By Jackson Pearce
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9780316182461, 224pp.)
Publication Date: April 2012
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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 the author of Sisters Red, Sweetly, and As You Wish. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
It was a strange and wonderful year for young adult fiction, says critic Maggie Stiefvater. Debates raged over what constituted a young adult novel versus an adult novel. This list isn't concerned with classification â?? it rounds up five magical books for young adults and grown-ups alike. More at NPR.org
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"Many teens will find Shelby's emotional journey worth following...a satisfying read."—VOYA
"Shelby's biting, irreverent first-person narration finely blends the humor and pain of her situation...A purely satisfying look at mourning and sexuality -- and even their connection."—Kirkus Reviews
"A startlingly authentic picture of a girl in transition on multiple levels...teens will appreciate this thoughtful look at the implications -- or lack thereof -- of doing the deed."—The Bulletin
"Smart and thought provoking."—Booklist
"A hilarious and heartfelt story about what happens when a teenage girl actually tries to honor all the promises that adults demand from her while staying true to herself. I loved this book."—Jennifer Echols, award-winning author of Endless Summer and Love Story
"Reading Jackson Pearce's Purity feels like talking on the phone with a lively and honest best friend -- who is telling it like it is. Shelby reminds us all to be first and foremost true to ourselves. This book is a must-read for anyone thinking about making promises to themselves or others."—Amy Deneson, author and New York Times essayist