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Pure  By  cover art

Pure

By: Julianna Baggott
Narrated by: Khristine Hvam,Joshua Swanson,Kevin T. Collins,Casey Holloway
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Publisher's Summary

Julianna Baggott presents her beautifully written, riveting, breakout novel, Pure, the first volume in her new post-apocalypse thriller trilogy.

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters...

Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost - how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers...to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.

Burn a Pure and breathe the ash...

There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.

When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

©2012 Julianna Baggott (P)2012 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Baggott's highly anticipated postapocalyptic horror novel...is a fascinating mix of stark, oppressive authoritarianism and grotesque anarchy...Baggott mixes brutality, occasional wry humor, and strong dialogue into an exemplar of the subgenre." ( Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review)
"A great gorgeous whirlwind of a novel, boundless in its imagination. You will be swept away." (Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of The Passage)
" Pure is a dark adventure that is both startling and addictive at once. Pressia Belze is one part manga heroine and one part post-apocalyptic Alice, stranded in a surreal Wonderland where everyone and everything resonates with what has been lost. Breathtaking and frightening. I couldn't stop reading Pure." (Danielle Trussoni, bestselling author of Angelology)

What listeners say about Pure

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Gruesome

This is not one for the faint of heart, especially if you have a good imagination. The imagery is gruesome and disturbing, the circumstances horrid. Personally, I can't really say I enjoyed this book, but that doesn't mean it's not worth a read. It's a little different than the usual YA distopian novels since the catastrophe preceding the events in the book was manufactured and the ensuing events had little to do with saving society at large. There were one or two places where the author went a little too far in my opinion and risked credibility, but the story didn't dwell on these things and the fact that it kept moving keeps the reader engaged.

Refreshingly for a YA novel, Baggott did not dwell on romance. Yes, there is some, but it's not the focus of the story. You get the feeling that Baggott wanted to spend more time focusing on what could happen if the wrong people have too much power and much too much knowledge. She does this without becoming preachy which is a huge plus. She's simply telling a story about what might be.

Someone else's review mentioned that it was a little heavy on the sci fi side and that's fairly accurate. It's just that other side of the line between fantasy and science fiction since there's a lot of science and medically based plot motivators.

All in all, I won't personally be listening to the sequels because the plot didn't grab me enough to override my aversion to the imagery, but that's not to say that it was a bad book, simply that it wasn't really my thing. If you like dystopian YA and have the stomach for it, you might love this book.

Narration: All of the characters were well narrated and well matched to the book.

22 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Pure Surprise

Unbelievably, a while ago Audio was selling this book on a discount list. I bought it just to keep in my library if I ever found myself short on listening material. Now that the sequel has come out, “Fuse,” I decided to give the first book a listen, and maybe it was the discounted price but I was pleasantly surprised.
Billed as a YA book, to me, it has more of a sci-fi adventure feel, even though it did have some but not the usual overwhelming amount of teenage romance that is usually associated with such genre, as detonated super-bombs containing nanobot technology changes the face of the world. The post-apocalyptic result is a dystopian society separated into two groups: those affected by the bombs, and those who were protected by a dome.
I thought the descriptive graphic writing from Julianna Baggott was exceptional, if not a little dark, as she describes in great detail the twisted and deformed bodies of the survivors living outside of the dome. The title “Pure,” refers to the lucky ones living inside of the dome that remain physically pure.
The story follows Pressia, a young teenage girl, as she struggles to survive in this twisted new world, and a young man, Partridge, who is in search of some answers and wants to know how life is beyond the constricted confines of the dome.
I thought the ensemble of readers gave the narrative depth, but the audio performance might have been as good with one talented narrator.
I’m using a credit for the sequel.

16 people found this helpful

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Don't want to wait for book 2!

If you could sum up Pure in three words, what would they be?

Gritty, Intelligent, Original

What other book might you compare Pure to and why?

I'll compare it to The Hunger Games & The Running Man.

This book managed to set up a similar type of incredibly detailed and "over the top" world like both of those books did, but it did so in a way that kept everything grounded in a very gritty and realistic sense. In other words, with The Hunger Games & The Running Man, the setting is so far "out there" that it was difficult (if not impossible...) for me to forget that I was reading a work of complete fiction. However with Pure, I almost felt as though I had been granted some private glimpse into the future of this world, and then had to remind that myself this was complete fiction.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Nope...not that I'm aware of anyways... It was well done... maybe not as good as I expected with there being four of them and all, but it was definitely one of the better narrations I've heard.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I'm not quite sure, but I REALLY hope they do make a movie of it!!! So long as they keep the movie every bit as realistic and visceral as the book.
(read: Rated R, not a sissy PG-13 teenie-bopper interpretation like hunger games....)

