Author: Julianne Baggott
Pub: 2012; Grand Central Publishing
I don't even know where to begin with this book. Hands down this is on my hit list for 2012.
I can't remember how I heard about it, but what grabbed my attention was the description of the narrator: a post apopclyptic world where bodies are mangled with whatever objects were closest, and in the case of Pressia, one hand is replaced with a child's doll.
How is that for creepy? And then somehow word spread that Pure was YA so I ended up being all hell to the yeah -drool-drool-must-read. But folks, lemme tell you, this book is NOT young adult. I mean, it's young adult in the way that Ender's Game gets marketed as young adult, but it's really much more of a gateway book, in my opinion.
This book is thick. And not just in the many pages, but in the details, and in the construction of this not so far away world. There are horrific scenes that left my tummy in knots and conspiracy theories within our government and details that just made me squirm. Because, without being much of a conspiracy theorist myself, part of me was all like I can see it.
There's this dome right and it's been built as a protection for any nuclear warfare. And then the detonators go off and not everyone makes it into the dome (were they ever really intended to?). Within that flash most individuals are decimated. Others, are worse off. (There's this scene where a man has been merged with a car engine). Some make it after their new attachments and adapt (Grandfather with the fan in his throat) others turn into mortifying creatures (Groupies - those who were merged with others; Dusts - those who formed with an actual part of the Earth) who no longer act human.
In the beginning, the people outside of the Dome believed that the Pures (those who remained unharmed because they were in the dome's safety) would come and help. When that doesn't happen, a self-created military police form recruiting sixteen year olds to build an army to take down the Dome.
Life in the Dome isn't as perfect as the Wretches (those outside) imagine either. Everything is very Brave New World in there. Food is capsules; children and teens get reprogramming for behavior and strength; the government in rule is God.
And then a Pure escapes. Or runs away from the Dome. Partridge's father is one of the heads of this new government but he feels unsettled, especially living in his brother's shadow - the brilliant one; the one that killed himself. Partridge also believes that the mother he was told died is actually a wretch, living outside of the Dome. In the hopes of finding her, he escapes.
Partridge meets Pressia and a unique pairing begins. But that's not the end of the characters and stories even though those two bring the characters together. Joined together we are faced with many questions about humanity and its potential.
This is not a warm fuzzy novel, but it's powerful and worth the read.