PURE by Juliana Baggott

I actually bought Pure for Middle Son and then borrowed it when I visited him recently. Cunning, eh? I say recently, but in fact I borrowed it quite a while ago, and it’s taken me all that time to read through it. I’m not sure why. It’s quite a big book, true, but I can finish a big book in a few days if it grips my imagination. Pure didn’t capture mine, and I’m struggling to think why.
   I’m not really giving any secrets away by saying that it’s post-apocalyptic and one of the features of the atomic-like blast that ended the world is that people became fused with whatever happened to be close to them at the time – sometimes other people, sometimes something inanimate. This sounds a splendid idea, but when you think about it, it’s full of holes. For a start, if you get blasted by something that has this fusing effect, you expect to fuse with more or less everything in your immediate vicinity, not one object, or one person, or one animal. I also didn’t see how the post-humans managed to exist. What did they eat, after a few years when to canned goods were gone. Nobody was doing any farming, that’s for sure, and even the Dome which apparently housed the favoured few who escaped the blast, wouldn’t have had the resources to feed the masses (even if its occupants wanted to). Finally, the way in which one family dominates the story (and I am giving away part of the plot here) just doesn’t ring true. There’s a definite hole in the plot towards the end, too, which doesn’t help things.
   The writing isn’t bad. Some of the descriptions are very good. Some of the dialogue is too. But overall I just wasn’t convinced by it all, and I found it rather disappointing.
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