Parents' Guide to

Pure

By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Gritty post-apocalyptic story with strong heroine.

Pure Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Nine years after the earth is devastated from an atomic blast, the remains of civilized society huddle under a dome that overlooks a wasteland. Those who live outside the Dome are horribly disfigured mutants who live on a hand-to-mouth existence. When Partridge Willux, the next-in-line for leadership of the Dome, escapes into the poisoned wasteland to look for his mother, he meets a young mutant girl named Pressia. Together, the two begin a journey that leads them to an unexpected destiny. Pure, the first is a series, is an amazing, imaginative novel with excellent world-building details and character development. Recommended for Ages 16-18, but will also appeal to adults with an interest in dystopian fiction and science fiction.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Brisk, detailed, and strangely compelling, Julianna Baggott's first book of the Pure trilogy combines grotesque images with strongly moral characters who feel real despite their dystopian setting. As teens, both Pressia Belze and Partridge Willux are questioning their identities and developing their values. Driven by their internal sense of right and wrong, they fight to both uncover their personal secrets and find some justice in the midst of an unfair division between the "pures" and the "wretches," or those who were protected from the devastating Detonations, and those who were not.

Baggott's writing is particularly lovely, evoking tender feelings, heightened emotions, and the brutal landscape of her imagination. Teen and adult readers will be spooked by the gruesome imagery, but fascinated, too. Readers can draw connections between the items fused to each character (such a as a doll head fused to a hand) and that individual's personality, as well as connections between the moral issues related to power and corruption and real-life politics and culture. Running throughout the story is the teen-friendly theme of accepting yourself and being proud of what makes you unique.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate