Burn Bright Book Club: Pure by Julianna Baggott

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

We will, one day, emerge from the Dome to join you in peace.

For now, we watch from afar, benevolently.”

Pure by Julianna Baggott

Paperback, 416 pages

Publication: February 14 2012

Hachette Australia

ISBN 9780755385485



I was handed the ARC (advance reader copy) of Pure and along with it came the media release and a promo card. The above quote is on the card. With a raised eyebrow I thought, ‘Hmm this quote can’t be good.’

So I moved on to my first impressions of the book in anticipation of getting to the story.

The book, because it is in its arc form, is void of artwork, and what you would initially view as boring. The title is in a gloss white where the rest of the cover is a matt, stark, bright white.  However, after finishing the book with the plain white cover, I think it pretty much says it all. Now that the book has been published, there is a white cover like the ARC and a black one in the same style.

I’m not sure if it’s the heat, or if it’s just the long hours of reading, but my finger prints are now marring the cover. It just seems fitting that I leave a mark on the book that has well and truly left a mark on me.


I was blindsided by the tragic circumstances the characters were left in and really disturbed by the awful things that happen to some of the others.


Partridge. He’s searching for family and seeking the truth. He also has a heart in a heartless environment… this made me like him the most.

Least Favourite

El Capitan. He’s morally corrupt and makes me sick.


In the opening scene we are with Pressia, after the detonations, as the propaganda papers (with the above quote on them) are dropped on the shattered, charred remains of the closest town to the Dome.  The Dome is where the ‘Pure’ people sheltered against the bombs; where they avoided the horrific fates of those outside.

For those unlucky enough to be left to fend for themselves in the fallout from the bombs, fusing their bodies to whatever they were touching, be it buildings, pavement, car engines or children, or in Pressia’s case her doll, survival becomes their only concern.


It has been ten or so years since the detonations and Partridge, the ‘Pure’ son of the mastermind behind the Dome, escapes to the outside in pursuit of his mother, whom he believes managed to survive the bombs. He is joined on his crusade by Pressia and Bradwell; Perssia, to save the life of her grandfather, Bradwell, to learn the truth.


After how book one ended I don’t think I can put myself through reading book two.


I am still processing the emotions Pure has stirred in me, months later. I am horrified by the deformities of the survivors, by the struggle for survival. I am sickened by the emotional supremacy of the Dome residents and I was angered at the possibilities of something like this happening in reality.

The sentiment that has stayed with me is you need ugliness to be able to appreciate beauty.

Please don’t be put off by my precious emotional state. This is an extraordinary saga. Brilliantly written and it is all consuming. The film rights sold to Fox even before the book’s release, this really does speak volumes about the hope many people have for the future of Baggott’s career.

The heart of this story will beat with the convictions of its readers.


“With a bow tie, anything is possible.” ~ Partridge

http://pure-book.com/ and  www.puretrilogy.com.au

For more information on the Fox deal http://io9.com/5694604/another-dystopian-ya-trilogy-gets-a-half+million-dollar-book-contract-plus-a-movie-deal



At first I was unsure what I thought about the cover, but after finishing the story I think it’s a perfect fit. I like the butterfly in front of the Dome. I am unsure if all countries have a similar cover as the U.S. The U.S. Cover is black with the Dome represented in the background as a glass bubble. You can see the reflection of masses of dirty air swirling and the beautiful blue butterfly up front. All of these symbols are relevant to the book and I think it’s a good match.



I’m not exactly sure if she counts as one, but my favorite character is Partridge’s mother. Although she is not actually a prominent actual character in the book, we get to learn a lot about her and how she lived her life, through stories told by Partridge and others on the outside of the dome. She seems like a very unselfish, strong and determined woman. But I also felt the same way about Bradwell who is an actual physical character, so I suppose they are both my favorites.

Least Favorite

I would have to say the group of the OSR and their leader. They gather up the children that have reached the age of 16 and teach them to fight and use weapons. They disgusted me, and I did not like their reasoning or their actions.


Pressia lives with her grandfather. They are survivors of detonations that destroyed most of the world 10 years ago. Pressia is one of those deformed by the fire and radiation. They live outside the Dome, while tucked away safe and sound inside the Dome are the Pures, a select group who escaped the explosions unharmed. Partridge is a Pure who’s father is one of the highest in command in the Dome. For those outside the Dome, life is hard and food is scarce. As Pressia nears her 16th birthday she finds her name on the OSR (military) draft list. She must hide, run or be taken in where she will be forced to kill, or used for target practice. The beginning of this story is told from their alternating perspectives.


As Pressia runs for her life from the OSR, Partridge is searching for the secrets to his past. Their paths cross and their journey has them discovering more about themselves and the world they live in.


