Pure by Jennifer Armentrout

There is need… and then there is Fate.

Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome — especially when Alexandria’s “other half” is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom — so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do — and sacrifice — for her. 

When Daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the Gods send furies — lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the Gods, and that includes the Apollyon…and Alex. If that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude…or killing her.

When the Gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

 ***

Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout was one of my favorite books of 2011, and the sequel, Pure, is just as awesome; maybe even more so. It’s jam-packed with emotional conflict, romantic tension, suspense, and some very sexy demi-gods that keep my heart fluttering and my stomach twisting through all 329 pages of awesome.

As with the first book, Aiden and Alex’s relationship steals the show. I absolutely adore both of them as individual characters – Alex is stubborn and impulsive but she’s hilarious and kicks so much butt, and Aiden is sweet and compassionate and the sexiest, most well-rounded YA hero I’ve ever encountered. The idea of them hooking up (however forbidden it may be) fills me with fangirlish glee, and the awkward sexual tension really carries the book in a surprising way. It’s kind of scary how addicted I am to it, but I’m not about to question something that seems to work so well. The writing is simple but just vivid enough to make me feel like I’m right there in the story, which explains all the angry/happy/fangirlish outbursts… let’s just pretend those didn’t happen, shall we?

The plot doesn’t falter either. The various elements interweave together perfectly so that there’s never a dull moment. By the end of the novel there are plenty of unanswered questions that keep me excited for the next book, but at the same time enough is resolved to make me feel satisfied with this particular experience. There was one event, though, that broke my soul into several jagged pieces, but it’s followed by enough engrossing distractions to keep me from wallowing in the misery.

And honestly, I appreciate that Alex makes a lot of mistakes with serious consequences, because it makes her more ‘human’ and less of a super-special-mary-sue snowflake. I’ve seen a lot of heroines like that in YA fiction, so Alex’s complete lack of refinement and common sense is refreshing, if not a bit frustrating at times.

The only flaw I find with Pure is the constant bickering between Seth and Alex, as it gets old very quickly. Although I knew a love triangle was about to rear up the moment Seth appeared in Half-Blood, he just doesn’t give off the right vibe for me. Sure he’s hot in that bad boy kind of way, but he’s also a moody, immature slut, and just the thought of him ‘winning’ Alex makes me want to launch an apple at his nose. Ugh. Team Aiden fo sho.

I definitely recommend this to all the paranormal romance fans out there (and look at that cover! So shiny!)

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