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Pure is a YA post-apocalyptic dystopian novel and the first in planned trilogy by Julianna Baggott.

Since the Detonations life has been different. Pressia, sixteen, barely remembers the Before. Her reality is the harsh world of rubble, ash, and annihilation. There are new species that have been born out of the chemicals and nuclear waste – new fusions of animals and humans – more ways to die.

She lives with her grandfather, her only surviving relative, in an old barbershop and sleeps in a cabinet. He helps the many with lost limbs fuse with something. That’s how Pressia’s lost hand became her favorite doll’s head.

But now that she’s sixteen, a brand new danger is beckoning. It’s the age that the militia, the group that semi took over in the bitterness and chaos that soon became the norm, takes the young to be trained to be soldiers. Or, if you can’t be a soldier because of a deformity, say having a doll’s head for a hand, become target practice for those who can.

Pressia realizes she must run to escape this inevitable horror…

The Dome is an enclosed habitat that preserved a select group of people that luckily were in there when the Detonations took place. They promised to help those that are outside the Dome one day, but people are still waiting.

Inside they are healthy, safe, and increasingly superior as their DNA undergoes coding to become faster, stronger, and more obedient. Outside of the Dome they are calles Pures.

Partridge is the son of one of top leaders inside the Dome, and instead of fortunate he feels suffocated. He and his father have never gelled, his brother committed suicide, and his mother never made it inside the Dome before the Detonations.

But when something happens to make him question one of those basic truths, he becomes determined to escape the Dome.

And when Partridge and Pressia cross paths both of those lives change forever…

Pure was quite something. It’s a freaky, creepy post-apocalyptic world outside the dome with various fusings that are incredibly disturbing and new, grotesque creatures that have emerged from the destruction and are more than deadly. It’s a wholly unfriendly world. It’s vivid and nightmarish.

Pressia, Partridge, and Bradwell (a character that you’ll meet early on in Pure) are adventurers, survivors, rebellious, and desperate – a ragtag team looking for answers. This story is very dark and interesting. It switches viewpoints often and provides depth and additional detail as it goes along. The mystery is deep and involving and I think Julianna Baggott did an exceptional job of mapping out an powerfully unsettling world for the imagination, while also creating characters you grow to care for.

Pure is a suspenseful, nerve-wracking, dystopian tale of control and disorder, lies and deceit, and ever faint, but always strong, hope of freedom and happiness. It’s memorably weird and disquieting, concocted from the highly creative mind of the author – almost dreamlike, surreal. I was along for the ride as it constantly twisted and turned – what a unique, forceful, rousing, exciting, unforgettable novel!

I would recommend everyone read Pure, but I see it as an excellent choice especially for fans of books like Lois Lowry’s The Giver , Caragh M. O'Brien's Birthmarked, Mary E. Pearson's Jenna Fox Chronicles, and Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games.

I want to read the next books in the trilogy for sure – no question about it! Wowza!


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