Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: Purity - Jackson Pearce

Where I got it: ARC from publisher for review
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 3 stars (I like the color and simplicity, but...I don't know that I'd pick it up if I didn't know about it.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 224 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Shelby promised her dying mother three things: to love and listen to her father, to love as much as possible and to live without restraint. Shelby has been keeping these promises, (though with some loopholes) she has even made a "life list" of things she wants to do without restraint. Her dad has thrown himself into charity work and one such event is the Princess Ball, which he wants Shelby to attend. The catch? At the end of the evening she's supposed to pledge purity to her father. Shelby is trying to figure out a loophole for this one though, because to vow to purity, would either break rule three or rule one if she broke her vow. Her solution is to lose her virginity before the vows, then they will be null and void. Unfortunately this turns out to be a bit trickier than Shelby thought. She has to figure things out and fast though, because she only has a few weeks before the Princess Ball to figure out what matters to her most.

This was a really interesting story. No other novels come to mind that have a girl on a quest to lose her virginity so she doesn't have to wait until marriage. This story was about a lot more than Shelby's virginity though. Shelby had a lot of stuff going on, and the rules sort of guided her life. She clung to them so tight, because they were her way to honor and remember her mother. Unfortunately though, the rules sort of hindered Shelby's life by making them the thing she cares most about.
Jonas and Ruby were amazing characters. Very fun things happen with them. They were just very likeable characters, even if Jonas was often sullen and embarrassed by Shelby's sexcapades.
I had a hard time relating to Shelby in some aspects though, mostly the dad experience. I haven't talked to my dad in a really long time. My parents divorced a long time ago and really we have always been in separate worlds. The thing we have in common is our reading habits (voracious in a way that allows us to ignore everything else). Because of this, it was a little tricky to relate to Shelby and her father's awkwardness and such.  Another thing that bugged me were the ages in the story. Maybe they've been fixed in the final edition, I'll check, but Shelby is 10 when the book starts and less that 5 years later she is 16. Also, she mentions that her mother is 33 but her tombstone reads March 1970- August 2004 which would make her 34. Little things, but still.
 All in all though, this is a highly recommendable book. I loved watching Shelby come to understand things that she had been struggling. He inner conflicts about God and love and life were just so honest and truthful. It was very intriguing to read about Shelby's conflicting emotions about God and his plan. I also loved the lighter moments, cake tasting, stealing a car, jumping off a trestle and plotting to lose one's virginity. Definitely check out this novel if you want a quick contemporary.

First Line:
"When I said it, I didn't mean it."

Favorite Line:
"I'm imminently going to be de-virginized."

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