{this is me messing around}
{end of messing around}

Friday, September 14, 2012

Review: Purity by Jackson Pearce


Author: Jackson Pearce
Released: April 14, 2012
Genre: YA contemporary
Pages: 218 (hardcover)
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."

There's a plethora of YA books centered on a teenage girl's quest to lose her virginity. This teenage girl's quest is a little bit different.

On her deathbed, Shelby's mother made Shelby promise three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. As Shelby grows into teenagehood, her life is taken over by trying to keep the Promises: accomplishing the liberating acts on her "life list", and "obeying" her father by finding loopholes to his rules. Things take a twist for the worse when Shelby's father signs her up for the Princess Ball, a father-daughter dance in which the daughter must make a purity vow--meaning no sex until marriage. Completely freaking out (like any teenager would), Shelby discovers a loophole to the vow: lose her virginity before she takes the vow, and the vow becomes void.

As far as losing-virginity stories go, Purity's synopsis is a breath of fresh air. Purposefully losing your virginity as a promise to your mother? It's original, completely nutty, and totally hilarious. Unfortunately, the book itself is disappointing compared to the premise.

Many aspects of the story were cute, although be warned: despite the fluffy synopsis, this book covers some pretty heavy subjects. Shelby's strained relationship with her father rang true to many parent-teenager relationships out in the real world, and the father-daughter journey was, although difficult, very real and very hopeful. The book also deals with Shelby's struggles with living without a mother, God, faith, the meaning of love, and what feels like dozens of other themes at the same time. And for me, the was the problem. There are so many themes that force their way into the story that they become jumbled, and in the end, miss their points.

The character development wasn't the best for me, either. While I can understand that Shelby's life is ruled by the Promises, I just couldn't completely connect with her. It was almost as if she was just a character who played her part for this book and this book alone; I can't really imagine her life before Purity, and I certainly can't imagine it after. Same with Shelby's friends; Jonas just fell completely flat for me, and Ruby, while interesting, wasn't that interesting. And Jackson Pearce can write interesting characters, I know she can! Sisters Red and Sweetly proved that. The characters in Purity just somehow missed their marks.

But no need to completely give up hope. The story itself is quite sweet and does have a healthy dose of humour. And in the end, it's not about the sex; it's just a teenage girl's quest to find herself, and there isn't any teenager who can't relate to it. For a short and sweet story, this book is definitely an option. Just don't expect to find something too amazing.

My Rating:
3 Brains.

P.S. High school. No time to read. No time to blog. I is very confuzzled. Expect fewer weekly posts from now on, fellow booknerds, but fear not and stick around! ^.^

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...