Author: Jackson Pearce
Published: April 24th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Copy sent by the publisher for review
Summary: "A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order.
Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.
Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity."
First line: "5 years, 352 days before
When I said it, I didn't mean it."
Thoughts: When I first heard about PURITY, I got super excited. I'm a huge fan of AS YOU WISH and was ecstatic to hear Jackson Pearce was writing another contemporary novel. Plus, check out that first line in the summary... "A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order.". Tell me that doesn't grab your attention! Just like most of her novels, I tore through it within a couple days. I mean, it's a book about (gasp) s-e-x! Though I did enjoy it, I must admit that it isn't my favorite Jackson Pearce novel. Pros and cons? Let's do it!
First off, I must talk about how much I enjoyed each and every character. A lot of novels these days consist of one or two (or more) obnoxious characters that irritate me to no end. Not this one, though. Every character has a story to tell, and each one ultimately helps navigate Shelby into making her big decision. After all, to have sex or not to have sex, that is the question.
Of all the characters, I must say Jonas and Ruby were my favorite. I loved Jonas' protective nature. He didn't agree with Shelby's haste decision to lose her virginity, but he still supported her and was there for her when she needed him. I mean, he went with her to get condoms for goodness sake (wicked funny scene, by the way)! Ruby's humor had me cracking up to no end. I loved her loyalty to both Shelby and Jonas. She's the kind of best friend everyone wants, and I enjoyed every scene she's in.
Even Shelby's dad, who can be considered the "villain", is not so villainous at all! He's just a guy who doesn't know how to raise his daughter without his wife. After all, how many guys would know how to raise a girl (now teenage girl)in the first place? Few and far.
Moving on, I do have to admit that at times, I felt like the story line was lacking something. I'm not sure what, but in my personal opinion, the story just needed something more. It's a quick and easy read, but I think it would have been better had there been a surprise factor or something to throw the reader off-guard. The overall story is a bit predictable so a wow factor would have been nice.
Also, while I knew what the story was about going in, I still didn't like how Shelby wanted to sleep with any random person just to keep her promise. Sure she might know them from school or whatever the case may be, I'm still one of those people that believe sex is a sacred thing. It made me kind of dislike Shelby. While I know she's a good person and well written character, the absurdity of some of the situations she's thrown in made me roll my eyes. Overall, I did enjoy how the author handled the sex issue, even if there were a few eye rolling moments for me.
All in all, though it's not my favorite book, I still found PURITY to be an energetic and amusing read. Yes, it's predictable, but that doesn't mean it's not fun.