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Not So Pure and Simple

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  2,326 ratings  ·  548 reviews
Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now, during their junior year, she’s finally available. So when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at their church, Del’s right behind her. Though he quickly realizes he’s inadvertently signed up for a Purity Pledge.

His dad thinks his wires are crossed, and his best friend, Qwan, doesn’t believe any girl is wort
Hardcover, 389 pages
Published January 21st 2020 by HarperTeen
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Tamara Nothing more explicit than the description of kissing and heavy petting. There is nothing along the lines of lusty or romance novel-esque love scenes.

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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,326 ratings  ·  548 reviews

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Jun 14, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: to-buy
art historians have confirmed that this is indeed a true Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2021
This was frustrating to read in all the best ways and I am SO GLAD I finally got around to picking this up off of my shelves. Absolutely recommend checking this one out if you haven't already.

CW: teen pregnancy, slut shaming, sexual assault, religious gaslighting
Argh! I have such conflicting feelings about this!

-This was very readable. It's almost four in the morning and I stayed up to finish because I just had to know what was going to happen next.
-It was funny. I definitely chuckled to myself on certain lines. I just remember, "He bored me, Del. Not everything is tragic."
-I love Jameer! Also the friend group is very diverse and sweet.
-It was also very Black. I found myself frustrated that races weren't mentioned before I just decided to a
It’s probably more of a 3.5 but I’m rounding up.

I didn’t even know about this book until a few weeks ago but when I saw the author tweet about the kind of themes he was talking about in it, I wanted to give it a try. And I’ve previously read an anthology edited by Lamar Giles called Fresh Ink which was amazing, so I was expecting this to be equally compelling.

It’s actually been a while since I’ve read a YA contemporary because I’ve started feeling a bit too old for them, so I’m trying not to pr

No So Pure and Simple initially comes off as your standard contemporary novel, but on further examination it delves heavily into the affects of toxic masculinity that is prevalent even among our children and teenagers. I've never read a book by Lamar Giles so I was surprised by how much I did enjoy the book.

Not So Pure and Simple is simply about a boy named Del who is, for lack of a better term, is obsessed with Kiera, a young girl that he has known since kindergarten. The plot initially focuse
This was so good - sharp and funny and thoughtful and messy. I think it would be such an interesting buddy read with HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME to see how the conversation changes across gender and racial lines, both implicitly and explicitly. Lamar Giles really is one of the few autobuy authors I will follow to the ends of the bookish earth and it was true before this book but it's officially cemented now. ...more
Melanie  Brinkman
Good, bad. Pure, simple. Nothing comes without shades of grey.

Ever since their kindergarten class's rendition of The Wizard of Oz, Del has had a crush on Keira. She's just always been with someone else. But now, she's finally available and Del is ready to make his move. But when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at church, Del's right behind her and finds himself signed up for a Purity Pledge. Surely this is the way to get her to notice him right? Maybe not, but he's not about to give up on hi
Kate Olson
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aoc, young-adult
A much-needed and original YA story about masculinity, sexuality, religion and friendship. A must-read.
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Give this book to boys— create a book club for all the boys who like to opine that they are nice guys
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again, I find myself in a situation where I finished this several weeks ago but never marked it completed or reviewed it. It was a classic case of pandemic paralysis:

I really should mark it completed. I need to MOVE ON!!!

But if I give it a star rating but no review, that's such a failure. I have all of these extra hours on my hands!!

...But the existential dread though....

I guess I'll just leave it on my "currently-reading" shelf forever. That seems like an appropriate solution.

Aaaaand here we ar
Reviews May Vary
Just finished this one today. I’m giving it 5 stars and a spot on my #mustReads shelf. Because I think it’s an important story. My related Youtube vid:

“Notice how you get most mad when the truth is something you don’t like?” #BookQuotes
Not So Pure and Simple centers around a high school senior who thinks he’s a “nice guy“ and has been low key obsessed with the girl who played Dorothy in their 1st grade production of The Wiz. You know the type. He thinks his intentio
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this brilliant book, and the last line made me hug it. Ostensibly it's about a high school boy finally making his big play for the girl he's been crushing on since grade school--by joining a church Purity Pledge to get closer to her--but the book's real story is protag Del's journey from blinkered "Nice Guy" to actually good (or at least working on it), nontoxic man. This book is so FUNNY, so rich, so textured and wise, without ever leaving Del's head or reaching beyond his slow- ...more
Amanda Lawford
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall: 3.8 stars.

Quality of Writing: 3
Pace: 4
Plot Development: 4
Characters: 3
Enjoyability: 4
Insightfulness: 5
Ease of Reading: 4

Savings opinions to share at Book Club. I think this will make a good discussion.
Bang Bang Books
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My biggest issue with this book was the writing style. I don't like this straight forward style of writing; I prefer a prosey style like Nicola Yoon. But this is a me problem and not the book's problem.

Issues I Had With This Book
* There's Nothing Fancy Here, Folks: Giles writing style is not quotey or prosey or lyrical; it's very straight forward. The teens talk like teens and they act like teens and although this is realistic, I find it boring. But as I stated above, that's my problem and not t
Lamar Giles is the real deal when it comes to writing well-developed, complex teen characters. In this book, he takes on toxic masculinity, particularly where it comes to boys thinking they are "the good ones," when in fact, they're playing right into the systems that contribute to being exactly the opposite.

