Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Purity” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  1,604 ratings  ·  381 reviews
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 liv
Hardcover, 218 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Insurgent by Veronica RothCity of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClareThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenPandemonium by Lauren OliverRapture by Lauren Kate
YA Novels of 2012
126th out of 1,316 books — 10,496 voters
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. SmithThirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThis is Not a Test by Courtney SummersThe Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen
2012 Young Adult Standalone Challenge
27th out of 243 books — 900 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Emily May
This is a cute story about a father-daughter relationship after the mother has died... This is a religious/philosophical tale about the nature of faith and what lengths you should go to for the sake of your beliefs... This is a cute story about a father-daughter relationship after the mother has died... This is a religious/philosophical tale about the nature of faith and what lengths you should go to for the sake of your beliefs...This is... I don't even know. But more about that in a moment.
You have 5 weeks to lose your virginity… Go!

To keep her promises to her dying mother, Shelby has to find a loophole that will let her get away with breaking the vows she has to take in a few weeks. The answer: she has to have sex, STAT. A plot that starts out as mostly fluff and a bit silly, comes off being surprisingly touching by the end. I admit some things in this plot are a bit irrational. How she works around the promises, making decisions that are sometimes foolish and irresponsible, but
This is going to be a difficult review to write. Not because I hated the book but because I didn’t agree with it. So while from an objective point of view, I can see where Shelby is coming from, I cannot quite bring myself to agree with her actions in any way or form.

I find female sexuality very interesting. This might be because I’m a female myself, hur, but also because being Muslim, I’ve had people automatically assume that things such as sex etc not something I would care to discuss or talk
Mimi Valentine
Warning: This book will make you laugh! You'll be smiling so much that your cheeks hurt at some points, and at others you won't be able to help aching for Shelby as she learns difficult life lessons without a mom to guide her, which no kid should have to do.

Shelby has 5 weeks to lose her virginity before she has to vow against impurity at the Princess Ball. The idea may sound juvenile at first, but it's actually NOT. It's sweet and honest. Shelby is bound by three promises she vowed to her mothe
Avery TheLibrariansDaughter
Raise your hand if your a virgin
*Raises hand*

You know why I'm a virgin? I'm fifteen years old. How old is Shelby in this story? FRIGGIN 16!!!
What were you doing when you were sixteen? Not having sex I bet. Unless of course your one of these...


Okay I read this book because my mother wont let me read Fifty Shades of Grey, she says it`s too dirty and I wouldn`t understand because I`m still a teenager. I thought this book was going to be a more appropriate version of Fifty Shades, so in a way this b
Maggie Stiefvater
I talked about this one on NPR ( when I was highlighting the best 2012 YA fiction that I read IN 2012. Here's what I said:

I'm an unashamed lover of movies as well as books, and I have a special place reserved in my black heart for movies that feel like books and vice versa. Nick Hornby and John Green generally live in this zone for me, with characters and plots both walking a fine line between quirky and unbelievable. Jackson Pearce elbows her way into th
I was a little hesitant to read this, I'm not even going to lie. It's not that I don't like Jackson's writing (because I do), or that I thought that she would be heavy-handed and didactic and...zealous (because I didn't, really). It's just that there was the chance. I mean, a YA book that tackles virginity in terms of purity runs the risk of being much more god how do I say this without sounding close-minded narroweviljaded awful what the hell I'll just go for itreligious and saccharine and gee- ...more
Charley Cook
Just wish it had delved further into the world of 'purity parties' and controversy with virginity in the Christian religion. Idk, just wish it had gone just a bit further.
I doubt anyone else will agree with me, but I think this book may topple The Fault in Our Stars as my favourite book of the year.

You can find this review and many more at Mermaid Vision Books!

Release Date:April 24, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 218
Format: Hardcover
Source: ARC received from publisher

Tell Me More:There are some books that becomes so precious to me that I can barely string two words together about how much I love them. I keep them
Steph Su
PURITY had a great premise that catches the attention of even the most jaded of readers—promises to a dead person! a ball! SEX!—but unfortunately, the book fell flat for me. The story seems to struggle with an identity crisis over whether it’s lighthearted or philosophical, with the result that it doesn’t really succeed at either end.

