Pure by Julianna Baggott
This dark dystopian tale will surely grab dystopian and SciFi fans. Although written originally for adults, Baggott speaks to the YA audience through her main characters and riveting storytelling. The duel settings of the story set the pace for what is to come. One is a wasteland, surviving after the Detonation that destroyed almost everything. The people who live here are often deformed–their bodies were fused to whatever they were holding when the devastation occurred. Our main character, Pressia has doll’s head in place of her right hand as she was six at the time and clinging to her favorite doll. The other setting in the book is the Dome, a high-tech protected area where the wealthy sat out the Detonation in relative safety. Naturally, the book’s other protagonist named Partridge is from the Dome, and is the son of a highly regarded scientist. Readers quickly learn that both environments have their drawbacks, but when Pressia and Partridge end up running into each other in the ruined city while he is searching for supposedly dead mother, the problems of this future world begin to take on new perspectives. Add to this the fact that it is nearly Pressia’s sixteenth birthday, when she must go into the army or become a fugitive.
This book has non-stop action as well as strong character development. Readers will appreciate another strong female protagonist, whose moral code is unwavering. I highly recommend this book to SciFi/dystopian fans, and readers who like the following series: Hunger Games, Divergent, The Uglies and Delirium.