Purity by Jackson Pearce
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
So glad that Ms. Pearce has left the world of fairy-tales-with-werewolves! This modern-day story has nothing of the supernatural about it.
Our heroine, Shelby Crewe (yes, as in A Little Princess Crewe) made her dying mother three Promises, and like Ella in Ella Enchanted she's figured out how to get around them, mostly by not telling her father what she's doing (so she won't have to break Promise One, Listen To Your Father). Dad's made a career out of volunteering and one day she comes home to learn that he's on the planning committee for one of those Princess Balls (read: father-daughter dance, purity vows, etc.). Her mother had been to one when she was Shelby's age, back in the puffy-meringue hair and fashion days of the 80s. I would have winced more if they'd been set in the disco-inspired/Gunne Sax 70s, but then, we each have our own horrible fashion memories.
With the help of her two BFFs, Jonas, whom she's known since kindergarten, and Ruby, whom she met in middle school, she tries to figure out a way around the purity part of the vows. She's already had a drink, isn't interested in drugs, but there's that pesky "virgin-until-marriage" clause... what's a girl gonna do?
What I liked about this was that Shelby actually does think about the implications of the vow, her Promises and any actions she might take. There are a couple of Big Realizations that don't feel forced even if they are predictable, and teen readers might find themselves thinking about some of what Shelby discovers and how those discoveries might fit into their lives.
Oh, and the Princess Ball cake? Priceless.
ARC provided by publisher.