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Pure (The Pure Trilogy Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Julianna Baggott
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (262 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $7.59
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Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews Review

A Q&A Between Justin Cronin and Julianna Baggott

Justin Cronin is the author of The Passage.

Justin Cronin: As Pure opens up we meet a girl named Pressia, who has a doll-head fused to one hand and a crescent-shaped burn around one eye.  Where did this image and character come from?

Julianna Baggott: The doll-head fist first appeared in a series of strange, otherworldly short stories. At the same time, I wanted to write something really ambitious, large in scope with cinematic world-building. Not thinking of either of these things, I sat down one day and started writing a dreamy stream of consciousness from the perspective of a 16-year-old girl, hiding in an ashen cabinet in the back of a burnt-out barbershop. I then realized that this girl had a doll-head fused to her fist and that the landscape outside of this barbershop was that ambitious cinematic landscape I'd been longing to write. The two things knit together, and Pressia found her true home.

Justin Cronin: Pure presents a dystopian future after the "Detonations."  What is it about post-apocalyptic fiction that attracted you as a writer and strikes a particular chord with readers today?

Julianna Baggott: Pressia is someone who finds small moments of beauty even amid all of the destruction of this post-apocalyptic world. That was one of the challenges--creating a character who's capable of seeing beauty, who's resilient and tough, and still has hope. I think that our world right now feels precarious--economically and politically--and therefore readers might be drawn to fiction that reflects the necessary toughness that so many people are relying on to survive. But, too, readers might be drawn Pure because the teen years can feel post-apocalyptic, and, on that level, Pure reflects a kind of emotional honesty that feels real.  

Justin Cronin: In the world of Pure, who are the Pures and who are the Wretches?

Julianna Baggott: The novel opens with Pressia who has survived the Detonations and is therefore a Wretch. But we also get the perspective of Partridge who's survived the Detonations inside of a protective Dome; he's a Pure. He's always believed that his mother died a saint while trying to save people during the Detonations. When he finds that this might not be true, he escapes the Dome to find her. The two characters' lives are set on a collision course and become entwined in many twisted ways that make this book a thriller.

Justin Cronin: The cover of Pure includes a striking image of a blue butterfly. What does the butterfly symbolize?

Julianna Baggott: The novel will hopefully force readers to think about what it means to be truly pure--pure of heart. The blue butterfly can represent the Pures who, like Partridge, live in the protective Dome, much like the bell jar on the cover. But it can also represent a more personal purity--like that of Pressia and some of the wretches who struggle to live with their dignity and humanity intact. In the second book in the trilogy, the blue butterfly takes on a more literal meaning as well. Also, check out the back cover of the book. There you'll find a mechanical butterfly created by the artist Mike Libby, well known in steampunk circles. The mechanical butterfly exists in Pure as one of Pressia's creations.

Justin Cronin: What can you tell us about what's coming next for Pressia, Bradwell, and Partridge in the next installment, Fuse?

Julianna Baggott: I broaden the ravaged landscape. Some of the characters travel great distances. There are new creatures to contend with, as well as plot twists and turns within the Dome. (I absolutely love the new characters that we meet within the Dome--as well as the development of characters that readers only met briefly in Pure.)  In addition to a new mystery to be unraveled and power struggles, there are two love stories in Fuse that really take hold, go deep, and become much more complex.


"What lifts PURE from the glut of blood-spattered young adult fiction is not the story Baggott tells but the exquisite precision of her prose...discomfiting and unforgettable."—The New York Times Sunday Book Review

"Baggott's highly anticipated postapocalyptic horror 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

"A boiling and roiling glorious mosh-pit of a book, full of wonderful weirdness, tenderness, and wild suspense. If Katniss could jump out of her own book and pick a great friend, I think she'd find an excellent candidate in Pressia."—Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

"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...Breathtaking and frightening. I couldn't stop reading PURE."—Danielle Trussoni, bestselling author of Angelology

"PURE is not just the most extraordinary coming-of-age novel I've ever read, it is also a beautiful and savage metaphorical assessment of how all of us live in this present age. This is an important book."—Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

It's nearly impossible to stop reading as Baggott delves fearlessly into a grotesque and fascinating future populated by strangely endearing victims (and perpetrators) of a wholly unique apocalypse. And trust me, PURE packs one hell of an apocalypse."—Daniel H. Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse

Product Details

  • File Size: 702 KB
  • Print Length: 469 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (February 8, 2012)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,885 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird, Wonderful, Wild February 25, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This one's going to stay with me for a very long time. I already know this because the images from Pure by Julianna Baggott are seared into my mind--wildly disturbing, absorbing, imaginative, freakish. This is a dystopian unlike most others out there, and I'm hooked.

Pure is the story of almost sixteen year old Pressia, who has lived for the nine years since the world ending/changing Detonations with her grandfather in a small barbershop in what's left of America. Those who survived the Detonations were fused to whatever they happened to be touching at the moment the bright light exploded, so Pressia's right hand is now the head of the baby doll she was holding and her grandfather has a small fan stuck in his throat. The two have been foraging for their lives, knowing that when Pressia turns sixteen, the dreaded OSR soldiers will be coming for her (for whatever purpose they deem). It is this knowledge that leads Pressia to Bradwell, a fellow survivor with birds actually living in his back, and ultimately to El Capitan, an OSR officer whose younger brother has fused to him. Meanwhile, there are a select few who have survived unscathed--Pure--in the Dome; Partridge, son of one of the leaders, feels certain his mother survived the Detonations outside the Dome and he becomes determined to find her, even if it means leaving his sanctuary. All of these lives intersect, combine, and impact one another throughout the most vivid landscape and people I've read about in quite a while.

