Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Interview & Review: Burn by Julianna Baggott

Title: Burn
Author: Julianna Baggott
Genre: Dystopia
Series: Pure #3
Source: Publisher
USA Publication Date: 4th February 2014
UK Publication Date: 1st February 2014

Tell Me About It
Inside the Dome, Patridge has taken his father's place as leader of the Pures. His struggle has led him here, intent upon bringing down the Dome from the inside, with the help of a secret resistance force. But things are not as simple from his new position of power and he finds himself tempted by his father's words: perhaps if the world is to survive it needs the Dome - and Partridge - to rule it...

As Partridge's resolve weakens, Pressia and Bradwell continue piecing together the clues left to them from the time before the Detonations. It is their hope that they will be able to heal the Wretches, and free them from their monstrous fusings and the Dome's oppression once and for all. But everything depends, too, on Partridge. Separated by distance and history, can they still trust their friend and ally? Or is the world doomed to an eternity of war and hardship?
My Thoughts
Since I began reading this series I have been eagerly awaiting each new instalment to find out what happens next. I was lucky to get an e-copy of Burn from the USA publisher and made a start on reading it as soon as possible. I don't usually mention both publication dates in my reviews, but the lovely people at Headline in the UK sent me a physical copy of this book too, so to acknowledge their book I am adding in or UK date too.

I have been looking forward to reading Burn since I finished Fuse. Reading this series and then this book I never knew what the final outcome would be, and how it would happen. Each page I read only brought me closer to the end result, the end of this series, but what a journey it was. I was kept guessing over what would happen, who would make it, and who wouldn't. Wondering which faces we would get to see again and which ones would become a distant memory. Julianna certainly knows how to keep you reading and guessing, wanting to know more. While I did initially struggle trying to remember what had happened in the first few pages of Burn, I quickly found where I was up to and easily fell back into place.

Throughout Burn some characters really step up to the plate, and we get to see a completely different side to them, they are stronger, tougher, and willing to risk a whole lot more in order for their side to succeed. The lengths some of the characters go to, both in journey but also in themselves is amazing, for some of them it is like a whole new character has taken their place, yet they still hold qualities that keep us familiar with them, letting us see how far they have come.

Burn has action, love, loss, and excitement, but also makes you hate some characters that have their own little schemes to get what they want. Each new chapter brings a new problem or solution to the journey for the Pures and the Wretches and some characters take things a bit too far to get what they want.

The ending of Burn was not what I expected, although I'm not sure how I expected it to end, and I thought it was very fitting for some of them involved to get what they deserved. There was one character's end that I did not like, but looking back on it and taking into consideration who it was, I really do think this was the better option for themselves.

Julianna took some time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for me.
1) The world you have created for your series has a lot going on in it, but also a lot to fight for. When you created this world how hard was it to come up with all the elements that make it what we know, and how hard is it to keep all the pieces separate when you are writing about each different group?
The Dome allows me psychological elements -- mind-games and terrifying rigidity. Outside the Dome so many of the conflicts are physical and violent. So the two main locales allowed different kinds of conflict. But love -- that roams everywhere.

2) The whole idea of being joined with whatever item was near to the characters fascinated me, but also creeped me out. The characters didn't have a choice in the matter, but given the choice what item would you choose to be joined to and why?
Nothing with a heartbeat.

3) Did you always plan for this series to be a trilogy, if so how did you go about setting up the books and making sure they ended at just the right moment?
I didn't know it was a trilogy until I was through a draft of the first book, but then I sketched out the next two books quickly and I knew where I was going. Still it's like teaching a bear to ride a unicycle -- but you're the bear and the unicycle, in a meta way. And trying to find the right moment to end is like trying to find the exact moment when water will start to crystallize and form the finest laciest collaring of ice.

4) How long did it take you to go from an idea, to actually seeing the book published, and how did you celebrate?
I don't remember. Time is a blur for me. As is the space-time continuum. I don't celebrate publication anymore. My job is to protect my relationship with the page -- the reward is the work. I know that sounds really dull -- like an absolute titmouse all fixed on nesting instead of being a songbird. I'm a nester, a fixer, a worrier about the upcoming winter -- the next book, its survival.

5) Burn is the final book in this series, was it harder to write knowing it was going to be the end?
It was much harder. What to tidy up. What to let loose -- and spiraling off, like life. Those calls were tough to make. There's some of both.

6) The final question…which is your favourite character and why?
I love them all for different reasons at different moments. In BURN, I loved writing Lyda -- she's come a long way from that girl at the dance, helping a boy steal a knife from the Domesticity Display. A long, long way. They all have.

About Julianna
Critically acclaimed, bestselling author Julianna Baggott is the author of eighteen books, most notably her recent novel PURE, the first in a dystopian trilogy, a New York Times Book Review's Editor's Choice and a People magazine pick for books to read after the Hunger Games, on a list with Orson Scott Card and Philip Pullman. There are over fifty overseas editions of her books.

She’s the author of the National Bestseller Girl Talk, The Madam, and The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted, for adult readers; and The Anybodies Trilogy and The Prince of Fenway Park for younger readers; as well as three collections of poetry, including Lizzie Borden in Love. She co-wrote Which Brings Me to You with Steve Almond, A Best Book of 2006 (Kirkus Reviews), which is optioned by producer Richard Brown and adapted by Keith Bunin with Matthew Warchus set to direct.

Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Best American Poetry, Best Creative Nonfiction, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered, and Here & Now. For two years, her alter-ego, N. E. Bode was a recurring personality on XM Radio. Her work has been a People Magazine pick alongside David Sedaris and Bill Clinton, a Washington Post Book of the Week, a Girl's Life Top Ten, a Booksense selection, and a Starbucks Bookish Reading Club pick.

She teaches at Florida State University, and is co-founder of the nonprofit Kids in Need – Books in Deed, getting free books to underprivileged kids in Florida. She’s married to David G.W. Scott and has four kids.

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