The ending; everything was leading up to this ending. I think that I am definitely going to continue reading this series, although it’s dark and gritty and harsh. It shows us a world that has been seriously damaged by war, new technology and the effects it can have on a society. Although this is a work of fiction and I don’t see a Dome in our future, the stories and relationships between the people, their coping with the hardships and devastation is something to think about. I am always up for a good, dark story that will get me thinking.


Although I did not love the 2 main characters in the book and I felt that some of the events fell into place a little too easily, I still loved this book. I found that the research that went into it impressive. It is being marketed in the U.S. as a Teen/Adult crossover book, it has some very gruesome and dark subject matter. Everybody that reads this story is going to take away something different from it. I thought it was very unique and thought-provoking.


“I remember the ugliness is what makes the beautiful things beautiful….—one can’t truly exist without the other.”

“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.”



On the cover you see a beautiful blue butterfly, and some weird brown dome shaped thing. First looking at it, it might be a bit confusing as to why these two (very different) things are put together. In the story, the Dome represents purity, and cleanliness. Before the Apocalypse hit, people escaped into this Dome where nothing could harm them. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough room or time to fit everyone in, and some were left to survive outside.

The butterfly represents the main character. Throughout the story she builds these butterfly toys out of various junk she can find, and sells them, so she can buy food for her and her grandpa. I love the cover, and I cant wait to see what the other books will look like!


In Pure I didn’t really have any problems with any of the characters! They all seemed pretty interesting, and unique!


Even though I’m usually all for the strong female character, sticking up for herself, I really liked Partridge! He is a Pure who lives in the Dome and survived the Apocalypse with not even a scratch. At the beginning of the story you learn more about how his brother “committed suicide” (as far as we know), and how his dad is a big fat jerk!

You also find out, they Partridge has lost his mother. While he, his brother and his dad made it into the Dome just  in time, his mother wasn’t so lucky. Deciding to search for his mother, Partridge escapes the Dome (which has never happened before) and goes on his hunt.

Least Favorite:

Again, I didn’t really have any problem, with any of the characters. But I did think Partridge’s dad was the worlds biggest jerk. But we don’t really get to read or know a lot about him, so maybe that will change in the next book.


In the beginning of Pure, you find out how society works outside of the Dome, where the main character, Pressia, and her grandpa live. When you turn 16, the soldiers hunt you down, get you, and take you somewhere else; away from your family and loved ones. Pressia is turning 16 in the matter of hours, and already has a hiding spot, and escape route planned for when they come to pick her up. I’m usually not interested in futuristic books, this I admit caught my attention!

Story Line:

While Pressia is running away from something, Partridge is running to something. Throughout the story they bump into each other, and actually start working together. There are a lot of interesting things you find out in the middle of Pure, but I really don’t want to spoil things! I’ll I will say is, my jaw dropped to the floor, and I had to read the page three times over! I couldn’t believe it!


Pure is the beginning to a series (I’m not sure how many books), so it does end in a bit of a cliff hanger. Not too bad of one, where you get angry, but a really good one, where you’re just determined to get the second book once it comes out 🙂

Overall Thoughts:

I usually don’t like books in this genre, but the beginning, as I said earlier, really caught my attention! I ended up loving it, and I cant wait to see what happens to Pressia and Partridge 🙂

  • Wow, you all have such different impressions of Pure, but I can tell that it’ll be one that I’d enjoy. I tend to fall for books that are dark and edgy and can shock me to my core. Lead females who are strong always have my vote, too.

    The cover of Pure is eye-catching because there’s not a lot going on, but according to what you’ve shared of the story, it seems to be the kind of cover one doesn’t fully appreciate until the story has been read.

    Thank you Belinda, Krista, and Lisa for sharing your thoughts on Pure. I cannot wait to meet Partridge and Pressia!

  • mdepierres

    Thanks so much for your comment Candy. We loved hearing from you.

  • Ruby Replogle

    Pure in Australia has the second cover – and i have also seen it in black. First, WOW! that the Film Rights have already been sold! thats crazy. Second, very different points of view are in this review, but i think they all agree this is a wonderful book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, this is definetly going on my books-to-buy list 🙂

  • Kay

    Reading Pure sent my emotions in a spin. I found it to be frightening, brutal, honestly I really don’t know what to say about it. With that being said though it was written wonderfully and it stays with you. Itjust stirred emotions in me that I do not want to feel again.

  • I couldn’t agree with you more Kay. Pure is one of those books that will definitely stick with you. There were parts that were hard to read. Hard to imagine a world so dark.
    It is by far one of my favorite books this year, I love getting a little eye opening aspects and thought provoking ideas.
    Thanks for stopping by and showing some comment love!

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