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Purity
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Purity
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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...
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...
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Description-

  • 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.
 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Jackson Pearce graduated from the University of Georgia, where she received a bachelor's degree in English, with a minor in philosophy. She's always been a writer, but she's had other jobs along the way, such as obituaries writer, biker-bar waitress, and receptionist. She once auditioned for the circus but didn't make it. Jackson is the author of Fathomless, Purity, Sweetly, Sisters Red, and As You Wish. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with a spacey dog and a slightly cross-eyed cat. Her website is www.jacksonpearce.com.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 13, 2012
    Before 16-year-old Shelby’s mother died of breast cancer, she extracted three promises from her daughter that Shelby, then age 10, could not understand. Shelby’s life since has been consumed by keeping those promises, though doing so involves ever more ingenious forms of deceit to keep her behavior from her grieving, disengaged father. When he agrees to organize the local Princess Ball, at which girls vow to remain “pure,” Shelby decides this vow conflicts with Promise #3 made to her mother: “live without restraint.” Fortunately, Shelby’s friend Ruby comes up with a loophole: if Shelby loses her virginity before taking the Princess vow, it won’t count. This logic is twisted, but Shelby buys in eagerly, and the balance of the book follows the planning and implementation of her virginity loss. The heroines of Pearce’s Sisters Red and Sweetly struggled against an outwardly hostile world, and the same is true of Shelby (sans werewolves). Her simultaneous devotion to and constant technicality-based circumvention of the Promises, though, weakens this study of a teenager’s response to parental loss. Ages 15–up. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2012
    Are death-bed promises meant to be forever? For the last six years, 16-year-old Shelby has been living according to the "Promises" she made to her mother as she was dying of breast cancer: 1. listen to her father; 2. love as much as possible; and 3. live without restraint. When her father becomes an organizer of the town's father-daughter Princess Ball, in which daughters pledge a purity vow, she wonders how she can keep Promise 3 if she's bound by Promise 1. In this achingly realistic story, the teen realizes that losing her virginity before the ball will negate the purity vow. Best friend Jonas, keeper of her Life List, reluctantly helps with her search for a one-night stand. Shelby's biting, irreverent first-person narration ("I'm about to try to sleep with Jesus from a Proactiv commercial") finely blends the humor and pain of her situation. During her quest, she also finds herself confronting unresolved feelings about her mother's passing (why are her guiding Promises now hurting her?), her belief system (why won't God let her in on his plan?) and her strained relationship with her father (could he be just as sad as she is?). Perhaps she's always had some of the answers, in the neglected Promise and the guy right in front of her. A purely satisfying look at mourning and sexuality--and even their connection. (Fiction. 15 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2012

    Gr 9 Up- Shelby Crewe was 10 when her mother died of breast cancer, and she made her daughter promise three things: to love and listen to her father, "to love as much as possible," and to live "without restraint." Now 16, Shelby still takes her promise seriously but finds it difficult to reconcile listening to her father with her vow to live without restraint. When he signs them up for a Princess Ball that will include ceremonial vows to abstain from drugs, underage drinking, and sex before marriage, Shelby feels trapped. She decides that before the ball she'll exploit a "loophole" in her promise and invalidate the purity vow by losing her virginity; she begins working her way down a list of possible hookup candidates in a race against time. While there are comic moments, such as Shelby's condom-purchasing expedition to a local pharmacy and her shopping trip for a gown with her ditzy Aunt Kaycee, the book also touches on more serious issues, particularly Shelby's reactions to her mother's death and her loss of religious faith. The teen's single-minded devotion to keeping her promises seems unrealistic, but the depictions of her interactions are spot-on. Pearce's treatment of teen sexuality is open and matter-of-fact, and Shelby's first experience is poignant and realistically portrayed. The conclusion is optimistic, as the protagonist discovers for herself what it truly means to live without restraint and discovers that her perfect match has been there all along.-Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    May 1, 2012
    Grades 8-12 Shelby Crewe's mother made her promise three things before she died: love and listen to her father; love as much as possible; and live life without restraint. Now at 16, Shelby abides by the Promises, and keeps a Life List of more than 400 ways to fulfill Promise Three, including put flowers on every grave in a cemetery. But when her father organizes the town's thirty-first annual father-daughter Princess Ball, which requires a vow of purity, Shelby's literal interpretation of Promise One means she'll have to stick to her word and abstain from sex until marriage. Along with her friends, including best friend Jonas, she comes up with a serious loophole called Plan LOVIN ( Lose Virginity Now )and she has five weeks until the ball to have a one-night stand, thereby negating the vow. While this may sound like a fluffy novel about the controversial topic of princess balls, it's not. Pearce's (Sweetly, 2011) story has surprising depth; it's smart and thought provoking, exploring issues ranging from God and spirituality to what it really means to love and listen.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

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    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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