Release Date ~ April 24, 2012
Little, Brown Children's ~ Hachette Book Group
ARC received from Hachette Book Group Canada
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.
The whole idea of a book based on enforced purity and chastity was something that really interested me when I first heard about Jackson Pearce's new contemporary YA, Purity. This is an idea I can relaly relate to, having grown up in the Christian church and hearing about the importance of sexual purity; so I was REALLY curious to see what Jackson would do with this.
And I was in no way disappointed. Purity is so much deeper and more complex than it seems at first glance; it raises a multitude of fantastic questions and is a fantastic representation of how moving and influential contemporary YA can be.
- Real life application:
Like I mentioned above, Purity brings up some really great questions. But more so than just this, these are applicable questions, ones that just about every teen has asked at some point. Shelby tackles everyting from grief, losing a loved one, promises, love and friendships, sex, and religion. And THAT is no easy task, especially to tackle ALL IN ONE BOOK. I expected this to be a light, humorous read. There's some humour, and it's a shorter book. But no, I wouldn't classify it as "light" reading. By the end of Purity I had totally teared up.
- There is no black and white:
Nothing is that simple in Purity, as Shelby discovers. Grieving isn't simple. Sex isn't as complicated as one things, nor is it as unattached. Religion and faith are two different things, and they aren't as straightforward as anyone thinks. And THAT'S what I really love about Purity; it doesn't come off preachy in any way. I tend to be wary of books that are both too preachy or that openly mock faith and I had my concerns with this one. Needless to say, I think this is one that finds that balance and does so very, very well.
I love a book that can make a joke, and this kind of wit that makes you laugh just abounds in Purity! And the characters definitely have this nailed (as does Jackson, seeing as she's the author and all that jazz). This adds a whole other aspect to the book, making it an extremely dynamic and multidimensional read.