Strange things have been happening around Katie Wickliff lately. First, her grandmother has a pair of mysterious visitors late at night. She starts having visions, seeing a man’s face in mirrors. And people from her school have started disappearing…
Pure has a number of elements to it. There’s a lot of paranormal mystery, some romance, maybe even some coming of age YA. It’s also a book of two halves, the first set in the States, where Katie and her grandmother have lived for a decade. The second half has them returning to their old home in a small Russian village.
The first half concentrates mostly on Katie’s school life. Since the book is told in the first person, we get to hear Katie’s thoughts on her friends and she comes across as a very real person. She gets confused when one of her male friends indicates he wants them to be something more. She gets worried and argumentative about her best friend’s plan to run off to New York to become a model. She might be a but more mature than the average sixteen year old but the characterization never rings false.
We also get fragments of her personal history. Just fragments because Katie doesn’t know all of it herself. It’s only once the action moves to Russia that the revelations about her parents and her connection everything that’s going on start to be revealed.
The second half also takes the book a lot deeper into the paranormal. Variations on vampires, forest spirits and others are brought up in fairly quick succession but without feeling like you’re being overloaded. Before the climax of the novel, there are also a couple of twists and (I suspect) some set up for future books in the series (3 so far).
Pure is a good read, fairly fast paced and intriguing enough to warrant a look at future novels. I’d recommend for both YA readers and those looking for a new paranormal mystery.