There are not a lot of external struggles in Terra Elan McVoy’s Pure, but the girls’ internal struggles are real and raw. It is refreshing to see a book touch on subjects that are dear to a girl’s heart that may not have been expressed out loud before.
A group of girls in a youth group all get purity rings and make vows not to have sex before marriage. What happens when one of them breaks the vow? Cara loses her virginity to her boyfriend because the two of them are certain they are the only ones for each other. Is it a betrayal against God or her friends? It’s a heavy question for sure. Nothing about Tabitha’s life is like a normal teenaged girl’s once this question is asked. Her friends who don’t have boyfriends are not sure if she should be on Cara’s side and avoid Tabitha because of it. Her friends who do have boyfriends are not much better. They suddenly turn their backs on her and stage a protest at school. Drama, drama, drama.
Meanwhile, Tabitha is trying to stay friends with everyone. That’s the hardest place to be, but what’s a girl to do? She vents to her new boyfriend and wonders if she will have to end things with him when he finds out about her purity ring. The only way to find out if he’ll stick around is to talk to him, but the idea of talking to him about sex makes her nervous.
McVoy expertly displays thoughts of teenaged girls down to every petty thing they fight about. However, her story fails to grab the reader’s attention in any big way except for the conflict. Real girls do worry about the sex-before-marriage question. But at times the story gets blurred with multiple girls’ lives to keep track of. Tomboys and boys are not really going to like the lack of action unless they are setting out to research what it’s like inside a girly girl’s head.
Friends split apart when they stop believing in the same things, but through it all, they still need each other.