ARC provided by Angel from Mermaid Visions.
Ever since her mother’s death, Shelby’s life has been controlled by the Three Promises she made to her mother: 1. listen to her father, 2. love as much as possible, and 3. live without restraint. But when her father decides to take her to the Princess Ball where she’ll have to make a vow to live a “pure” life, Shelby has to find a loophole and fast or be stuck by a promise she’s not sure she wants to make.
As I said in my recent Sweetly review, Jackson Pearce is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors, and Purity is an excellent example as to why. In Sisters Red and Sweetly we got to see Pearce’s strength for story telling, but Purity shows what she can do with a more character driven story.
Shelby, Ruby, and Jonas are the kind of people I would hang out with. They’re honest and loyal and fun. I liked that they were individuals without falling into stereotypes. They had quirks, but they weren’t the kind of quirks that were unbelievable. Instead there were just little things that gave the characters depth. I also that Pearce did a really good job at developing relationships. There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship in this story, but the growth that takes place between Shelby and her father and Shelby and Jonas was really well done, not to mention the personal development of the protagonist herself.
The themes are very relevant to today. Death. Sex. There not always the easiest thing to talk about, but Pearce doesn’t back away from the harsh truths but also doesn’t try to turn them into something unnatural. It also isn’t super graphic. This is not sex for sex’s sake. This isn’t the soft-core porn you’ll find in some YA novels purely to sell books (not that I’m complaining…) There’s a message here. Whether or not you want to hear that message or how you interpret it is up to you, but I applaud Pearce for getting it out there in a tasteful and relateable way.
Plus, it had a countdown, and I am so a sucker for a good countdown.
Books with similar aspects
recommended to fans of contemporary novels or character driven plots
not recommended to those who don’t like books about sex or death? It’s seriously a good story though…
Don’t just take my word for it!
“I couldn’t have asked for a stronger character or a more beautiful story. Purity is a book I will put away on a beloved shelf to give to my future daughter.” Angel @ Mermaid Visions
“A young adult book about virginity, the loss there of and strong religious themes like Purity by Jackson Pearce is bound to cause some controversy.” April @ Good Books and Good Wine
“Jackson Pearce’s 1st contemporary is just as engrossing as her paranormal efforts. Basically, the woman is a stellar writer and Purity shows that just as well as her other novels.” –Jen @ Almost Grown-up