Pure, by Julianna Baggott, is my new favorite post-apocalyptic novel. At first, the horrific descriptions of the people are off-putting. The detonations have fused objects into the people so that their appearance is no longer completely human–they are not Pure. Then you get to know the characters. Pressia is the main character. She has just reached an age when she is supposed to turn herself over to the military for training–as a live target. Instead, she goes on the run. She meets other characters with damaged, tortured bodies. Almost all of these characters, though, have good inside. Don’t get me wrong, these are complex characters. They aren’t all love and sunshine.
Then there are the Pure. These are people who live in the Dome and were protected from the explosions. Their bodies are pure, but their intentions are not. Again, you meet complex characters in a complex world. All is not well in the Dome, either. Partridge’s father is an influential man in the Dome. He feels isolated–his father is super busy, his brother is dead, and his mother lost outside the Dome during the blast. Then someone suggests his mother is still alive. Partridge breaks the law and leaves the Dome to find her. He meets Pressia and worlds collide.
This is a fantastic story you will want to read in one sitting. It will have you crying and cheering as you root for the most unlikely characters.