Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: Purity by Jackson Pearce

Purity by Jackson Pearce
Release Date: April 24, 2012 
Publisher: Little, Brown 
Source: Publisher for Review
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.
Purity was my first Jackson Pearce novel and one that got a lot of criticism-and dare I say-controversy? It seemed like a book that people either hated or loved and I have to say I am in the middle. While Purity was a quick read, it dealt with a lot of controversial issues that I didn’t feel were handled too well. Being aware of Jackson Pearce’s videos, I was expecting something very once sided and that’s what I got.

Shelby was not a character I liked yet I felt bad for her. She lost her mom too young and I can’t even imagine what my life would be like without my mom. Yet there was something incredibly childish about Shelby that I just didn’t like. This entire book (and I know it was done on purpose) was based on misunderstanding. Or should I say lack of communication. I felt like Shelby should have just talked to her dad instead of going on this quest to lose her virginity. I also didn’t like that she was so judgmental. Everyone has a right to their opinions but you can’t judge someone on their choices. I felt like it was one of those slut shaming situations: as no one should judge you for what types of clothes you wear, they should not judge you for wanting to be part of this purity ball thing.

I think the biggest issue for me was the fact that I am religious but I am not Christian. I had heard of purity balls and all but I didn’t really know much about them. Shelby questioned God and religion and that’s fine but I just felt like it was more of the author’s opinion coming into play. There is this thing where people say that books are an author’s product, so they shouldn’t be judged but in Purity, I couldn’t separate the two.

Overall, Purity was not my cup of tea. Obviously, there are plenty of people who loved this book and other who hated it. I am on neither side but rather on the fence. It was a quick read and rather enjoyable but I did have issues with Shelby as a character and her judgmental thoughts (as far as I believe, I understand that she lost her mother but it’s not a license to judge anyone.)
Cover Comments: 
I actually love this cover! It's simple and pretty and beautiful and it actually fit the book!  
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