Steph Su's Reviews > Purity

Purity by Jackson Pearce
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's review
Oct 06, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: dead-relatives

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 was slightly disappointing, as there was great potential for her to have some interesting quirks, and not every story requires an Everygirl at its heart in order for it to be relatable and likable. Fortunately, other characters, such as Shelby’s friends, are lovely to read about. Nothing too special about them, but they’re nice and supportive and people whom you want to be your friends. Shelby’s relationship with her father is more noteworthy, in that I think that a fair number of daughters can relate to Shelby and her father’s awkward yet fierce love for each other.

What tripped me up about PURITY, however, was its intent. Was it a straightforward novel about overcoming lifelong grief, looking for sex, and finding love instead? If PURITY wanted simply to be a grief novel, I think I would have been okay with it. Grief novels are obviously a dime a number in YA literature these days, but there are still some decent, if perhaps not original, stories among the lot. However, at many points PURITY dipped into random paragraphs about questioning one’s belief in God and faith, and I suppose that I didn’t feel like the religion aspect of this book was built up enough to support Shelby’s questioning thoughts.

PURITY is a noble effort at making different a tried-and-true contemporary YA routine, but ultimately it didn’t leave much of an impression on me. Read it if you want a slightly different spin on the classic grief novel, albeit one that doesn’t entirely succeed at being different.
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Reading Progress

October 6, 2011 – Shelved
March 22, 2012 – Started Reading
March 22, 2012 –
21.0% "This feels like things I've read before."
March 23, 2012 –
44.0% "Muhh."
March 23, 2012 –
44.0% "Oh man. This just turned slightly creepy, skeevy, and yet another thing that makes me mad about the state of women's rights today."
March 24, 2012 – Shelved as: dead-relatives
March 24, 2012 –
100.0% "Left feeling that all the issues the book touches upon could've been explored more deeply."
March 24, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by ~Tina~ (new)

~Tina~ Wonderful review! It feels like I have a better understanding for what to expect. I think I'm gonna try to get this at my lib:)

Steph Su ~Tina~ wrote: "Wonderful review! It feels like I have a better understanding for what to expect. I think I'm gonna try to get this at my lib:)"

*blushes* I love when my not-completely-glowing reviews still encourage people to go read the book. Mission: honesty = complete!

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