Author: Jackson Pearce
Length: 218 pages
Publisher: Little Brown and Co.
Rating: 5 stars
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. -Goodreads
This is a book that, while it does deliver on its promise of contemporary YA goodness, also leaves the reader with some pretty savory food for thought.
Purity is the story of a father and daughter set adrift on a sea of loss, miscommunication, and misunderstanding of themselves and each other, after the loss of the wife and mother that anchored them.
Let me be the first to say that though this book spends a great deal of its time on the topic of Shelby's "deflowering", and her aversion to the "purity ball"; I am fully confident that it was not the author's intention to glorify teen sex or disparage the message of the abstinence movement in any way. These happenings within this read have more to do with being points of "discovery" for Shelby; about her power to plot her own course to happiness and love rather than having those things dictated to her by the predefined parameters of a promise or expectation.
Thank you Jackson for writing a story full of truly "good guys". It is so nice to see an exception to the "one prince per story rule." The princes in this book: Shelby's dad, Jeffrey, and Jonas. This book really explores the male/female relationship in three of its most important aspects. The relationship that girls have with the men in their lives as: fathers (Shelby's dad), sexual partners (Jeffery), and friends/love interests (Jonas). What this book does in true "girl power" fashion, is to show young women that they have the power to actively choose their role in these relationships and not simply let the male take the lead.
As the mother of three daughters, I will be the first to make this book required reading in my home.
It is my hope that this book will serve as a bridge between parents and the teens that we are trying so hard to love, guide, and UNDERSTAND.