Purity

Jackson Pearce. Little, Brown, $17.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-316-18246-1
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. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2012
Release date: 04/01/2012
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FORMATS
Open Ebook - 978-0-316-20198-8
Paperback - 218 pages - 978-0-316-18247-8
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