What happens if your dying mother’s last wish was for you to stay a virgin while also going out and breaking the rules every now and then? OK, so that’s not exactly what Shelby Crewe’s mother made her promise, but Jackson Pearce’s Purity shows us what it means to be honest with the people you love.
At ten years old, Shelby loses her mother to cancer, but before she dies, she asks three things of Shelby: listen to her father, love as much as possible and live without restraint. She promises them all, but she was tired and didn’t mean it. Now, nearly six years later, Shelby’s father wants her to go to the Princess Ball with him and do the father-daughter dance and everything. This would be a great way for her to keep her promises, but there’s just one problem—it’s a purity ball. Shelby can’t imagine herself being a 35-year-old virgin. So how is she going to keep her dying mother’s wish? The only thing that comes to mind is finding a loophole. Best friends Jonas and Ruby set out to help her find this loophole and along the way they learn some surprising secrets about each other, taking them on a bumpy ride they’ll never forget.
For any girl who’s gone through the battle of when should she lose her virginity and to who and should she just save herself for marriage, she will be able to relate to Shelby’s struggles. Sex is on every girl’s mind, even the innocent ones and Pearce presents a fresh, funny take on it all. She manages to put Christianity on the plate without sounding preachy or judgmental. You can find humor in serious subjects.
The novel also touches on the kind of hurt and anger that comes from believing in God and then being let down by God when a loved one is taken away through death. Shelby has to face these emotions when she sees some girls from her old youth group because of the Princess Ball. That kind of pain is something anyone who's ever lost anyone can relate to.