Pure is not without its faults; its present tense writing annoys and the improbability of people fusing to items as varied as animals, metal, plastic, and land kept nagging me. Still, if you put aside the illogic, this is a story whose characters are truly the stars.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nagging in the back of my mind November 28, 2012
By Travis
I did not enjoy Pure. Almost the entire time I was reading it I kept having a vague feeling that I'd already read this novel. I hadn't, but the ideas are so typical to this type of post-apocalyptic story that I just felt like nothing was new to me. I finally went and googled a book that I'd recalled reading maybe ten years ago and found "The Last Book in the Universe" which is of a similar vein to this story, maybe that is what was tickling my memory.

Spoiler at the bottom for the most messed up thing about this book.

Anyway, the story itself could be great because the "fuse" thing really is interesting. I feel the need to mention that one of the other reviewers on here says something about "What if the birds fused to the boy's back die?" But the author reveals pretty early on that all the animals fused to people will live until that person dies and vice versa, it will kill the people to cut those creatures off. I say 'could be great' because the pace kills this story. 479 pages later and you've made no real leap into the story at all. A few things happen that you've guessed will happen since about page 30, so that is nice. No real surprises in the story though, even the small twists and turns that come unexpectedly still give ample warning before anything actually happens with them. The reason why nothing happens? Because on this Amazon page it clearly states that this is part of Trilogy not yet written. I bought this as a paperback off the shelf at the local book store and nowhere on the back, front, or lead in pages to the first chapter does it say ANYTHING about this not being a standalone novel. There is no clue whatsoever that you aren't actually getting a full story.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just stay away. April 21, 2012
This is quite possibly the absolute worst book I have ever read. I've said that before, but I'm confident that this one takes the cake. Instead of reading this, go watch Total Recall 2070. It's a lot shorter and a better movie than this book was - and that is saying something.

This book is trying WAY too hard to be dark, gritty and awesome all at the same time. It only succeeded in being dark, disgusting, and weird. Also confusing - too many characters, too many different viewpoints being introduced at completely random times.

All of the characters read exactly the same - there is no way to distinguish them from any other character except for the mentions of their mutations. And mutations are mentioned constantly, to the point where it gets distracting and irritating. The scene that bothered me most was when the characters met "The Mothers," which are women with their babies, toddlers and children fused to their bodies. I felt like each new character was introduced with a grosser mutation, like it was some kind of weird contest where the author wanted to come up with the craziest things she could think of.

The thing is, I like dystopian novels. I love post-apocalyptic survival type books. I love sci-fi stories. This book was a disappointment to all those genres. I can say one nice thing about Pure: I couldn't stop thinking about it. Mostly because I was so angry about the whole thing, but there you go. It sticks with you like a terminal illness.

If you choose to read this book, be aware that in addition to the graphic-ness, there's also quite a lot of language/swearing. In my opinion, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. Or at least anyone under 16.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
With so many dystopian novels out there, this one was a refreshing change.
Published 2 days ago by Jen
5.0 out of 5 stars Gut Wrenching And Wonderful!
I can’t sugarcoat it; this book is disturbing. There is suffering described on such a brutal, raw level that it stays with you for a long time. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M Kircher
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh
I really wanted to like this book. I enjoy most of the dystopias, especially those with young adults and it seemed like a likely candidate for the start of a new series. Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. Palko
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and Gripping!
This book is extremely engaging. Fascinating idea for a book, the author describes a shocking reality. Loved it - I couldn't put it down! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Nicole07Ardsley
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good book. bought the 2nd of the trilogy. not read it yet. Overall "the world in the future".
Published 3 months ago by paula
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 4 months ago by Mousie
2.0 out of 5 stars really wanted to like this book
I really, really wanted to like this book. There is always a sense of defeat that I feel when I find myself unable to continue with a book. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Michael Tedesco
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best dystopian YA novel.
This book was difficult to get into. The opening was slow, first of all. I decided to keep going, and while the story got a little more interesting, I felt like all of the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Flynnad
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting addition to the genre
Pure by Julianna Baggott is a post apocalyptic-come-dystopian gem. I headed into it blind and with no expectations and found myself immediately drawn into this well-crafted world. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Julie B
4.0 out of 5 stars if you like dark meats futuristic
it was a bit stranger than i was prepared for but definitely a good read. there's not much lull time and a good, quick beach read.
Published 6 months ago by Julia K
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More About the Author

Critically acclaimed, bestselling author, Julianna Baggott -- who also writes under the pen names Bridget Asher (The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted) and N.E. Bode (The Anybodies) -- has published 17 books, including novels for adults, younger readers, and collections of poetry. Her latest novel, PURE, is the first of a trilogy; film rights have sold to Fox2000 -- Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Best American Poetry, Best Creative Nonfiction, Real Simple, on, as well as read on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" and "Here and Now." Her novels have been book-pick selections by People Magazine's summer reading, Washington Post book-of-the-week, a Booksense selection, a Boston Herald Book Club selection, and a Kirkus Best Books of the Year list. Her novels have been published in over 50 overseas editions. She's a professor in the Creative Writing Program at Florida State University and the founder of the nonprofit Kids in Need - Books in Deed. For more, visit

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