Terra Elan McVoy
Released: April 7, 2009
Publisher: Simon Pulse
You can read the Goodreads summary here.
Tabitha and her four best friends have a common bond - a vow they made before each other and their churches to remain virgins until marriage. They have gorgeously expensive purity rings to show for it, as well. But when Tab meets a new boy whom she falls head over heels for and when one of her friends breaks a vow, their group quickly unravels and Tabitha must reexamine her beliefs.
Oh, oh. I thought I was going to love this book so much. The description sounded so great and, what's more, it takes place in the town I live in! As I read I recognized several landmarks and that was indeed a very enjoyable part of the novel. I also really loved Tabitha's character. Tabitha doesn't quite know what she believes and that makes her a very realistic character. She struggles with realistic issues, like what to do when your best friends are fighting and whether or not sex before marriage is that serious of an issue. Tabs is a little more religious than I am, but I was happy she had beliefs to stand up for, even when it came to her parents. Tabs really was the shining star of the book.
But there were things I didn't enjoy about Pure. First and foremost - the high school girl drama. Tabitha's friend Morgan came off as very intolerant. It's great to have your own morals and do what you believe, so in Morgan's case I'm all for her wearing a purity ring and avoiding sex like the plague until marriage. But just because her friend decided not to make the same decision doesn't mean the should stop being friends. Morgan got on my nerves, even more so when it became clear that her decision was going to cause the group to fall apart. I wanted to shake each and every one of those girls and say, "You're over thinking this!"
True confession: when I was in high school I craved drama, although I sought it out in other ways than in Pure. Regardless, I felt like I thrived on the drama, but at this point in my life (I just turned twenty-six) I'm over it. I hate drama of all kinds. High school drama, work drama, wedding planning drama... it's so unnecessary. And that's why I was disappointed with Pure, not because the writing was bad or the characters were awful (they weren't) but because I'm too old for this.
Two stars. I'm sad I didn't like Pure, but I really do think this is all on me, not the book. If I weren't so removed from high school and its dramatic ways, I would have enjoyed Pure much more. If you like YA contemporaries about tricky subjects, Pure is a book you should definitely check out.