red and blue kind) and kept their kids safe by putting tracking devices in them and everything was sunny. Then the Detonations came, and they were special bombs with Special Science in them that not only clouded up all the world from the sun (mostly) but also made anyone outside the Dome fuse to whatever they were near, living or dead, when the Detonations occurred. Mutants!

What is the Dome, you ask? Why, it’s the place where all the special people with the right connections went to avoid getting hurt / fused in the Detonations. Handy! Everything outside the Dome blows because basically you’re fending for yourself by eating mutant squirrels and hoping not to get eaten by other mutant people. Inside the Dome blows, too, because the government is super strict and turns its best soldiers into mutant fighting machines for fun. Also, everyone inside the Dome is called a Pure by the ‘people’ outside, some of whom (Dusts) are mostly dust and will probably eat you and others of whom are fused in groups (Groupies) and will probably eat you and others of whom (Pressia, one of the protags and narrator) have doll-heads for hands. Also, when you turn sixteen if you’re outside the Dome, the Dome calls you in to either train you to be a soldier if you aren’t too badly mutated, or if you’re super ugly they use you for target practice.

Mostly my opinions on this book are that it is too melodramatic, too long, and not compelling enough. What some people call “grotesque” (Pressia’s doll-head hand, Groupies, Dusts) I call eye-roll worthy, and over the top. I had a really hard time getting into it at all because there were just so many eye-roll worthy details that were just dripping with melodrama. Or Pressia’s buddy and future love interest, Bradwell, the boy with the birds in his back because he fused with a flock of birds.

And then there is Partridge, who uses his kind-of-friend, Lyda, to break out of the Dome. Lyda is interesting, Partridge is kind of a turd, and of course his dad is a big political figure in the Dome and when Partridge and Pressia meet you’re like OH WILL THEY BE IN LOVE? because you know, this is YA, but Partridge keeps thinking of Lyda, who he mostly just used for her connections and kissed once, so for a while you’re just like WHERE IS THE LOVE?

This is YA, but my friends, there is very little romance, and what romance there is feels incredibly forced. I found this disappointing, because a good cheesy romance can often save melodrama for me, but that was not the case here. Boring, like two kisses the WHOLE book, melodramatic, and way too long to be the first in a trilogy.

It does get more political than your average YA book, though, which I liked. Particularly the bits about feminism. After Twilight took us back quite a ways, it’s nice to see a book recognizing. I also kind of liked the multiple narrators, even though I usually don’t. I didn’t totally like it, but I didn’t hate it, and it kept things from being TOO boring, although, like I said, mostly this was a dull book.

I gave it 3 stars because I liked it okay, but I would not be compelled to continue with the series.

Coming up next: I will finally finish blogging about the books I read in 2011. (Oops.)


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