7 people found this helpful

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Mixed Feelings About this Story

I rated this book a "3" because I am on the fence about it. I've read several other YA dystopian series and this seems to be just one of a trend and not the best of the trend by any means. While some of the ideas in Pure were fresh and original, I thought the story really dragged in places and didn't always do justice to the ideas behind the story. I almost stopped listening several times because I just didn't feel compelled to find out what happened to the characters - and that is quite a contrast to other books in this genre where I can't stop listening because I want to know what happens next. It was a bumpy ride for me to get to the end of the book. I found the constant switch between different characters and narrators disruptive at times. Even though I knew it was only the first of a series when I started it, I don't know if I'll get the second book or not. I just didn't care that much about the characters or what happens to them. Yawn.

5 people found this helpful

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Fantastic YA Dystopian

So this is steampunk!

PURE was exactly the right book at exactly the right time. I had just come off of a string of heavy, serious books, and I needed a little YA "pallet cleanser" and this was great!

Don't get me wrong, "clean" is not a word I would use to describe PURE. In fact, this is one of the grittiest books I have read in this genre. Extremely visual, PURE transports readers to a dystopian world unlike anything I have ever read before. It's dark. It's raw. It's tough. And so is our girl, Pressia.

Completely original, with twists and turns readers won't see coming, this is a must-read.

A note on the audio production: It was very well done. I was a bit worried that having FOUR narrators was going to be more of a dramatic reproduction, like a radio play, rather than a novel. It was not. Each narrator took on a character's perspective, reading their chapters. The only time this got a little kooky was when Pressia was talking to Bradwell and then Partridge was talking to Bradwell, they each had their own "voice" for Bradwell. (does that make sense?) It did not take me long to get used to this, as there is not a huge cast of characters, so the writing kept the character straight for me instead of the narrators.

I'm really looking forward to diving into the next book in the trilogy, FUSE.

If you're a fan of dystopian YA like The Hunger Games, Ashfall, Legend, Blood Red Road, or Divergent, you must add PURE to your bookshelf.

4 people found this helpful

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I loved this book!

Any additional comments?

A really neat take on a post-apocalyptic North America. Interesting for teens and adults alike. The author does a great job making you feel for the characters and their 'fusings'. It kept me interested the whole way through and I am looking forward to the sequel!

3 people found this helpful

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Incredibly original

Any additional comments?

Author's descriptions are vivid and make it easy to imagine living in her world. It will be a long wait until book 2. I loved it.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good story, if a bit sporadic

Really enjoyed this series. Quality writing and character building that makes them feel close which makes it all the more upsetting when they start to do things completely out of character and making choices and decisions that are completely contradictory with everything that has been built up to that point. The inner dialogue seems to switch up like a schizophrenic. I feel like it might be worth a listen depending on your taste but i honestly wouldnt suggest it to someone myself, not with all the great work out there from other authors. especially because of the end of the series (or lack of one). I gave it 4 stars because i enjoyed it in spite of all the switching up (including at the start somehow disregarding all the build up and establishment of a solid relationship and choosing to do it all over again in this book which seemed like a bit of lazy writing) and the idea was fresh and put a whole new spin and perspective on the whole 'dystopian fiction' that we've seen alot of.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Good premise but dull characters and depressing

I like the premise a lot but nobody is happy in this book--nobody. And nobody has a true crazy passion. A lot have curiosity or numbed resistance but even when people succeed in this novel, no joy is felt--and it all translates to the reader so I just did not enjoy this much. I know that sounds silly but it makes it very hard to care about the characters and their actions when even they do not seem to care too much and the book falls apart from there.

The characters could have been developed a lot better and in some cases seem like they were picked out of a stereotype vault.

The writing is OK and has moments of beauty but needs a lot of work. Pace is too slow at times it needs to be fast and then too fast when it needsto be slow and misses opportunities to develop plot and characters more.

With the whole post-nuclear thing, the author did do a great job of painting the world and its people but forgot to paint in any potential joy or hope so eventually you just want to get the hell out of there and leave those depressed mutants behind.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too much science fiction

I didn't love this book. I love Fantasy, Dystopia and Supernatural, but this was a bit too much science fiction for me. The concept is a typical dystopian story (there's an evil "head" of the world who treats the rest of the world like crap). However, the characters and their background are far different from other stories, which leads to an interesting story. The concept of "fusing", presented early on, is unique and conjures up interesting images in my head.

I'm not yet 100% sure I'll read part 2 due to the strong science fiction aspect, but give it a read and decide for yourself.

Narration: This is the first book I've listened to that has four narrators. I love this style. It's so much easier for characters to develop their unique personalities. Plus, I really love Khristine Hvam ("Iron Fey" Series) and Kevin T. Collins ("Beautiful Creatures" series). All audio books should follow this example.

2 people found this helpful