The good thing is that the characters, their relationships with one another, and the story’s romance are done very well. Shelby is a bit of a Jane Everygirl, which
but my heart is more attached to the promises than it is to my virginity. it's not a big deal. i repeat the phrase over and over in my head until i've almost convinced myself. don't think about it too hard, shelby. like ruby said - i'm not trying to make love. i'm just trying to get laid.

1.5 stars and only because the writing wasn't bad and it was short and easy to read.

this book is about a girl named shelby who promised her mom when she was dying that she would do 3 things: always listen to her
I'm reasonably sure that, as a 30 something year old male, I have no business reading this book. I'm also quite confident that the act of reading this book has put me on some government watch list. Or several of them.

But hey if NPR puts it on one of their top 5 lists, who am I to argue?

My inner teenage girl could well identify with the the glee and terror of the Princess Ball. My older, grumpy, quite male self struggled to identify with the merits of panty selection.

There is a strength to the
Melody Manful
S.E.X. Wow, now that I’m officially 18 I think I can say the ‘S’ word without making a face or acting like I’m in kindergarten. S.E.X… no wait I just made a face, but it was defiantly not the same face that Shelby made when she decided to lose her virginity on a loophole.

Remember when in the old days virtue was some kind of a big deal? Well, in Purity it’s not! I’m pretty sure when Shelby hears that someone *cough* Edward Cullen *cough* made such a big deal out of the whole virtue thing, she’d l
Shanyn (Chick Loves Lit)
I very much enjoyed Sisters Red, as I appreciated the modern take on a fairy tale. I read some reviews after I finished that mentioned some themes I may not have liked, but I didn't pick up on them as a reader, so I didn't let them affect my opinion.

Full Review:
Ash Lovegood
Hell, if Jackson Pearce wrote it, I'm reading it. :) Even if it is about purity.
Purity is a beautiful tapestry of words; colorful emotional threads woven together to create a unique story rich with humor that still touches on more serious issues like God, sex, and growing up. For those (like me) who tend to steer clear of books that have prominent religious overtones, fear not, Ms. Pearce approaches the topic with an intriguing and appealing combination of gravity and levity, making Shelby’s story not so much one specifically about her faith, but rather about her confusion ...more
Kelly Hager
Shelby's mom died when she was little. Before she did, though, she made Shelby promise three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible and to live a life without restraint. Shelby clings to those promises, because they're now as close as she can get to her mom and basically her mom's last pieces of advice. She and her dad get along fine, living parallel but not particularly close lives. She has high school and her friends; he has his job and a habit of volunteering for every c ...more
Amanda Pearl
I read Sisters Red, Jackson's first book, last year and was underwhelmed. It was hard to say exactly why, but I just didn't connect to the story like I wanted. But Purity is a very different story from Sisters Red, and I think Jackson Pearce should write more contemporary stories, her voice translates excellently. Purity is a fantastic story about love, faith, and freedom, plus I'm a sucker for father daughter stories :)

Purity handles the topics of death, sexuality, and religion with a gentle g

While the premise was interesting, the execution did not work, and the messages became very scrambled, jumbled, and ultimately problematic.

Shelby's journey was one that frustrated me because she was so close minded, and even in the end when she believes she's figured it out when it comes to boys -- (view spoiler)
This was a very odd book, which in the end won me over despite some pretty major reservations. It's not often that I feel the need to flag this fact, but I did read this as a not-at-all-young adult and furthermore, as a mother (of girls). However, I also read it as someone whose father died when she was 7, and who wasn't even in the same continent as her parents at the time.

There's not much point in copying and pasting the description above of the book, although I do want to comment on this des
Had potential... But that's about it.
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. Y’all, I think Purity has an audience and perhaps that audience is someone like me, because it didn’t offend me like it did a few of my friends.

Read the rest of my review here
For the most part I enjoyed this book, it made me laugh, smile, cry a little, or almost cry at points. In my opinion Jonas was a pretty great guy, best friend of Shelby's that has always been there for her and thinks she deserves the best. While Ruby gives her advice on the "LOVIN plan", what to wear anyway.

