Thursday, April 19, 2012

Purity by Jackson Pearce

Title: Purity
Author: Jackson Pearce
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
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 behaviour", 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 stars to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

Despite the fact that I own all of her books, Purity was the first book by Jackson Pearce that I read. And of course I realized I was seriously missing out. I loved Purity. It was exactly the kind of book I needed when I read it, and it ended up being a lot more than I thought it would be.

Shelby has always tried to live by the promises she made to her mom before she died. That means Shelby lives by three rules: she listens to her father, she loves as much as possible and she lives without restraint. And until now, Shelby hasn't had any trouble keeping those promises. But then her dad wants her to participate in the Princess Ball, an annual even where daughters vow to their fathers to lead pure lives. Shelby finds herself torn because the Princess Ball would mean breaking the third promise. But not participating would also mean breaking the first promise. As she looks for a solution, Shelby realizes she may have had the promises wrong all along.

Purity was exactly what I needed when I read it and that's probably why I loved it as much as I did. Jackson Pearce wrote an incredibly touching story in this book, one that had more depth to it than I originally expected. When I first read the summary, I expected a fun and light contemporary read, which it was, but it was also a whole lot more. It was the story of a girl trying to make sense of her life and the world around her. Sure she may have taken a few wrong turns along the way, but eventually she made it. And despite what you might be led to think, religion wasn't that big in the book. It was a lot more about love and respect, both or yourself and others.

I really liked the characters in Purity, especially Shelby. She wasn't perfect by a long shot and that's what was so great about her. And it wasn't like there were some aspects of her personality that didn't annoy me. But at the end of the day, I liked the person Shelby became by the end of the book and I loved seeing the journey that led her to becoming that person. The other characters in the book were also interesting and I loved seeing the relationship they each had with Shelby. The friendship between Shelby, Jonas and Ruby wasn't perfect and that made it seem more real. And I loved seeing the relationship between Shelby and her dad become what it did.

Purity was an absolutely fantastic read. I love the story Jackson Pearce wrote in this book. There's so much more to it than meets the eye and that's what was so great about it.

For more information about the book, be sure to check out the HBG website.

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