Debbie's Reviews > Pure

Pure by Terra Elan McVoy
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Oct 02, 2010

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bookshelves: modern-teen
Read in October, 2010

I'm confused by this book. I felt it was trying to be about a young woman's personal morality, her sexual purity in particular, but ended up being about friendship. I think that as a book about friendship it succeeds, but as a book about purity it falls short.

The main character's closest friendships changes, and she has to work through that and make hard decisions about where she stands with her friends. Her relationships with her friends, and her parents, are the heart of the book.

But although her one friend's decision to have sex makes the main character question her beliefs, her own abstinence vow is never challenged. The boy she likes is a perfect gentleman. This is praiseworthy of course - I'm a fan of perfect gentlemen, fictional or otherwise - but I thought a book called "Pure" would at some point have the main character being conflicted about her own purity, and I'd looked forward to seeing how that would be resolved. [I realize the title may not have been the author's choice.]

I like that this book made me think about various issues, but I still don't know what I think about the book overall. I suppose this confusion is my own fault for imposing my expectations on the book, but to me it just seems that because purity rings are not a common feature of YA novels (in my experience, anyway), the story tries to promote that one sparkly aspect of itself instead of acknowledging its whole self.

(Oh, and the front cover seriously disturbs me, and I don't even want to think about why. And is "Jesus'ss" really an accepted way to show possession? Shouldn't it be just an apostrophe or maybe apostrophe-s?)
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message 1: by Nailah (new)

Nailah Caldwell Drama comes in many forms. High School drama, as every former high school student knows, always involves whom is dating whom, whom cheated and of course whom slept with whom. The drama that occurs in church's is, sometimes, really no different. This book, in my opinion is a mixture if the two. The book is told from the point of view of Tabitha, a fifteen year-old who is just starting to have a relationship with boys, and go through the same struggle a number of us do in high school. This is the pressure to abstain from premarital sex. This book is definitely something different compared to what is out today. It speaks of the purity ring, which is normally unknown by a lot of people, sometimes even Christians. While this book did intrigue me, due to its, for a lack of a better word, interesting cover, it did not disappoint overall. I do have a few problems with the book, though. For example, Tabitha's so-called best friend , Morgan. I understand Morgan's parents are more serious about their faith, the purity ring, and what it stood for, but they were all just fanatics in my opinion. These people are all over the place, but they are also the most judgmental. This is definitely Morgan. I understand she takes this more seriously than the the other girls, but that gave her no right to treat Cara the way she did. Yes she went against the pledge, but that does not give her any right to just dump Cara and treat like a leper. Morgan is domineering, self-centered, and judgmental. How in the world can she call herself a Christian, when she goes against the most important Commandment in the bible? Morgan is an example of the hypocrites that fill churches everywhere. Tabitha and Cara's other so-called "friends", Priah and Naeomi are just as bad in my opinion. I understand that she did something that they consider horrible, but if that is truly your friend, you don't just dump them and talk about them behind their back. Also, Tabitha just seemed to good in my opinion. Sure she is a good girl, but she seemed to have the thinking and the good sense of an adult. Most adults, anyway. Besides this, the book was good overall. It is defiantly different than most books out there today. It is free of sexual innuendos, if you do not include the cover of the book, and focuses on a mostly avoided part of America, the church. It focuses on the pressure that can be sometimes deemed as good pressure, to stay pure until marriage. Overall this book was a good read, but just like the reviewer of this page, I do wish McVoy had given more insight into Tabitha's view on the purity ring, and any conflicting views she had with it after Cara's secret came out and they saw the reactions of their friends and the parents.

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