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"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green

4.24.2012

Purity (Review)


TitlePurity
Author(s)Jackson Pearce
Edition: ARC, No Page #s Listed
PublisherLittle, Brown
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Source: Received for Review from Publisher









The Summary
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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.
My Opinion
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Purity was an amazing look into what a person does to honor someone they love.  It was hilarious and heartbreaking rolled into one; just how I like my contemporary novels.  This is a first for Jackson Pearce, and based on this, I hope she has more contemporary books lying in wait!

Shelby deals with such a heart-wrenching situation the only way she knows how: following the Promises.  These Promises are the only things she feels will keep her connected to her mother, and she lives her life by them.  This idea is something that a reader can relate to, even if they've never lost someone because of the all-consuming way Pearce has written the story.  There is no Shelby without the Promises, and you really feel that through the story.

As with any contemporary, characters are crucial, and Pearce does an amazing job crafting her's.  Shelby is a great protagonist to go on this journey with, but I have to say my favorite character is Jonas.  He is Shelby's best friend and partner in the Promises.  He keeps the list for her, he supports her, and he loves her.  If there are no Shelby with the Promises, there is also no Shelby with Jonas.  My other favorite character is Shelby's dad.  In ways he reminds me of my dad, and that makes the strained relationship between Shelby and him even that more painful to read.

The themes explored within the novel are summed up in the tagline: love, loss, and sex.  No light reading here.  The issues of virginity, purity, and belief are mixed together as Shelby tries to discover what she believes and feels.  Spirituality plays an important role within the book, and I think the way this is handled is really great.  There are all aspects of belief represented: non-belief, required belief, true belief.  I just really love when authors represent religion and spirituality in a realistic and true way.  I don't think the book would be the same without this either!

The final part I have to talk about is the writing!  I knew Pearce was an amazing writer from her three previous books, but the humor she puts into all her writing made this one unforgettable.  When dealing with such heavy issues people seem to think it's all tears and torture, but in my experience there is a ton of laughter and sarcasm.  That is what she brings to the table.  I laughed so hard at certain parts, it was a much needed counter point to the intense problems going on; a balancing act not many can pull off.

Jackson Pearce yet again blows it out of the park, making Purity is a must read!  The book hits stores TODAY so go grab a copy (links to order are above).  Trust me, you'll want re-read as soon as you're done!
Extras
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Check out Jackson's Youtube page for more hilarious and interesting videos!
Final Rating
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Book Cover: 5/5
Book Title: 4/5
Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 46/50: A-

1 comment:

  1. I love a book with humor in it! And I'm reading Sisters red now and I love it, so this one will go on my list for sure.

    ReplyDelete

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