Friday, July 13, 2012
Purity by Jackson Pearce
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.
I hadn't read anything else by Jackson Pearce when I received this book, but I have been wanting to for a while, and I thought this would be a good place to start. I had high expectations going into this book due to what I had heard about about Jackson Pearce's writing. I'm glad to say I did quite enjoy this book, despite how short it was.
The cover was very symbolic of the situation Shelby was in. It had a lock on a chain, undone, but still on the chain. The lock symbolized the promises Shelby had made to her mother right before she died, Shelby wanted to find a way out of it without disappointing her family. Shelby was symbolized by the chain, the lock was still hanging on the chain, even if it wasn't locked. Apart from the symbolism, there was also the gorgeous blue that was the background behind the chain. I loved how the title font was worked into the lock; it brought the simple cover together nicely.
Shelby was mostly enjoyable, but I had trouble understanding why she was so hell-bent on keeping the promises. I understand that she felt like she had to because it was one of the last things she said to her mother, but she didn't ever really consider talking to her dad or any not extreme alternatives. I didn't agree with the extremes she went to to release herself from the promises she would have to break otherwise. The other characters were fun and light; they filled out the story nicely without stealing too much of the spotlight in this short novel.
The plot was quick and to the point. The book was short, but that wasn't degrading to the plot in any way, if anything, it kept it on track. There was very little downtime in the plot, which was good because the story got straight to the point. The writing was great- just as good as the hype surrounding it said. It had a style that was very accurate to how a teenager might view the world and how life can go on even when you've lost a big part of it. The whole story wrapped up nicely, tying up the story with a good ending that didn't give the reader too much, but didn't leave them with too little.
All and all, I really did enjoy this book; it had it's highs and it's lows whilst still being enjoyable for the reader. I'd recommend this book to fans of Jackson Pearce who also want a bit of contemporary thrown into the mix of her usual paranormal books. I give Purity a 4/5.