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Sunday 24 June 2012

Review: Purity by Jackson Pearce

Author: Jackson Pearce
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 218 pages, Hardcover
Date Published: April 24th 2012
Find it on Goodreads: Purity

 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 Thoughts:  I was kind of disappointed by this book. I liked it, but I didn't love it. 

Purity was another contemporary that fell short for me. I was looking for something light and enjoyable to start summer off with, and what I got was a funny story that was all too predictable. By the end of the first few chapters, I could already see where the entire book was headed. This book doesn't have that many pages, but it took me a lot longer than it should have for me to finish.

I have nothing to complain about the author's writing. It was solid, it was funny, it was light. The characters were realistic. I actually enjoyed reading from Shelby's POV, as most of her thought process was funny and made me laugh. (In a good way.) But what got me was that I felt no emotional connection to any of the characters. I read it, it was good, now I'll probably never think about Shelby again. (Well, other than this review, of course!) I found Shelby to be funny, yes, but also cold and stiff. The other characters, I felt as if we don't get a lot from them. I thought the idea of this book was great, but because I couldn't connect with the characters, it wasn't as great as I would have liked. This is definitely a book that teaches a big lesson, but it could have perhaps happened in a better fashion. There was a lot of focus on family and faith in the story, which was nice, but I honestly found Sheby's whole mindset on the Promises a bit unbelievable.

In the end, my verdict on this book was that it was too rushed. I think the author could have drawn it out a little bit longer to help us connect with the characters better. I would have liked to learn more about each of them. Perhaps that would have helped me enjoy it more. I found the conclusion to this story much too cliched and predictable, but I don't regret reading Purity. If you're looking for an easy read to relax with, this is a great book for that.

Happy reading!


  1. I tried to read this book about a half dozen times, but I couldn't get into it and kept putting it down after a few pages. Then I returned it to the library and forgot about it. I guess I didn't miss too much. Have you read anything else by the author? If so, does she have a book that's great? I haven't read anything by Pearce.

    1. I haven't yet. I have heard many pleasant things about her other books; I'll check them out sometime in the future!

  2. Aw, that's disappointing that you had a hard time connecting! Honestly, the premise sort of confuses me from the blurb alone... and the name 'Princess Ball' for a purity vow ceremony makes me cringe a little! Probably won't read this unless, like you said, I'm looking for a really quick read! Thanks for the review.

  3. What a shame; I love compelling characters so I think I'll give this a miss. Great review


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