Saturday, July 7, 2012

Curmudgeon's Corner: Copycat plots and Review of Pure by Julianna Baggott

Well, gang, you guys did it. Actually, the followers numbers just blew me away yesterday. I thought it would take longer to get to over 100! So you are definitely getting the 100+ followers giveaway, which will starts NOW along with Shawn Keenan's giveaway of The Intern's Tale. Watch for his interview on Monday!

So now for the topic of the day... This is the book I saw Jessi from Reading in the Corner reading when I met her at the Lauren Oliver event months ago. I asked her about it, and she said I had to read it. So I put it on my list and finally got to it. I didn't like it as much as she did, but I can see why she did. I'm going to put some major spoilers in this post (I don't do that in my other public reviews, but there are certain things about this book that I had huge issues with and want to talk about!)

Pure (Pure, #1)
Rating: 3/5 stars

Pure by Julianna Baggott follows several characters, but the main trio is composed of Pressia, Bradwell, and Partridge in their journey in a post-apocalyptic YA tale. The setup is pretty horrific-- we have humans that have been fused to other humans, animals, plants, and inanimate objects. In fact, Pressia has a fused doll's head instead of a hand. Each of these protagonists come from different backgrounds, but band together to figure out the truth behind their world and themselves.

I can see why my friend liked it. The author has great creativity. I cringed at a lot of the descriptions. The characters overall were likeable and compelling, my favorite being the very complex and twisted character of El Capitan. There are moments of beauty in the prose and each chapter feels very complete.

That said, there are a few reasons I decided to give it three stars. First, is my issue with the science. If this was a grotesque fantasy world with no real world reason to back it up, fine. But I can't wrap around an atomic bomb causing everyone to fuse to something else but either completely losing their humanity or staying separate entities, just fused together (for example, a mother fused to the baby, both were alive, separate entities like Siamese twins). I tried to suspend my belief, but I struggled through most of the book because of this. Second, the book dragged a lot. Even though this is a horrific world, and our characters get attacked pretty frequently, the actual plot can be honed down to a few paragraphs. And the plot-- it's unfortunate, but this story is Star Wars in a dystopian YA. I could match up all the characters and plot lines and could sometimes hear the Darth Vader tune in the background. SPOILERS ALERT! So get this as a plot. There is a REALLY evil guy (Darth Vader) who has a son who is good and is the hero of the piece (Luke Skywalker), who goes out exploring and finds a half sister he never had (Leia anyone??) and she falls in love with a guy who sounds suspiciously like Han Solo (except with birds fused to his back).

Overall, because of some great characters and creative world building, I can see how this book appealed to some readers, but unfortunately for me, because of the aforementioned issues, it never completely won me over.

Vote on my Amazon review: Pure by Julianna Baggott

I don't mind some overlap of story lines-- in this day and age, it's really hard to be completely original, but it was just too much for me!

How do you feel about copycat plots?


  1. Commented over at Amazon and can't find your post on the Intern's Tale here so I'll comment on Pure. Glad you posted it because I won't read it now. Doesn't sound like my kind of book.


  2. Any blog post should do :-) The official interview of Intern's Tale will be Monday! Tune in! Thanks so much for entering!

  3. First option said to comment about the interview but I think it's not published yet?
    Anyway, I would love to have a physical copy of Insurgent. I read the ebook and having the actual book would really be awesome. <3

  4. Oops! I see the confusion now. I changed it and will change it back on Monday. Thanks for entering!!!

  5. I would like to thank you for such a fantastic giveaway, and an oportunity of reading such brilliant books! I always love to read your reviews on amazon as they are so insightful and interesting, and i understand the importance of helping to promote an authors work as much as possible. I would love to be able to read & review one of the above, thank you x

    Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk
    GFC follower - lfountain1

  6. Congrats on the followers, dear!

    I laughed a little when I saw your review of Pure mostly because I knew after reading your review of Partials that you probably wouldn't like this one, and I forgot I recommended it to you! See, here's another case of my not knowing/caring enough about science. I definitely do agree with you on the pacing. The first time that I read it, it took me a really long time to get into the story. Also, I didn't see the Star Wars comparison until you mentioned it! It'll be interesting to see where she takes the trilogy. You can berate me for bad recommendations at the event on Monday. ;-)

    1. HAHAHAH! Thanks so much, girl. No, I'm glad you recommended it because I totally enjoyed reading it (I love ranting as much as recommending books!)-- because like I said before, it totally has strong points! Thanks for following my blog-- you've helped me so much! Can't wait to see you Monday.

  7. Wow, congrats on the followers! Great giveaway!
    Thanks so much!

  8. Congrats on the followers. Love your reviews!

  9. New follower here.
    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  10. Congrats on the followers and thanks for the giveaway!

  11. Congrats and thanks for the great giveaway!

  12. A copycat plot is one of the most disappointing things in my opinion. I hate when I'm not even halfway done and I already know what's going to happen.

  13. Your review of Pure was most interesting, as it has such an unusual and origonal storyline for this genre - i was facinated. It will certainly be something to look out for as something quite different, and thank you for your honesty. I personally feel that an authors 'plot' should not be copied as it is their own work, hence the writer would be lacking in origonality if they did that.

  14. Star Wars Pureness you say? :D Must read this, besides it's lack of originality! :D

  15. I started reading Pure but quickly lost interest. I've read the same type of story before too, and done much better.

  16. I want to read ,,Pure" but I'm a little bit disappointed because of not original plot. But on the other hand... I like Star Wars so maybe it wouldn't be so bad ;)
    I'm reading a lot of books, especially YA, so I know that ,,pain of copycat plot", for example ,,Hush hush", ,,Fallen" and like-Twilight books.
    Sometimes it's fine to read something ,,light" and predictable but of course I appreciate original plot, especially, as you said, it's hard to be original nowadays.

  17. THANK YOU! I wasn't a big fan of this book (I actually totally lost interest after a while and skimmed the last third or so just to see what happened), but I felt like everyone else was just raving about how amazing it was. The plot really was so slow; it just dragged along most of the time and, now that you mention it, it TOTALLY is a Star Wars copycat plot! I completely agree about the "science" of the atomic bomb--what really got me were the people who fused with living things, like the birds in the guy's back, that remained living. How could that ever be remotely possible!? If the author wants to make that happen, don't try to pass it off as science, just make it a fantasy world.