We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.
A few years ago, I picked up this book, read the first chapter, and just stopped. I have no idea why, I guess I wasn't in the mood, but I turned it back into the library, never intending to finish it. Fast forward to a few months ago and I see this book at a cheap book sale. Obviously, it's a sign from fate telling me that I need to read this book, so I took it home. And now I am quite happy that I picked it up again!
This book is probably one of the oddest books I have ever read and I absolutely loved it! This book takes place almost a decade after the Detonations, the bombings that destroyed a majority of the world. Those who were outside during the Denotations, and survived, now live harsh lives and all have deformities. The bombings melded their flesh with other objects and, sometimes, other creatures. Pressia is one of those who lives on the outside. She lives with her grandfather and she has completely forgotten what life was before the Denotations and only has her grandfather's stories. But her 16th birthday is coming closer, meaning that the militia will take her from her home.
Then, there's the Dome. Few 'lucky ones' remain perfectly safe in the Dome. Partridge is one of the few living here and his father is a prominent figure in the Dome. Partridge soon begins to question his father and the Dome, especially when he finds out that his mother might still be alive. That she might be living outside the Dome.
What is really interesting about this book is how complex and unique the world-building is. I mentioned how those outside the Dome have deformities earlier and this was a really weird factor about the book, but it was actually really great. Pressia has a doll's head as a head, her grandfather has a electric fan in his throat, there's a boy with birds in his back, and there's another person who has his own brother attached to his back. That's not even all of it. There are even Dusts, who melded with dirt or rubble and basically will kill anyone who will come across them. Another popular one is the Groupies, those who melded with other people. All of this sounds really weird, and it is, but it actually is easy to just consider it normal when reading this book! Also, the author does such a great job defining how dangerous and destroyed the world outside is!
This book also has alternating perspectives, not just Pressia and Partridge, This was actually very easy to follow and made the book so much more interesting! I also really liked all of the characters and got incredibly invented in all of them! As for romance, this is not a romance heavy book, but there are some ship-worthy couples!
This was a really great dystopian and so very unique!! I am so glad that I picked this book up again! If you want a very dark, odd, but amazing dystopian, then please read this. Meanwhile, I'll be reading the sequel!