The trio reminds me of any great group of friends. They all have their fights and ups and downs. Pearce writes exceptionally well and the way she tells this story is very relatable, even if
Edward Sullivan
Funny, honest, and occasionally poignant. The idea of a ceremony in which teenage girls pledge their virginity to their fathers is one of the creepiest non-criminal things I can think of.
Jun 22, 2012 Carolina marked it as to-read
I LOVE JACKSON PEARCE'S BOOKS! Cant wait for this one
Book Sp(l)ot
Just before her mother died, ten-year-old Shelby promised she would do three things: listen to her father, love as much as possible, and live without restraint. It's been fairly easy to follow those three promises so far - she avoids having her father tell her not to actually do something so that she can still follow through on the third promise and even has a list of (sometimes crazy) things she hopes to accomplish in life.

But when her father tells her about the Princess Ball where daughters vo
Mary (BookHounds)

This is a story about loss and love and what comes in between. As Shelby's mother is dying, she extracts three promises from Shelby: "to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint". So far at age seventeen, she has had no real problems in following her mom's advice. She finds minor loopholes in the rules to stay true to them and so far it has worked. That is until her father becomes head of the Princess Ball committee where daughters promi
Jen Bigheart (I Read Banned Books)
Sixteen-year-old Shelby lives by three Promises that were set in place by her dying mother - to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. The Promises were easy to follow as a girl, but now that her father is on the Princess Ball committee (father/daughter dance where the girl pledges her purity), Shelby decides that she isn't ready to commit to being a virgin until married. Only problem is, her unwillingness to pledge goes against the original Promises. S ...more
More reviews on Maji Bookshelf

When I first picked up Purity, I didn’t even read the synopsis, so you can say it is another book I picked up for its cover. However when I did read the synopsis, I was a bit put off. A girl is trying to lose her virginity because of a promise she made to her dead mother many years back? The whole plot felt absurd, HOWEVER it was delivered with tons of humor. Which is why, while the topic of Purity made me a bit uncomfortable, overall it was enjoyable because the au
Savannah (Books With Bite)
Purity is a book that is going to raise questions. I can tell you that even though I enjoyed the book, I do not agree with the characters choices. That'ts just me. Despite all of that, I still enjoyed Ms. Pearce writing.

The story hits right on target of teens. Teens rush to do anything. The rush to get old, drink, have sex, party, etc. I know when I was a teen, I could not wait to grow up. To be on my own, to have no one tell me what to do, etc. Even though Shelby has a plan for her life, I felt
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Buddy read time xx: purity, dec 2014 2 3 Dec 20, 2014 10:06PM  
  • Thou Shalt Not Road Trip
  • Life is But a Dream
  • Winter White (Belles, #2)
  • The Right and the Real
  • The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life
  • Mothership (Ever-Expanding Universe, #1)
  • Rock On
  • All These Lives
  • The Springsweet (The Vespertine, #2)
  • Perfect Escape
  • Bad Boy
  • The Boy Recession
  • Take a Bow
  • Unraveling Isobel
  • Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse
  • Torn
  • Blind Spot
  • Never Enough

I am not very active on Goodreads-- this is largely a placeholder account! Therefore, I do not read Goodreads mail. If you want to get in touch with me, please go here: CONTACT ME!

Jackson Pearce currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with a slightly cross-eyed cat and a lot of secondhand furniture. She recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and a minor in Philosop
More about Jackson Pearce...
Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1) As You Wish Sweetly (Fairytale Retellings, #2) Fathomless (Fairytale Retellings, #3) Cold Spell (Fairytale Retellings, #4)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“People always figure it's the color guard, but seriously, it's the woodwinds you've got to look out for.” 5 likes
“I shouldn't be jealous because it's not real--she's like a math problem, the kind where you got the right answer but didn't show any of your work. She is the right answer, but she didn't get there by going through anything difficult, by questioning, by doubting. She landed there by playing a part, but she's never done the work.

I'm still jealous.”
More quotes…