By Jackson Pearce
Published by Little Brown
Published on April 24, 2012

Summary taken from Goodreads:

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.

The cover: The cover of this book is very simple and unlike other books being released right now.  While most books have flowers, vines, girls in frilly dresses, and tons of writing- Purity is a simple blue cover with a lock and the title of the book. It isn't my favorite cover, but it absolutely goes well with the book and will stand out on the bookshelves.  It absolutely reads as a contemporary book- which it is. 

The characters: The characters in this story read like a 1980s teen movie.  You know- Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink.  There is the main female character who is unsure of herself and is trying to live boldy while having major internal struggles.  There is a best male friend and a best female friend who is a little crazy.  I enjoyed the characters, but felt like I didn't really get to know them as much as I wanted to- even Shelby.  I did get to know the characters, but because this was such a short book- well, I feel like I really could have gotten to know them more.

The story:  There were absolutely positives and negatives to this story.  There were three parts to the story I didn't like.  At the end of the story Shelby has another 1980s movie staple- the speech in front of a crowd about everything she realized.  This speech came off as awkward and I felt like Shelby didn't really learn anything.  It was a little painful to read.  I also wasn't a fan of how religion was portrayed in the book.  Some of the things the pastor said were downright offensive and totally offbase.  It read not like what a pastor (especially a young one) would say and more like what someone who has nothing to do with the Christian church would assume a pastor would say.  It is incredibly frustrating to see that stereotype nurtured in a YA book.  I also was not a fan of the fact of how Shelby ended up losing her virginity. I get that there are a lot of books out there and a lot of people who want to show teens how not serious it is to have sex.  I am still under the belief that you should be having intimacy with someone you care about.  I was frustrated that when it happened- she was like "oh well".  That doesn't seem like a natural reaction.

The story was short- very short.  I finished it in an hour.  I think the best part of the story was the romance. I loved how the main character realized her love for another character.  I loved the 483+ tasks that were down right crazy that the main characters had as their bucket list.  I loved seeing the relationship between Shelby and her father.  I found it to be authentic and a little heart breaking.  All in all this was a pretty decent book.  I want to like it more, and it was an enjoyable quick and easy read.  It would make an excellent topic of conversation for a parent and teen.  However, there were a few things in this book that really didn't sit well with me.  I think I will stick with this author's fantasy books.

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