cover image Not So Pure and Simple

Not So Pure and Simple

Lamar Giles. HarperTeen, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-234919-4

High schooler Del Rainey has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten, but Kiera has “never been single. Nev. Er.” When she suddenly experiences a breakup, though, he’s determined to give things a go, inadvertently signing up for their church’s Purity Pledge group alongside her, an eight-week program offering “a thorough review of why Jesus wants me to abstain.” Though he’s a virgin, Del has a reputation for being a player at school, and Kiera won’t entertain his clumsy advances. Meanwhile, Del navigates being the guy who has to ask awkward questions in the sex ed class the other Purity Pledgers aren’t allowed to take amid rumors about the Baby-Getters Club—a supposed pact among some of the girls at school to get pregnant at the same time. With true-to-life characters and a straightforward handling of sex, including often ignored aspects of male sexuality, Giles’s thoughtful, hilarious read offers a timely viewpoint on religion, toxic masculinity, and teen sexuality. Ages 13–up. [em]Agent: Jamie Weiss Chilton, Andrea Brown Literary. (Jan.) [/em]