Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Pure, by Julianna Baggott

What's that?  More dystopia, you say?  Yes, please.

I was already sold on this novel's premise before I had it to hold.  This probably helped me get through a start that was slower than expected, but steady and vivid.

  • Fox has already purchased the movie rights to this puppy for a reason.  It's ripe moviefruit.
  • Though there is some horrifying imagery in there, making it a very dark offering for YA lit.  
  • Comparisons to The Hunger Games are inevitable, and valid -- there are countless correlations...
  • ...and like THG, the screen translation of the novel will no doubt disappoint some loyal fans.  But oh, may I entreat reader-viewers of either franchise to brace themselves for adaptations not depictions of the tales they have loved? (They want to sell tickets of YA-lit-inspired movies to Young Adults, after all -- so they can't go excluding the existing fanbase by making the final film too gruesome.)
  • The final quarter is thrilling; I suddenly found my stomach knotting with excitement, most often related to details within the setting I'd accepted but not embraced suddenly becoming the stars of the piece -- by the end I was completely infatuated with some of the motifs I'd only tolerated at the start.
  • It was refreshing to find romantic love is not the driving force of the narrative, nor is the romance therein made to match the current batch of starcrossed lovers that are springing up in dystopian fiction like page-weeds.
  • For some reason, it took me some time to wrap my head around present tense omniscience, but I settled in, and enjoyed my stay.  I've read this style before, but it felt like I was wearing new glasses for a while there.
  • I think Pure is best approached as Science Fiction with emphasis on the fiction, in respect to the details of this world.  True SF buffs are forgiving and readily suspend disbelief, but am I the only one observing a shift in the mainstream YA mass towards SF?  These (new) readers have expectations that can be unreasonable of the genre.  Had these teens read Asimov, Card or McMaster (I could go on, and on), they'd know some element of science and a human problem are the inspiration for the story, not the technical blueprint from which the author must not deviate.
  • Yeah, it is the first in a series.  I don't mind; I want to go back there.
Read what Super-Sarah had to say here.

P.S.  Reading this made me miss Daughter of Smoke and Bone -- both authors have built their worlds well, both stories would double as screenplays well, but Daughter's characters are wittier and more captivating. Miss. them.
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