Del has had a crush on Kiera for forever, but she's always been with another guy. So when he sees his opportunity to swoop in when she's single, he agrees to take part in a Purity Pledge at
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I woke up bright and early at 4am for work only to remember halfway out the door that I'm off! 🤦🏽‍♀️So I spent the morning binging a new book. HarperTeen @harpercollinsus entrusted me with an advanced reader copy of #notsopureandsimple by @lamargiles for an honest review. 😃

This was a necessary read about a misguided boy named Del in love with a girl named Kiera. It's reminiscent of a 90s sitcom comedy where the male protagonist is so focused on "winning the girl" that he fails to acknowledge tha
Jul 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 stars !!

- the book was super funny and had some really great humorous moments and one-liners
- the writing was really nice and it was super easy to read and flowed really well
- the friend group is super diverse in both personality and race and that was super refreshing. how they fit all together was really cool to read about. the themes of friendship were one of my favourite in the novel.
- tackles a lot of coming-of age topics really well, such as toxic masculinity/male entitleme
April Henry
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved Lamar Gile's Not so Pure and Simple. The rare book that dares to tackle sex ed and religion - in a sweet, true, and sometimes funny way. ...more
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you Edelweiss for providing me a free review copy in exchange for an honest review

There's a lot about Not So Pure and Simple that should be celebrated. For one, this is the rare YA book with a male protagonist that discussing sex education from a male perspective. Books like Have a Little Faith in Me, The Nowhere Girls, and Moxie are all wonderful books that deal with female sex education, but this is the first one that made me realize...we don't really teach boys about sex either. Sure f
Jessika Santulli
In typical 17-year-old fashion, Del Rainey starts going to church. Not because he really believes in getting closer to God, but because his longtime crush, Keira, is very active in the church community. She's fresh from a breakup, and Del believes he's finally gotten his chance. The only problem? He's accidentally signed up for a purity pledge and must attend weekly meetings with teens who are pledging to remain chaste until marriage. Through the pledge, he makes a new friend, Jameer, who vows t ...more
Molly Porter
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nikki S
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I waited to read this one because of the religious aspect, but it wasn't preachy or anything, just a really good, well written story. Review to come.

**EDIT 05/30/20**

You can find more of my reviews here at my blog: Take Me Away...

I was a little iffy about this one because of the religious aspect, but I really didn’t have anything to worry about. This book was so good and the twist was so unexpected. Definitely wasn’t something I expected.
Del has had a crush on Kiera since he could remember. N
Smileitsjoy (JoyMelody)
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book, wow!
It was nothing like I was expecting but it was everything I wanted to read.
The way this story was written really just moved me.

The layers that Giles wrote with was so impressive that I felt like the story wouldn't have worked any other way.
There were no throwaway characters in this book and no storylines that didn't matter.
I would definitely suggest this book.
Aug 12, 2020 added it
Shelves: ya, 2020
It is SO GOOD. This is a book for everyone.
Samantha (WLABB)
I originally passed on this book, but when I saw it recommended by Justin A. Reynolds, I thought I would give it a try, and WOW! This book is gold. So funny and honest, and I just thought Giles did such an incredible job with all the topics he tackled.

I picked up this book for two reasons: see how religion was presented and stay up-to-date with young adult literature. The religion part will take the most time, which means I am going to start with the young adult portion.

In terms of young adult literature (6th to 12th grade), I felt the content and how it was written was more for high school. Yes, there might be kids in middle school who talk like the characters and the content might be important, but as a general statement I say this book is
Claire Wrobel
This is one of the best YA realistic fiction books I’ve read in a long time. It was reviewed by Nic Stone so I knew it would be good, but wow. So many things.

I originally picked it up because I try to read a lot of books written by POC about POC. The plot sounded cute so I gave it a try, even though it’s 400 pages. A lot of YA novels about POC are about political and social activism, which is important, but it’s also important to show the everyday life stuff. That’s one thing I liked about this
Wow. I thought this would be a sort of lighthearted look at a teen boy trying to be celibate, in a sort of comedy-of-errors type way. Instead, it was a nuanced and empathetic look at religion, sex ed, teenage pregnancy, and teenage slut-shaming and dating culture, especially “nice guys” and how toxic masculinity is passed down from fathers to sons.

There is so much going on here, but it all feels so natural and understandable and never preachy — the main character, who really feels like a real p
2.5 stars

I think this is a book that has a very specific audience, but I don’t think I’m part of that audience. While I think this book is very well written and is very compelling from a technical stand-point, I didn’t love it because I spent most of it annoyed by the main character. It also fell into the whole “women aren’t people until one of the women related to me is hurt by sexism and all of a sudden, I’m a changed man!” thing, which I wasn’t a fan of. I think this is a book that could be v
Ms. Yingling
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC provided by Follett First Look

I really, really liked this one, but it is more of a YA book. There's nothing inappropriate, and I admire Giles' circumspect writing, but it's also a LOT about sex, in a way that the majority middle grade readers are just not that interested. There is a bit of drinking. I loved the inclusion of religion (I spent a LOT of time involved with church youth group in grades 6-12), the strong family ties, and the way that Del has a huge crush on the very popular Kiera
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Lamar "L. R." Giles writes books for teens and adults. FAKE ID, his debut Young Adult Thriller, will be published by HarperCollins in 2014. He is represented by Jamie Weiss Chilton of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and resides in Chesapeake, VA with his wife. ...more

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