Release Date: April 24th, 2012
Number of Pages: 218
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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.
Jackson Pearce is an author I adore. I discover her through youtube and twitter, and I then fell in love with her writing with Sweetly and As You Wish. With Purity, Jackson Pearce tries her hand at writing Contemporary, and she does it well. Purity is a fun and touching read about faith, promises, family and love.
Shelby made three promises to her dying mother before she passed, three promises she intends to keep. Because of those promises, she ends up with having to lose her virginity within 5 weeks. Why? She’s looking for a way out of the promises she has to make to her father at the Princess Ball, a promise to live a “pure life”.
Being no big fan of books with a too strong religious message, I was curious to see how Jackson Pearce would include the “God” aspect. I have to say that she did really well. I got the way she is somewhere between being unable to put faith in him, and being unable to believe in a god that left her mother die. I got that, maybe because I lost my mother at the same age, maybe because I lost any faith I have left because of that. I find hard to judge Shelby, hate her or love her. I see too much of me in her (and that’s scary). I have to say at first I was really annoyed by the way she understood some of the things she had been told (for example, the promises.)
The other characters were also a great addition to the novel. I really liked her father, as he is trying to make his relationship with his daughter better. I like that he wants to be there for her, yet he doesn’t know how. Jonas made me like him instantly. There was something about him, about the way he was Shelby that really made me want him to get everything he wants. I want him to have the happy ending I feel he deserves. Those were really the two characters that I really liked in the novel.
Jackson Pearce has an amazing talent to write funny narration and amazing stories that mixes humor and serious thoughts. One of the things that really made me happy at the end of this book was that Shelby learns the morals I wanted her to learn. That’s what I really liked about it. She was able to mature through the novel, even though it’s only five weeks. She learns to see the nuance between some of the words used in the promises she had to make, and she learned how to really apply them to her life. That’s what made me really enjoy this novel.
Overall, it’s a great book that is definitely worth reading. If you still haven’t read any books by Jackson Pearce, it really should be on your TBR list. She is worth reading.